‘American Pie’ Still Homemade, but With a New Twist

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — To step into the Tin & Lint bar here is to be surrounded by stories. Carved into the wooden walls, booths and benches are 30 years of names, dates and declared loves: Mike was here; Don loves Joanna 4EVER; Amy and Jennifer, 1989.

But the biggest story, nearly as much a part of this upstate city’s lore as its racetrack and mineral waters, is revealed on a small, worn plaque above the third booth from the door: “American Pie written by Don McLean, Summer 1970.”

With its low tin ceilings and stained-glass lamps, the bar seems like the type of place where Mr. McLean would have written his generational anthem of rock’s lost innocence.

Or, maybe not.

Mr. McLean put the legend to rest last weekend in an article in The Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y. He also debunked a parallel tale that claimed he first performed the song at Caffè Lena around the corner from the Tin & Lint....

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