He is bringing a specially modified long neck banjo that has been custom made for him by Vega.
Those who’ve read the biography will know that, aged 16, Don McLean became friends with Erik Darling of the Weavers and would visit his apartment in NY, talk about music and play his various instruments. On one occasion Darling allowed Don to borrow and take home his most precious banjo – a specially designed long neck Vega. The banjo that Don has had custom made, and which he will be playing on this tour, is an exact replica of Darling’s banjo.
Earlier this year, shortly after Don took delivery of the new banjo, he was browsing the classified section of Mandolin Magazine and to his amazement there in the “For Sale” section was Erik Darling’s original custom Vega banjo. In the late 60s, Darling had fallen on difficult times and had sold his prize possession to a New York stockbroker who’d been taking lessons. Of course, Don wasted no time and completed the purchase!