My haven, Don McLean: The American Pie singer, 76, in his den in California, where he lives with his 27-year-old girlfriend Paris Dylan
- Don McLean, 76, shares items of significance in the den of his California home
- American Pie singer treasures a guitar from Martin custom shop in Pennsylvania
- Also cherishes a baseball signed by the greatest Yankee players of all time
Don McLean, 76, (pictured) shared items of personal significance in the California home he shares with his girlfriend
1. IN GOOD COMPANY
This D-45 is my third Martin guitar – it’s one-of-a-kind from the Martin custom shop in Pennsylvania and looks like something Elvis Presley would’ve played. The store has been around since 1833 and they honour artists who were Martin players like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Gene Autry.
I always travel with a guitar. When I was younger I’d buy a plane ticket to have it seated next to me, but I put them in the hold now.
This gold bolo tie, a necktie popular in cowboy country, was owned by singer Gene Autry; it has rubies in it and the letter A. His wife Jackie sold it to me.
I wore it in August when I got my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, along with one of the six belt buckles I designed. They have three colours – green, yellow and red. I always wear one, they make me feel like an Egyptian king.
3. ONLY COLLECT
I found the 1920s diamond ring I’m wearing here in California. I also own a lot of watches – this solid gold Jaeger-LeCoultre is the rarest.
Don treasures a baseball signed by the greatest Yankee players of all time
It has a face on each side. I also collect cowboy boots, cowboy shirts and film memorabilia. I have 1,000 DVDs here and another 3,000 in another house where I also have a room full of albums. They’re part of my life.
4. STAY SHARP
I’ve been collecting knives since I was 12. I had a hunting knife that I’d take to the woods and make campfires. It’s a tool, and Randall knives, handmade in Florida, are beautiful – they’re pretty much the equivalent of a Martin guitar.
In the early 70s you could bring anything you wanted on a plane. I’d carry a bag with a survival knife and a rope. Basically, I was prepared to cut my way out of that plane if it crash landed in a jungle. That’s an insight into my personality.
5. IF THE BOOT FITS…
I liked the Western days when men were men, and I’m always searching for the real Western look. The real cowboy boots I love have a certain kind of heel, and I’ve bought so many pairs from Paul Bond, a company based in Arizona, that they have moulds of my feet now so they can custom make them for me.
You’ve got to be careful because you think you like them when you see them, then when you put them on they hurt so much you can’t wear them.
I have a shoemaker here who can stretch shoes and change them a little bit. I like to customise things – I customised a Rolex watch once by putting a different face on it.
6. BASEBALL BONKERS
The Yankees were the greatest baseball team ever and many of the signatures on this baseball are by the greatest players of all time – Joe DiMaggio, Elston Howard and Hank Bauer. These are the 50s and 60s players that won the World Series!
I bought it online and it wasn’t too bad a price because people don’t care about Joe DiMaggio any more. I’d rather not say how much… but it was over $1,000. It’s a keepsake.
As told to Chrissy Iley. Don McLean celebrates 50 years of American Pie with a UK tour in 2022, visit donmclean.com.