Don McLean says modern songwriters don't have brains because of phones and computers

23 September 2021, 09:41 | Updated: 20 September 2023, 13:44

Don McLean in concert in England
Don McLean in concert in England. Picture: Getty

By Mayer Nissim

The 'American Pie' singer thinks that you need "silence and contemplation" to develop as a person.

Don McLean has again hit out at modern songwriters, claiming that they don't have any brains.

The 'American Pie' singer told The Times that modern technology is stopping young people from being able to concentrate.

"I don't think they have any brains," McLean said of songwriters today.

"The phone and the computer have prevented young people from concentrating.

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"You have to concentrate to write a song like [The Beatles'] 'A Day in the Life', [The Beach Boys'] 'Good Vibrations' or [Bob Dylan's] 'A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall'."

He added: "I'm a philosopher. I like to think things through.

"I'm not saying I'm anything special, but myself, the Beatles and Dylan had long periods of silence and contemplation when nobody cared about us very much.

"It allows a person to develop. Now people are poked with information from the day they are born. Ooh, Kim Kardashian has a fat ass! Who cares?"

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While he praised Dylan's songwriting, he revealed that he had never met him and "he doesn't mean anything to me".

McLean revealed that when Bob's son Jakob asked him directly if his dad was the "jester" referred to in 'American Pie', he refused to answer but said that his dad "would make a pretty darn good jester".

It's not the first time that McLean has complained about modern music.

Speaking last year, he argued that current music "doesn't mean anything", adding: "The music reflects the spiritual nature of the society. We have a kind of a nihilistic society now."

He said of modern bands: "They have a lot of riffs. They’re very cool and the records are great but they’re not melodies and the lyrics are not about anything. It’s very vague and vacant.”

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