Annoy Don McLean, Win $200!

From left, Don McLean; Andy Breckman. Photo: Photos: WireImage, Getty Images

Back in the quaint old days of 1994, a wag named Andy Breckman — a former SNL writer who's since gone on to create the TV show Monk — wrote an essay called “Why I Don't Play ‘American Pie’ on My Show” for the now-defunct program-guide 'zine of the great Jersey City radio station WFMU, where he was (and still is) a D.J. (An anthology of essays from the guide, The Best of LCD: The Art and Writing of WFMU, has just been published.) He described touring Canada in 1980 as the folk-singing opening act for Don McLean, who wrote the song “American Pie” (and, presumably, some other songs). Breckman listed a number of McLean's tourmate sins, including bringing groupies back to the hotel for “dick autographs.” Ten years later (!), McLean responded, somewhat incoherently.

Now Breckman’s striking back, and he needs your help: McLean is playing a concert at Town Hall on November 16. There are, happily, still tickets left, and Breckman is offering $200 to anyone who can get McLean to say Breckman's name onstage that night. (There must be recorded proof to collect the money; e-mail Ken Freedman at for details.) As a bonus, he’ll pay an additional $75 to anyone who can persuade McLean to call him an asshole, too. We've got a feeling that shouldn’t be too hard. Let us know how it goes! —Tayt Harlin