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The Position of Don MacClean

Big Al Whittle 11 Feb 12 - 06:00 AM
George Papavgeris 11 Feb 12 - 06:08 AM
Silas 11 Feb 12 - 06:22 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Feb 12 - 06:36 AM
Bonzo3legs 11 Feb 12 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Ian Mather sans cookie 11 Feb 12 - 07:37 AM
Mr Red 11 Feb 12 - 07:39 AM
George Papavgeris 11 Feb 12 - 07:40 AM
Mr Red 11 Feb 12 - 07:52 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Feb 12 - 09:56 AM
George Papavgeris 11 Feb 12 - 11:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Feb 12 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,AEOLA 11 Feb 12 - 11:34 AM
Nick 11 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM
Nick 11 Feb 12 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 11 Feb 12 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 11 Feb 12 - 12:10 PM
tonyteach1 11 Feb 12 - 12:52 PM
Dave Hanson 11 Feb 12 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Roderick Warner 11 Feb 12 - 04:36 PM
Arthur_itus 11 Feb 12 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,ClareM 11 Feb 12 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,roderick warner 11 Feb 12 - 05:32 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 12 - 09:57 PM
melodeonboy 12 Feb 12 - 09:54 AM
PHJim 12 Feb 12 - 10:08 AM
Suegorgeous 12 Feb 12 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 13 Feb 12 - 04:26 AM
The Sandman 13 Feb 12 - 04:24 PM
Ernest 14 Feb 12 - 01:47 AM
GUEST,Tatterfoal 14 Feb 12 - 10:58 AM
Lonesome EJ 14 Feb 12 - 12:45 PM
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Subject: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:00 AM

Good old Don! He leaves his guitar out of tune for one song and the whole folk world has worked themselves up into a tiz. My God! I know folksingers who've spent their entire playing careers out of tune - and scorn the use of digital tuners to boot! (I don't need one of them! I prefer my own ears! I trust them better than that thing!- you can write the script.)

I've always been a fan of Don. I even like his voice. Derek Brimstone once said to me - I like what he does, but I can't stand that bloody voice.

The thing is I'm grateful to guys like Don and John Denver - i love their songs - you can sing them in a pub and the whole room just joins in. Along with You made me Love You and By Bye Blackbird -they are far more deeply embedded in the English tongue and psyche than the Dowie Dens of Yarrow, or some such. those songs have helped me earn a living as a musician.

On the flipside - don't we all head for the toilet when some arsehole turns up at the folkclub, puts American Pie on a music stand and commits (I won't say performs) the full version - complete with hesitations to see where his fingers should be on the guitar.

What do other people think?   Isn't there a strata of songs - perhaps not folksongs in the strict sense - but the English public have taken to them now for forty years, sixty years and seventy years in the case of jazz and wartime songs. And these songs have such a place of affection in English hearts.

Don has an honoured place in that pantheon of songwriters? Who wouldn't want to be there beside him..... and Ewan for writing The First Time Ever?


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:08 AM

Let's put it this way: I would gladly trade ten times Don's embarassment to write songs like "Vincent" and "American Pie".

Great songwriter, and I also love his voice.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Silas
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:22 AM

He has still 'got it' unlike last years embarresment. It was very unfortunate about his guitar in the first number - but thats live TV for you.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:36 AM

Come off it. Being on live TV doesn't mean you can't carry out an elementary check on you guitar before you come on. I cheerfully echo all the sentiments about his songs and his place in the pantheon, etc., but that was just diabolically unprofessional and profoundly disappointing. Painful even. And totally unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 07:31 AM

Martin Simpson was very particular about his guitar tuning on BBC Radio 3 "In Tune" yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,Ian Mather sans cookie
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 07:37 AM

Don went downhill since he was axed from Crackerjack.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 07:39 AM

The song is different from the rendition.

BUT..............

we (well I do) take from the performance what we take, not what is given (always).

Homeless Brother is Folk and the message is louder than the guitar!
IMNSHO.

And who can argue with his lyrics for Andrew MacCrew? The wordsmith is supreme. Maybe I am applauding just that but let anyone argue and, well, just let them.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 07:40 AM

Stop and think. The guy is not deaf, he clearly knew the guitar was out of tune. Why then did ho not retune? I offer one explanation, similar (though on a grander scale) to what happened to me Monday night - I was told "you're on, two quick ones, please, we're short of time" as I came into the room, no chance to tune up. I obliged and managed to go through Emptyhanded with 2 strings out of tune somehow - and a third string went seriously out of kilter by the end of the song. I retuned after that, for the second song.

We know that the Folk Awards were live and on a tight schedule - indeed, Ralph McTell later on indicated precisely that when he said "I have been given two and a half minutes to do this introduction". I imagine everyone, Don included, was on promise to be as quick about it as they could. So he goes on, guitar is off. Dilemma - retune, or make do? He opted for the latter, just as I did on Monday (I hasten to add that this is the sum total of any similarities between us!). I can't say I blame him, you play as you find sometimes.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 07:52 AM

FWIW Ponchatrain, as rendered by Martin Simpson, was distinctly C&W oriented. And different from all other renditions I heard up to now.

I wasn't wrong, but it was equally as "strange" as a guitar out of tune. Actually not as satisfying, here in Rouge Towers.

And he had plenty of musos to cover any problems from one source!


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 09:56 AM

George, I'm certain that the venue had a place called "backstage," or even "dressing rooms," where yer man could have just tweaked his axe before he went on!


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 11:02 AM

The guitar was handed to him - tuned, supposedly - and he must have banged it on the way. It happens.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 11:14 AM

The word on the street is that he was a bit an arsehole - bigstaritis! Don't anyone touch that guitar! (and if someone had done they might have noticed it was out of tune) AND apparently he didn't want to provide the climax of the show - needed to get away so he didn't have to mix with the plebs.

How much truth one can attach to these rumours is anyone's guess.

Still a great man, and well worthy of his status down the urinal wall, where all the big nobs hang out - so to speak.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,AEOLA
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 11:34 AM

Let's face it   he's one of the best! However that particular performance was a little unexpected from a professional.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Nick
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM

Who is Don Maclean?

The bloke playing at the folk awards was Don McLean


If you are going to criticise then be right

Don Maclean was on Crackerjack (pencil cabbage)


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Nick
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 11:44 AM

On the bright side

No Autotune -


Do you believe in love after love...

Oo wee oowee ooweee ooo


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 12:10 PM

What are you talking about?

Don


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 12:10 PM

Never mind


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: tonyteach1
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 12:52 PM

I wonder if someone has decided that DM deserved teaching a lesson and has had a bit of a fiddle with the strings in revenge for say attitude problems

Just my cynical thought here


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 02:06 PM

Get real Al, it sounded bloody awful, and you know it.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,Roderick Warner
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 04:36 PM

Didn't see Mr Mac C on tv - don't have one. (Refuse to pay a tax for the banalities of the BBC). But learned and busked 'American Pie' when it came out in the early seventies because people on the West End cinema queues and elsewhere loved it and it made me a lot of money at the time, until I got bored with it. An odd buskers song because of its length... 'Vincent' I always thought was dreadful and have suffered the covers by the sensitive and clumsy down the years in folk clubs and elsewhere in the places where these things are allowed. Freedom of expression and all that and only my opinion... I doubt that any of the singer songwriter Ewan McColl's stuff would have made the cut on the streets although 'Dirty Old Town' had a certain skiffly swing to it - 'First time' was a great pop song but too slow to play on the streets/cinema queues. The point being maybe that McLean and McColl shared mass interest (and royalties) because of their hits... Good luck to both, living and gone... Re the out of tune guitar, perhaps this was some attempt at giving the radio audience a taste of a 'singer's night?'


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 05:08 PM

Even my missus cringed listening to Don McLean. We both thought he was bloody aweful and so old fashioned.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,ClareM
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 05:31 PM

It was pretty terrible. I usually have the opposite problem. The guitar is in tune. I'm not.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 05:32 PM

Arthur - could have been worse - someone shipped ovver that old fashioned scoutmaster Saint P. Seeger droning his pieties... music that has not worn well at all... in my opinion, of course. Although heard the only version of 'Kumbaya' that ever made it for me yesterday on an album I forgot I had: 'King Tubby Meets the Upsetter.' Some righteous dub...


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 09:57 PM

They have to have one MOR singer songwriter the R2 audience will have heard of. You can't just have these obscure folkies! He was rubbish. Even if the guitar had been in tune he would still have been rubbish. The second song was passable, but the first was pure cack.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: melodeonboy
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 09:54 AM

It was certainly cheesy!


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: PHJim
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 10:08 AM

Rodrick, why would you choose a thread on Don McLean to take a jab at Pete Seeger. Granted, Pete is not a pop singer, his repertoire is mostly folk, but at over 90, he still puts on an entertaining show and even got the David Letterman audience, not a folk club crowd, clapping and singing along. To each his own.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 09:16 PM

Gosh, how many threads does it take to really teach the guy a lesson for his heinous crime?!


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 04:26 AM

Well, I think there is some surprise, not that his guitar was out of tune (that happens) but that he dealt with the situation so badly, not what you'd expect from an experienced professional.

Some no doubt see it as a vindication of the view that he was there in order to attract publicity for the awards, when there are many other contenders arguably more deserving for a British lifetime achievement award. No doubt he is completely unware of this aspect, but I'm sure it plays a part in the response.

Quite simply, his performance was dire. His website says it "drew a major reaction and for a while Don was 'trending' on Twitter!" - he doesn't explain what the reaction was for!


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 04:24 PM

old fashioned?what the fk is that?
is folk music about being fashionable? if it is I despair, we will have Blair and Cameron , kissing babies and singing shite, with in tune guitars, smiling nicely, all form and no substance, but singning forgettable cliches


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Ernest
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:47 AM

MacClean????

So McDonalds is selling cleaning supplies now?

And D.M. has taken over the job of Ronald McDonald?


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: GUEST,Tatterfoal
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 10:58 AM

I am a liflong fan of McLean but he was awful on the Folk presentations night.   I thought he sang terrible never mind the guitar.   I will live with the concerts I saw him in up to Prime Time and try to remember him at his best.


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Subject: RE: The Position of Don MacClean
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 12:45 PM

I should have tuned you, Martin
This crowd was never made for one as dissonant as you


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