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Don McLean of American Pie fame lived in Israel

By Ben Bresky
12/4/2008, 12:00 AM

Don McLean, famous for his song American Pie has a song called Dreidel. It doesn't have much to do with Chanukah. The chorus goes "I feel like a spinning top or a dreidel."

When my friend Binyamin from the radio station heard it, he told me the connection is that Don McLean lived on a kibbutz in Israel. He said he met a journalist who had met Don McLean.

So I went on the internet and spent a long time both on Google and on Dogpile looking it up, both in Hebrew and in English. I found very little except for these two excerpts from the official Don McLean web site.

"Don McLean played his first professional gig in 1962 at an Israeli coffee house in Manhattan."

Fans interview Don McLean:

Janet: "I love your song 'Sea Man'. I would love to know where you got the idea from."
Don: "The song is actually a true story of a man who lived by the sea in Heifer, Israel. It’s all true and everything in the song is what he told me about his life. He even lives in a house shaped like a fish."

So maybe one day I will interview this journalist or I will interview Don McLean and learn more. Until then, enjoy this video clip of Don McLean singing Dreidel.