Singer-Songwriter Don McLean is reeling against the UCLA Student Alumni Association, which has rescinded the university's George and Ira Gershwin Award. Best Classic Bands reported the situation was due to McLean's 2016 arrest for allegedly assaulting his wife. The charges were later dismissed in a plea agreement and McLean and his wife Patrisha McLean have since divorced.
Tod M. Tamberg, senior executive director of UCLA Strategic Communications Media Relations, said in a statement: “The decision to rescind the award was made by SAA’s Spring Sing Executive Committee upon learning that Mr. McLean had previously been convicted of domestic violence charges. SAA rejects any behavior — including violence and the threat of violence in all its forms — that does not uphold the True Bruin Values. We extend our support to survivors of domestic violence.”
Don McLean was clearly fuming as he tweeted his response to UCLA's decision, writing, “Dear UCLA, you awarded me your George and Ira Gershwin life time achievement award and then took it back because you found out about my squabble with my ex wife. This has been all over the internet (sic) for 3 years. Are you people morons? This is settled law. Maybe I need to give you some bribe money to grease the college wheels. Don’t ever come near me again unless you offer me an apology for the damage you have done me. I am guilty of nothing to do with assault and you had better make that clear. We live in a dark age of accusation and not law.”
Back in 2015, Don McLean sold his original manuscript of “American Pie” for a whopping $1.2 million. He told us that the manuscripts that he has collecting dust might become valuable in the future for an entirely different reason: “And I have boxes of thousands and thousands of pages of worksheets for songs on all these albums I've made. And it might just surprise people that when I'm dead, that might become very interesting. Y'know, when there's no more songs from me and no more records from me ever again. Something starts to become valuable.”
Don McLean performs on Friday night (May 10th) in East Greenwich, Rhode Island at The Greenwich Odeum.