Don McLean's American Pie lyrics sell for $1.2m at Christie's

The original lyrics to Don McLean's legendary hit American Pie have sold for $1.2m at Christie's New York, in a sale that took place earlier today.

Christie's Tom Lecky commented: "You see great moments of inspiration, you see him attempting things that then didn't work out. The direction that he was going in that he then didn't want to follow. And so these words that we all know so well and are fixed weren't fixed in the beginning...

Don McLean Christies

The sheet features insights into McLean's writing process

"What you have in the manuscript is how we got to that stage. It's the creative process from beginning to end."

McLean explained why he was finally selling up in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine: "I have two children and a wife, and none of them seem to have the mercantile instinct. I want to get the best deal that I can for them. It's time.

"I only have an attachment to my wife, children and my guitar. In fact, I'm going to rid myself of a lot of stuff.

"In a year or two, I'm going to have a big Christie's auction with guitars, clothes, boots, saddles, silver and watches. I collect a lot of stuff. It's time to let other people have it."

The record for a set of lyrics at auction stands at $2m, set for Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone at Sotheby's New York in 2014.

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