Don and friends Ed Begley, Jr. and Lori Lieberman

Here are a couple of photos from Patrisha McLean of Don with friends Ed Begley, Jr, Lori Lieberman and academy-award winning actress Cloris Leachman backstage at his recent show in Pasadena, CA.

Nearly 40 years ago Lori Lieberman attended another McLean concert in LA, her experience of which was captured in the song “Killing Me Softly With His Songs“. Despite their long shared connection, this was the first time that Don McLean and Lori Lieberman had ever met in person.

Lori Lieberman and Don McLean
Lori Lieberman and Don McLean

Don has been friends with Ed Begley, Jr for 40 years. In Alan Howard’s 2007 biography of Don McLean, Ed explained how they met:

“I used to perform comedy at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in the Sixties and Seventies, and after one such night in 1972, I found myself face-to-face with Don McLean, an artist I greatly admired.

He had just seen my act and found it amusing. Though instantly suspect of his taste in comedy, I wasn’t about to talk him out of it, and he arranged for me to audition for his manager the following night.

Things happened quickly after that. I signed with his manager and wound up touring the country playing clubs and colleges and concerts and occasionally opening for Don.

That last part was definitely my favorite, opening for Don. I was a huge fan. His songs are some of my favorites, and his beautiful tenor is the best.”

Don and his wife Patrisha, Ed Begley jr. and Cloris Leachman backstage at Don's show in California
Don and his wife Patrisha, Ed Begley jr. and Cloris Leachman backstage at Don’s show in California




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  1. “Pheww! Not seen ya for years, Don, but just dug up “”Empty Chairs”” That song is one of the reasons I picked up a guitar.. Lori was yet another huge factor in my musicianship.. Yeah, Jackson Browne, the Dirt Band (all of whom I’ve known for years.. Jimmie Fadden and I were in the same graduating class. eeeee gads! Ho far I go back in my love of music. keep that music flowin’ and hug all those I know/knew.. James Lee Stanley is still in contact.. I could go on and on, but I won’t for know.. just going to pick up my old Martin D18 and play along with you on Empty Chairs.. Keep that music flowin..”

  2. “As I am typing, MPBN is airing Don McClean Troubadour. God gave this man the perfect gift: poetry, music, melodic resonance, honesty, and truth. He sings the truth and this can especially be heard in my favorite song, “”Starry Starry Night””. Don was not afraid to write about how depression killed a beautiful poet of paint. Whenever I listen to this song, like Jennifer, I cry. I cry so much not only because of Don’s haunting melody and words, but because I understand the pain and torment Vincent Van Gogh went through before he took his life. Don, you are by far the best musician I have ever heard….and that’s in over 50 years!”

  3. “We had the pleasure of seeing Don perform twice, both small venues, at Poughkeepsie (NY) H.S. auditorium and at Mount St. Mary’s College Theater (Newburgh NY). Just Don, his guitar and banjo, with John Platania off to the side of the stage on bass. Magical.”

  4. “Don’s songs have been true companions for many people all around the world for so many years. And when listening to “”Vincent””…. such truth brings tears to our eyes, every time.. THANK YOU DON… for all the love you share!”

  5. I couldn’t sleep so I got online and downloaded 1972 Don McClean Starry Starry Night concert and was so taken back by this video watching him sing playing just his guitar I was mesmerized. I came back to the computer an hour later and played the song two more times and cried. I cried because music of this caliber will never return along with memories of past.

  6. “Saw Don in Berkley CA in the 70s after Killing me Softly was a hit. The opening act was Lori Lieberman, who performed the song in her set. How did they not meet? They were the double bill!”

  7. “I would love to catch Don in concert sometime! we have a fantastic venue called The Flying Monkey in Plymouth, NH that has featured lots of big names lately!”

  8. “One of the very few performers in the world who could entertain you in your living room without the need for lights, dancing girls and all the other paraphernalia that a lot of artists rely upon.”

  9. “Having known Don since my college days and following his rise to stardom, he is one of the few artists I know who let’s his fans get close to him. He always seems to thrive in intimate venues as he is a man of the people. Wonderful poet wonderful human being.”

  10. “I am a huge Fan of Don’s. Just imagine my thrill when I read the Don was appearing not only in my New England region, but in my town of Londonderry N.H. AND at the end of my street! Fabulous show at an intimate venue.”

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