Don McLean: guest star of Garth Brooks’ 1997 Central Park Free Concert

In August 1997 an estimated 750,000 people attended Garth Brooks’ free concert in Central Park NY. Don McLean was Garth’s special guest star and together they sang American Pie. Don was so nervous that he had the lyrics to the first verse of the song written out and attached to the top of his guitar!


Garth Brooks introduced Don as “My Idol.”

Don McLean credits this concert with providing him with his third career comeback. Great things followed including Don’s first US TV special (which featured Garth singing Don’s Empty Chairs), Madonna’s cover of American Pie and various new albums and a busy touring schedule both in the USA and internationally.


“Brooks was joined on stage by two surprise guest stars, Billy Joel and Don McLean, who brought down the house with an acoustic rendition of “American Pie.” (CNN, 1997)

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