Don McLean’s lyrics When Don McLean was 15, he had a premonition of his father’s death.
Distraught, he rushed to tell his grandmother. “Do not be absurd, Donny, why would you say such a thing?” She explained. “Because it’s going to take place,” he replied. Days after, his father dropped dead in front of him. Blaming himself, McLean”cried for two years”. Eleven years after, he wrote American Pie, his 1971 lament for America’s political and cultural decline. And while he’s commented on these, its lyrics have been the subject of speculation ever since, says Rob Walker in The Guardian. The opening verses about”the day the music died” are widely agreed to refer to the death of Buddy Holly in 1959. But could not he also have been writing about his father? “You have hit the nail on the head,” he states. “That is why I do not like talking about the lyrics — because I wanted to capture and say something that was almost unspeakable.” She had been a star in Mexico, but on arriving in Hollywood in 1991, she couldn’t actually get auditions for Latino roles. She begged to read to get a part in 1993’s The House of the Spirits, adapted from Isabel Allende’s novel set in Chile. But”they were not hiring Latinos, span — unless it had been the maid or the prostitute”. Her break came when Robert Rodriguez insisted on casting her into his Mexico-set 1995 thriller Desperado, though the studio had wanted Cameron Diaz (“her last name was Diaz, so that they said she could be Mexican”). Latinos still face serious discrimination in the US, she says, pointing to the separation of migrant kids on the boundary; but in Hollywood, at least, things have improved. “I’m blessed that in my life, I expect to see change once and for all. Not every production gets that”
A peculiar dinner at China Comedian Bill Bailey is profoundly serious about wildlife, says Michael Odell at The Times. He attempts for various animal charities, along with his house in west London doubles up as a casual animal sanctuary. It is a passion that has led him into some bizarre situations.
On a tour of China in 2012, for example, he was invited to a restaurant where Eurasian eagle owl was on the menu. He ordered the bird,”and until they cooked it I said,’No, I want it to eliminate’, so they wrapped this live bird in parcel newspaper and then we drove off in a taxi.” In the vehicle, he rang a specialist, who stated the owl could probably be safely discharged if it was not injury – tised. “It was not miserable — it was just trying to tear its way through the paper with these colossal talons, so we drove to some woodland and let it go.
That restaurant trip cost me about #200 and we didn’t even receive a meal, but I love to think we did the ideal thing…”
A number people are worrying about whether we will be able to spend Christmas with our families. Tracey Emin simply hopes she’s still alive by then, says Decca Aitkenhead in The Sunday Times. The performer, 57, was diagnosed with lung cancer in June. Doctors originally expected that they could cut out the tumour and cure with chemotherapy; but it turned out to be too competitive. The surgeon talked her through what had to be done. “He said,’So we’re going to remove your bladder and we’re going to remove your uterus, your fallopian tubes, your gut, your lymph nodes, a part of your colon, your urethra.’ And he said,’Yes, a part of your vagina.’ And I went, ‘Oh f**king hell.”‘ She is in constant pain, but she plans to maintain painting. In reality, not painting more, in the 1990s, is one of her regrets; but there are others. “I just wish I hadn’t spent much time drinking and smoking. And partying — yeah, de?nitely. Really, really, really, really, really, really wish I could turn back the clock on this one.” She was not even enjoying it. She was, she says, only attempting”to ?t into a social landscape”. However there is one element of her life which she is currently reconciled, and that’s her childlessness. “Since there was one big problem I did not have to face, did I? Didn’t have to look my children in the face and say,’Mummy may be dying’.”