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  1. I saw your show in Westbury, Long Island.
    Wonderfull! You make me proud to be an American. The best to you and your family.

  2. The whole notion of seeing Don McLean perform before an audience totally different from that he usually would was the inspiration to make the incredible journey some 8000 klm into a new hemisphere for a weekend of adventure.

    I have never been to Hong Kong before – and for that matter never been out of Australia without my family. The whole concept was foreign to me. Some would say “how can you justify the cost.” Well simply put Don McLean’s music has been the soundtrack of my life – and this was to be the adventure of all adventures (plus the very generous people at Qantas let me use Frequent Flyer points)

    The first task was to find Bill Hamilton – (sorry about that early phone call) and plan our real adventure. Before the concert even began WE HAVE TO FIND DON ! Now Hong Kong is not such a little place – and it has a traffic system that seems to have been designed by a maze maker – lots of almost wide enough roads interspersed. Now normal Don is what you would call anonymous – he tends not to be as recognisable as the likes of Rod Stewart etc. Well thanks to a very keen promoter Don’s face adorns giant billboards around the city . If he hoped to hoe into a plate of Chinese dumplings and rice anonymously he was mistaken.

    Bill and I arrange to meet in reception at 9.15 am. It was an easy decision to begin our search at the place we suspected Don would be staying – The Hotel attached to the Hong Kong Convention Centre. It’s just a short walk – Bill’s words echo in my ears. I had developed blisters the size of Hong Kong itself on both feet so first stop was to be a shoe shop.

    Bill distinctly remembered seeing several shoe shops in his wanderings on day 1 and 2 of his stay . these seemed to have disappeared as we limped up the street. Pain is a relative thing – and as there were no relatives close by to pass the pain too I endured. We entered the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel with great hope and expectation of finding Don eating a late breakfast – unfortunately that was not the case – but alas we
    had our first bit of luck – We discovered a little sign in the foyer announcing a cocktail party – we were in the right venue – Don was staying here!

    It was a sense of relief to know that Don was here and for some lucky sods there was to be a cocktail party – bravo! Bill and I agreed almost simultaneously – we would not be getting close to Don for this one!

    The hotel is joined to the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre – the whole complex is huge – absolutely huge ! The previous night Sarah Brightman had performed, so Bill and I headed of to the venue to see the “Hall”. Didn’t take long to find the signs!

    “Don McLean A Starry Starry Night” they were everywhere – it was around this time we spotted Jackie Chan – he was no doubt also in search of Don.

    Bill loves to walk – a pastime I am trying hard to warm to – my blisters have grown beyond belief – I know I will surely lose my feet – its something I have come to terms with .

    Bill and I headed of – walking through the hotel – just in case! Bill mentioned he knew of a place that sold computer gear so off we went – oh my it was glorious – I no longer felt any pain – in fact I felt nothing at all in this heaven of all heavens. Bill and I decide to eat – its at this point I discover that Bill only eats Sausage and Egg McMuffins! No matter what the time – the fact they serve them 24/7 was to Bill an absolute delight .

    Bill has pretty well covered our afternoon – and how we “got into the concert” . I must stress to everyone Bill and I had purchased tickets to the show.


    This is as close as I can remember the set list – not in order

    La La Love you
    Think it over
    Fools Paradise
    Homeless Brother
    And I love you so
    Castles in the Air
    If we Try
    Feelin Called the Blues
    Promise to Remember
    You’re my little Darlin
    This little light
    Since I don’t have you
    Run Dianna Run
    Have you seen me
    Fashion Victin
    American Pie
    You don’t know me
    Count your blessings

    Don’s performance was equal to any concert I have attended – he looked very trim was in excellent voice and seemed overwhelmed by the reception. A big plus goes to the promoter – they did an excellent job and were an absolute credit – many of our promoters could learn from them.

    After the show we were invited back stage – given the number of local celebrities lined up Bill and I opted to go up to the cocktail party . A big thanks to everyone from Wolfman Jack , and to the guys in the band – who were generous with their time. See you down under! Don arrived looking happy and refreshed – he was in great spirit and happy with the result . Jim Lenz from Paradise artists was also really generous.

    The party continued long after Don and the band had retired – it was with of sadness we left at around 2.30 am – the champagne had dried up Karaoke was silent and the sweet girls from Wolfman Jack were well on the way to really bad headaches when they woke up.

    Bill and I headed back to our hotel – Bill with his sign and me with a new friend and memories that will last a life time . The measure of Don’s performance is simply – I cried when Don sang And I Love You So , I cried during Crossroads and im crying now as I think of the place the music has in my life. Thankyou Don – you are a good friend, a fine entertainer and an unmatch songwriter.

    Bob Gregg

  3. Message to Dear DON

    It¡¦s so hard to say which song is my most favourite. Actually, I can not find any song I dislike in your works. Your voice touch me deep inside the bottom of my heart.My mind can¡¦t stop singing your songs since I watched the show last Sat. Still spinning around & around (As well as in dreaming time!!)~ Winterwood, If we Try, Vincent, Castles In The Air¡K It was absolutely an excellent LIVE I¡¦ve ever seen! Even more better than last time I watched at the Baptist Hall, Kowloon Tong many, many years ago.
    * Don, How come did U keep your voice such beautiful all these years?
    * U performed so well in all kinds of music ~ pop-rock, jazz, countries, oldies etc¡K Good lyrics + Wonderful melodies = U¡¦re Great GENIUS!!
    * Would U please do come to HK again in the very near future. May I suggest U¡¦d better held 2 or more days. Just one night is not enough! ! I looking forward to hear ¡§EMPTY CHAIRS & WONDERFUL BABY in your next lives.
    At last, I have a request = I should be most grateful if U could let me have your autograph with my name ¡§VIVIEN¡¨ on it.
    I think I should have met U in person after the show that night. Unfortunately, I must come home immediately for my 20- mths old little baby. She¡¦s still too young to join the Concert yet. I promise I¡¦ll come along with her to your show once she¡¦s grow old enough to enter the concert hall next time.
    Pls take good care of yourself. Keep on singing! We¡¦ll support U forever! Thank U so much for offering us such wonderful moment in our lives. You have always been filled up our music life all the time! Thanks indeed!!

    Question :~
    Is there anyone can tell me the title for the encore portion ~ The song before ¡§Stardust¡¨ & the song after ¡§Fashion Victim¡¨. Thanks!

    About the attached photo ~
    1) Articles from HMV brochure
    2) Ticket for 5/29 ~ One of them is still not used yet!!!
    3) Pair ticket of Valentine Day, 1992. That show was to be postponed. Therefore, these tickets are also not used yet!(RARE!!)

    Many more articles are coming soon! Stay tuned!

    Thanks for setting up this Web page.
    It was a pleasure to discover such a nice page!

  4. I first listened “American Pie” in 11 years ago when I bought a classic folk songs CD. I was very impressed by the lyric. Last week, I bought tickets and my younger sister accompanied me to go to the concert. We enjoyed the show very much and my younger sister, 21 years old, was very very surprised and touched by Don McLean’s songs.

  5. Bill is really wetting our appetite with his writing. Thanks and look forward to more.


    “I also spotted the biggest sign I have ever seen for a Don McLean show…a full size billboard no less…only problem was I only saw it from a taxi and it’ll take days to find. But I will make it my life’s mission”

    I pass this billboard everyday for the past months on my way back to work. I tried yesterday to take a picture in the afternoon (1 day after the concert) and to my surprise it is replaced with and advert of another singer. I am amazed by HK efficiency (or took this for granted)- time is money

    Hope Bill had taken a photo of it. With the concert over and after this hangover maybe it is time to meet. E-mail me if you all are around.

  6. Don McLean in Hong Kong
    29 May 2004

    A word of warning. This is a long post…. It will undoubtedly bore some people. Its core subject is Don’s Hong Kong concert on 29 May, along with some observations on my first time in the city. There is no obligation to read all or indeed any of it so don’t come crying (slipping in the obtuse Don references already!) to me if you reach the end and you are still bored. I warned you remember.

    The prologue (or possibly epilogue) – Heathrow Airport Immigration (somewhere near London)

    ‘And where are you returning from, sir?’ They always say ‘sir’ with that kind of sneer on their faces implying that they privately think you are really some form of snivelling low-life but they have been on the ‘customer-awareness’ course so can’t afford to let it show too much..

    ‘Erm …. just back from Hong Kong …’

    ‘Did you have a good trip?’ (no ‘sir’ this time, to be seen as too condescending is a sign of weakness). This question is designed to subtly lure you into a false sense of security and reveal without thinking about it all the good and cheap products you have acquired during said trip. I’m a wise old bugger, not going to fall for that one…

    ‘Yes…very good thanks.’ Polite but non-committal and bland. Perfect.

    ‘So did you buy the rug there then?’ (pointing to the rather large bundle rolled up under my arm).

    I glance down, assuming the air of one who has only just realised this hugely obvious object exists. ‘Oh that!! No that’s not a carpet, it’s a poster I was given’.

    In my fertile imagination I am then forced to unroll it and explain to a frankly astounded customs officer how this 10-foot by 5-foot plastic sign advertising Don McLean’s concert in Hong Kong came into my possession. The scene is imaginary (so far!), the sign however is not…it lies right now folded up in my hotel room. Goodness only knows what I am going to do with it … a wall hanging perhaps in my rather small flat, or a temporary shelter for some homeless Bedouins (a sudden thought, can Bedouins be homeless given their nomadic lifestyle…hmmm, well I like the phrase so it stays in!).

    All I know is that I am very proud and honoured to be entrusted with it. Rest assured you will never see it offered on e-bay. And for those who know me…no I did not pilfer it! For the full low-down of how I came by it, and other exclusives, read on…

    Travelin’ man – Getting here and some initial HK observations

    Wednesday/Thursday 26 and 27 May
    It takes just under 12 hours to travel from a typical London day in May to our former colony in the South China Sea. This allows hours of cosseting for those in business and first class and hours of being crammed into an impossibly tight space if you are in economy and have an amply proportioned 6-foot frame. On my cheapskate fare, I fitted (if you excuse the pun) fairly definitively into the latter category.

    I did at least get an aisle seat, but I had two (extremely courteous) Chinese guys on my inside so no likelihood of spreading a little. I then suffered from my usual problem of always ending up behind the first person to fully tilt their seat back… though he did at least have the decency to almost let me finish lunch first. I dream of launching an airline with an economy section that doesn’t allow seats to tilt where the passenger behind is already suffering a deficit of what is termed (I assume as some kind of airline in-joke) ‘leg-room’. A definite oxymoron when conjoined with the word economy. And before you ask, no I did not initiate the inevitable domino effect by simply pushing my own seat back. Why not? Because I was brought up have some respect for other people and to recognise that just because it is possible to do something doesn’t mean that you should do it without taking into account the effect on other peoples ‘leg-space’ (a better term which defines an area which may or may not be sufficient for an average-ish person). Old fashioned maybe, but there we go.

    It was thus a slightly cramped and stiff figure who alighted on a sultry HK morning. Not that you would have known it whilst inside the superb new airport complex on Lantau island. I was only slightly disappointed to have missed out on the days of the old airport where (by all accounts) the jumbos did handbrake turns around the skyscrapers in order to land successfully.

    After one abortive attempt at tracking down my bus transfer without referring to the previously given (and extremely clear!) directions, I board the luxurious leather seated hotel transfer bus along with only one other passenger for the 20 mile or so drive onto HK island. A lot of new building is going on in the area around the airport, probably as a result of the new fast rail links into town. These buildings look huge…40 or 50 stories each at least… the view from the top looking towards HK must be spectacular…indeed the view in any direction must be breathtaking! The drive is scenic, with water virtually always in view, and includes crossing the spectacular Tsing Ma bridge, the world’s longest road and rail suspension bridge (or so this leaflet says).

    After what seems a surprisingly traffic free drive given that we are not far after rush hour we reach my hotel – the Charterhouse in Wan Chai. On the last section of the journey I am amazed to spot the biggest sign advertising a Don McLean concert that I have ever seen. We are talking a full width billboard here with a huge picture of Don. These folk know how to do publicity…some lessons for the UK! At Don’s Usher Hall concert in Edinburgh during last year’s tour I was astounded to find not even the tiniest poster or notice outside on the day of the event! (I later found out why as a huge bundle of posters suddenly appeared in the foyer during the interval and were quickly grabbed by the more alert audience members, including me. A nice free souvenir…always welcomed by us Scots.. particularly as I later got it signed, but not really the intention of the posters in the first place!!).

    The remainder of Thursday was largely taken up by having a long sleep to recover from the plane trip and a short walk around the general vicinity of the hotel. Things are pretty much as I expected…it is hot and humid but thankfully not unbearably so, and busy. I am struck by how comparatively clean everything is…there is a refreshing absence of litter and graffiti compared to London.

    The China dolls down in old Hong Kong…
    Friday 28 May

    My first full day in HK and I am awake early as my body clock tries to adjust to the 7 hour time difference. Even earlier than I think as it later transpires that the clock in my room is an hour fast!

    After a leisurely hotel breakfast, I wander out into the heat, my first task being to locate the Convention and Exhibition Centre where the concert is due to take place. We passed it yesterday on the way in and its prominent waterfront location, not to mention its huge scale make it pretty easy to track down even for a cartographically dyslexic out-of-towner like myself. This place is HUGE and the 7000-seat arena where Don is due to perform represents only one of several large halls in the place.

    I wander around the building for a bit, admiring the architecture and then taking some photos of the waterfront and HK skyline. Everything is comparatively empty at this early hour (it’s still only just after 9am). Even allowing for a coffee break it is going to be difficult to stay here till 11am when the ticket stand opens, so I leave still ticketless for a show I have travelled 6000 miles to see!!

    I spend the next few hours wandering in and around the central part of HK. As usual my meandering is pretty aimless. I am not really a guided tour sort of person. I manage to navigate my way in stages the two miles or so from Wan Chai to the commercial centre of the town, easily identifiable by the gradually taller skyscrapers. There are some amazing buildings here and the ones in the centre are not surprisingly the most impressive as each of the financial institutions tries to outdo each other in how close they can get to God (or more likely in their case to Mamon!).

    I discover that the trick is to call at each of the shopping malls I pass. Not necessarily to buy anything but to make use of their excellent air conditioning. Thus refreshed I can manage to next few hundred yards of humidity ahead of the next oasis!

    I find the tourist office and grab a bundle of maps and other literature, taking some also for Bob (Gregg) who is arriving later in the day from Australia. Surprisingly the hotel and the city in general seems largely devoid of this sort of stuff, offering only a map with Chinese legends, so I grab two of everything I can.

    One of the China dolls behind the counter assists me with details of getting a travel card. The women in HK appear to be stunning, almost without exception…. please note, for all you politically correct people out there this is not meant to be a sexist statement simply my own personal opinion…no letters or hate mail please!!

    The card is called an Octopus card and turns out to be a rechargeable cash card that you can use on most of the transport and in place of cash for other things. Indeed as Bob quickly points out the following day, you can use it to pay in McDonalds which is one of the traditional Chinese eateries which we visited (at least Bob told me it was traditional, though it did seem eerily reminiscent of somewhere I had been before….)

    Tired from my walking I used my newly acquired Octopus to return to the hotel in late afternoon. I wasn’t sure when Bob was due to arrive, but a check with reception confirmed he certainly wasn’t here yet. So I retired to my room, watched the previously sunny day develop into a spectacular thunderstorm, and promptly fell into a deep slumber.

    I awoke with a start at around 9pm. This was caused by my infallible internal alarm system realising that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast time and that the closure of the hotel restaurant was imminent. So I took the easy option and stumbled downstairs for a pizza. I still wasn’t sure if Bob G had arrived but decided anyway that even if he had I wasn’t going to ring him so late after he had just made a long flight.

    After my meal I staggered headlong into the bar and made short order of two pints of beer whilst watching the rain pour down outside. With the people standing soaking at the bus stops outside the hotel, it was spookily reminiscent of a wet Friday night in Glasgow.

    Just as the bar was closing at midnight I noticed an obviously well-fed figure making his way to the lift. I surmised this was Bob, and this was later confirmed, but I decided to wait until the morning to confirm my suspicion…..

    Starry Starry Night (and the day that preceded it)
    Saturday 29 May

    I slept the sleep of the just, and right through the painfully inefficient alarm in my room, which I had optimistically set to 8am. It was therefore a slightly befuddled response which Bob received when he called my room at 8.45 am. He sounded a lot fresher than me on the phone and we arranged to meet up in 30 minutes.

    Arriving in reception, I saw the same person I’d seen entering the lift the previous evening. I am sure Bob will not mind me saying this, but you immediately realise that this is a ‘big’ guy…and hopefully without embarrassing him too much I say that in every positive sense of the word.

    As some here will know I could loosely be termed big-boned but Bob makes me look like some underdeveloped Third Division sumo wrestler. On the previous day I had felt fairly conscious of my size in this land of essentially diminutive people but as we ventured out it was clear that I was just the warm up act and that the star attraction had arrived in town.

    Making our way to the Convention centre to pick up tickets it was obvious that people were glancing at us…in fact may openly stared and girls looked and giggled in that coyly oriental manner. For about two minutes I was concerned – then two things struck me simultaneously – one, the reaction was friendly and not malevolent, like their favourite giant had just hit town and two, Bob used it so brilliantly to his advantage. So many times he started conversations with complete strangers and within seconds they were like long-lost friends.

    The shy retiring soul that I am drew vicariously off each of these encounters. You could certainly say that Bob made an impression on everyone he met (and many he didn’t!) and like some satellite I cruised along behind basking in the path he laid. It was great fun! And without exception he asked every single person if they were going to the concert…if Bob were in town for a week before every show you wouldn’t need an advertising budget.

    We reached the Convention Centre and after a coffee break the ticket desk was finally open and we got our tickets. As far as we could establish from the slightly broken English of the girl selling the tickets, the concert was over 70% sold. This was reassuring…Bob had been concerned that each time he logged into the ticket website in previous weeks it had offered him the same seats!!

    By this point I had established that walking was not an activity that Bob was overly enamoured with. This dislike was not helped by the fact that he was wearing new shoes that were slowly turning his feet into raw liver. So we hailed the first of many taxis which turned out to be not only amazingly cheap but also beautifully air conditioned. After a sumptuous lunch, courtesy of McDonalds, we recuperated from our ‘exertions’ back at the hotel for a while.

    Bob had made a sort of arrangement to meet up with Don. For those who don’t know Bob started the Aussie based web page many moons ago and has thus known Don for some years. To say the least this arrangement was loose…ultimately revolving around an internet message received via Alan Howard in the UK that Don would ‘find him’! Despite my comments that Bob has some characteristics that aid recognition I was still fascinated to know how this would work out!! But of course I reckoned without Bob!!

    One thing was at least obvious to both of us. If Bob (or more selfishly, Bob and myself) were to catch up with Don our most likely route was to get the venue early, prior to the sound check.

    Accordingly, at 4pm we hailed another taxi and headed back down to the centre.

    Problem number one…the place was teeming with people!! Despite our brief dream that these were early arrivals for the show, we quickly realised that they were in fact attending an exhibition in another part of the building. We did manage to establish that this was related to Buddha, whose birthday had been the previous week (quote of the day from Bob – ‘Yes but how do they know it’s his birthday?’). Anyway these people didn’t seem to need much convincing.

    Apparently one of the main exhibits was of a disembodied finger – in truth we didn’t get right to the bottom of this but my understanding was that it wasn’t the Buddha’s finger but (and I am surmising here) that of some acolyte who touched the great man at some stage. It all sounded pretty gruesome to me, and more suited to Forensic Detectives than a family oriented web page so we will draw a veil over it at that point.

    The key fact, and I appreciate it has taken a long time arriving, is that lots of people mean lots of security who love asking questions… like who the hell are you and why are you trying to get to a hall where the concert doesn’t start for 3 and a half hours. And you have no passes or any other form of authority…and said security speaks patchy and sometimes non-existent English!

    But somehow we managed, via a process of bluff and luck, to make our way up to Level 7 where Hall 3 was (yes I found that illogical too..). And we walked straight in to see sound engineers working on the console and various people on stage. We both breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it thus far…nothing could surely stop us now!

    Bob in his now familiar style strikes up a conversation with the sound engineer, only to quickly establish that the sound check is already complete and Don and the band have returned to the hotel!! I have to smile…in Dublin in 2001 I arrived with Fuzzy and Neil really early and we waited for about 90 minutes before the sound check started (not that we were complaining about it!). Here we arrive a bit later and miss the whole thing!

    Problem 2….how are we going to manage to make contact now. Bob blinked for a millisecond. Then he coaxed out of the soundman the mobile phone number of the lady in charge of running the show. This is a start but listening to one end of his conversation with her makes my hopes sink again. But his persistence wins her over and she agrees to see what she can do. We wait to call her back in 15 minutes as arranged.

    The half conversation I can hear this time is still not particularly hopeful. Don is resting at his hotel and cannot be disturbed. However, someone will come out to speak to us. Fortunately, that ‘someone’ turns out to be Don’s agent Jim Lenz. Although initially a bit suspicious, as he had every right to be, Jim to his credit gives us the benefit of the not inconsiderable doubt and realises that there is probably some truth in our story, not least because Bob clearly knows all the main players, especially on the Australian side. I am slightly mortified as Bob somewhat exaggerates the extent of my involvement in the UK web page but strays just this side of telling any outright lies!

    Overall however he does more than enough to convince Jim that Don will know of at least him, if not of his trailing satellite (that’s me remember). He agrees to catch up with us after the show to see ‘what can be arranged’ and reassuringly notes down our seat numbers. We have already seen a notice in the hotel for ‘Don McLean’s cocktail party’ after the show and quietly hope to make the guest list…but it’s by no means in the bag just yet!

    It’s still only 5.30. Too long till the concert start time of 8pm to just hang around the theatre. However, we are also both too nervous to concentrate on doing anything else which might risk, however slightly, our ability to return in good time for the show. So we end up taking a none too fascinating ride to the final station on the underground line. Our initial intention is to spend some time there before heading back. However, when we arrive it turns out to be a location like places at the end of the underground line in most cities. Imagine someone from Hong Kong visiting London and ending up in Morden and you are close to the effect.

    So we are both more than happy to turn straight around and head directly back to where we really want to be…the theatre! By this time it is 7.15 though the auditorium and it’s immediate environs seem extraordinarily quiet for 45 minutes before a show. If Jim hadn’t told us earlier that 6000 seats had been sold I’d have been concerned at this point that Don was going to perform to an embarrassingly small crowd. However, apparently the Chinese are notoriously late arrivers.

    Bob kindly buys me a beer from a hardly over extended stall. By the time we have drunk that, and Bob has extracted life stories from everyone who comes into his path, it is 7.40. I swear if we had wanted to go, Bob could have got us entrance to the Buddha exhibition by explaining that he met him once in Sydney. But the thought of that finger still puts me off.

    We enter the auditorium, still almost empty even at this late stage. One of the Chinese guys we spoke to has told me that people here expect things to run late – I assume this message will have been conveyed to Don – UK shows always seem to start pretty much on time. We are sitting in different parts of the auditorium so we separate and go to our respective seats.

    When I glance across a few minutes later I notice Bob isn’t in his seat. Initially I think he is either making a call of nature or maybe taking some pictures around the auditorium. But he is gone for some time. Eventually I see him emerge at the front of the auditorium – he is in the company of Jim Lenz and their animated conversation and body language make it clear that credentials have been fully established…a fact reinforced by the ‘Access All Areas’ badge around Bob’s neck. Hopes rise considerably…maybe that elusive cocktail party IS a possibility after all!!

    But first we have a concert to watch. By now the auditorium has filled to an extent that makes you believe the 6000 figure. It is certainly a good 75 % full and then some. Nowhere is impossibly far from the stage, but in any event two huge video screens sited either side of the stage allow you to take a real close look at some of the action…I’m sure the guitarists out there would love to have such close ups at every show. In 32 years of attending Don’s concerts it is the first time I have been to one with this facility.

    Then what is almost always Don’s standard introduction…but with a huge drawn out gap between the words .…AMERICA’S LEGENDARY SINGER SONGWRITER…..DON McLEAN.

    And we were off into what turned out to be a fairly standard recent Don show in terms of repertoire. No particular surprises, but a definite concentration on ballads, which the Chinese apparently prefer. I was totallly impressed by the audience… there was mixture of ‘locals’ along with a fair number of expats. But it was clear that many were familiar with a considerable body of Don’s work and not just the ‘big hits’. This impression was reinforced when the lady three or four along from me sang every word to Homeless Brother…hardly one of Don’s better known tracks.

    And the level of attention was extraordinary. Perhaps this is a function of the culture but there was none of the annoying whispering I have sometimes heard in UK venues, particularly when less well-known songs are played. Although Don warned at the start that it would be a long show, and that people shouldn’t be embarrassed to go to the loo, the proportion who actually did in such a big audience was tiny.

    I didn’t do a set list, in the end it gets a bit tedious to say ‘he sang this then that’, but anyone who has attended a show in the last couple of years will be familiar with the basic content. Probably a 50/50 mixture of covers and Don McLean songs. My highlights would be different from most people there because I have heard all the major songs so often. I loved the juxtaposition of the sugary sweet, happy family atmosphere of ‘You’re my Little darlin’ with the biting song about missing children ‘Have You Seen Me?’ which sounds immeasurably better live than on the Headroom album. Similarly the rollicking ‘Food on the Table’ followed by ‘Homeless Brother’ showed Don’s ability to change the mood in an instant.

    ‘Crying’ and ‘Since I don’t have you’ were standouts as ever because of the vocal challenges they both possess. And Don hit all the notes…including the impossible one at the end of ‘Since I don’t have you’. His vocal performance, with an excellent sound system, was in my view faultless. His only ‘error’ of the night was in forgetting the title of ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ which was amusing if only because the title is in every chorus. I guess we all have these moments of temporary forgetfulness, but it drew a good laugh and when he sang it was brilliant.

    Contrary to another report we definitely did have ‘Crossroads’ with Tony doing an immaculate job on piano as ever. Four piece band last night (no Kerry Marx) and I have got to say they were all great…because they were, as I think I told them all after the show. But pushed for a standout, last night for me it was Tony whose piano work sounded superb throughout.
    People seemed to be singing along at every opportunity, but the ‘official’ join in part was the usual ‘This Little Light of Mine’, and of course lots of joining in on AP with the now standard extra instrumental break in the middle and resinging the first verse at the end. This brought a standing ovation, followed by an encore of some Buddy Holly and the beautiful ‘Stardust’ before it had to end as all good things must.

    Churlish criticism section ..… well we got the ever present ‘La La Love You’ though even that didn’t sound bad last night. And there was no significant solo stuff, though perhaps last night wasn’t the time for it.

    Overall, the night was a triumph for Don and the band…and they all had the right to feel very satisfied afterwards, which they certainly appeared to be. Both myself and Bob agreed that, for all sorts of reasons, we couldn’t remember a better show and between us we have seen over 70. The absolute benchmark is this…I travelled 6000 miles for this…and I still have to travel 6000 miles back…and every inch of each of those miles was justified fully.

    I am going to close for now and get this posted. I will post separately (and hopefully more briefly!) about the post concert cocktail party… of course we got there!!…. and other bits and pieces, including how I got that poster.

    Read on tomorrow for the full details!!

    Bill Hamilton
    Hong Kong, SAR of China
    31 May 2004

  7. Thank you for an unforgettable experience. Don sang so well and had such a great voice after all these years. I attended his concert in HK 20 years ago. It’s been a 20-year wait. I hope he’ll come again. It’s not too much to say that he has affected my life. I hope he’ll sing “Chain Lightning” next time.

  8. I must thank Don McLean for agreeing to meet, sign and have photos taken. We approached the staff after the show and asked if he will meet some fans. After some waiting, negotiation and patience from everyone we were allowed in. We are just ordinary people who followed the rules and Don’s sincerity and friendliness made it our day. I shared what I had with my bad/old “night” camera. There were few people who took photos also. Hope they discover this site and post it up for all to enjoy the moment.

    A succesful world tour kickoff for Don McLean!! Thanks for choosing Hong Kong.

  9. Best Concert of Don’s Ive ever attended (and this no 40) Will leave it Bill H to review but I can say this 6500 people left the HKEC totally satisfied – and it was impossible to wipe the smile from Don’s face – travel safe Don as you push back on the plane home to family. The after show cocktail party was a hoot – Bill H is one party animal – onya Bill – last seen walking out of party with a 20ft tall poster under his arm. This really was a very very special night – will post my review after Bill.

    Bob Gregg

  10. [Transferred from the Guest Book by website moderator]

    it was great,i had a wonderful evening with him, but he didn’t sing “empty chair” and “crossroad”. I’ve been waiting for 20 years. finally he made it, here in Hong Kong tonight, thank you Don, for making me a unforgetable evening.

  11. I first saw Don McLean perfoming in Royal Albert Hall in FRONT of a black and white
    TV some 30+ years ago. The images of him singing with his guitar stuck to my mind till today. To see him live today is exciting – he really moved the audience with a sing-along session (dim the light please….) and American Pie. A night to remember and I documented the event with some photos.


  12. Strange that Don introduced his work “Vincent” as “Starry Starry Night”… and although it was 2-hours of non-stop singing, I wish he also sang “Empty Chairs”, “Birthday Song”, “Amazon”… well, he will just have to come back !

  13. He is back since 1992.I attended both concert.I think this time is much better
    from many way.Very good session men,good song picking,good atmosphere.Excellent!
    Very enjoyable.It’s a starry night to remember.

  14. This review has been copied from the website guestbook).

    Just back home from your Hong Kong Concert. Absolutely brilliant! Great voice and great choice of songs. To hear Vincent and American Pie live was fantastic. Hope the rest of the World Tour goes well.

    Anne McKinney
    (Scottish but living in
    Hong Kong)

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