American Pie legend McLean signs up to Rainbows guitar

Legendary American singer/songwriter Don McLean has backed Rainbows Hospice – by adding his mark to a guitar signed by leading rock icons to raise cash for the East Midlands charity.

The Fender Stratocaster, featuring the signatures of some of the world’s leading guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Brian May and Jimmy Page, went missing 10 years ago and was only recovered by Leicestershire police earlier this year, after appearing on eBay.

Dave Allen, a former music promoter from Market Harborough, initially launched the guitar project and was ‘amazed’ when the instrument re-surfaced after being ‘lost’ for a decade. But he vowed to add further big names before the Stratocaster – said to be worth a five-figure sum – is sold at auction for Rainbows in December.

McLean, famous for penning and recording iconic songs including American Pie and Vincent, said he was ‘honoured’ to add his name alongside rock legends like Clapton. “It is great that this is all going to help children with life-limiting conditions,” he said. And he thanked those people who supported such a charity. “It’s a wonderful thing,” he added.

Dave commented: “Don is the latest legendary name to sign the guitar – and I am incredibly thankful to him and others who have signed up to help this amazing charity by adding their names.”

McLean took time out before taking to the stage for a performance at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, during his current UK tour.

Shock Rock legend Alice Cooper has also pledged to sign the guitar next month (June) during his world tour with band, The Hollywood Vampires, whose band line-up features Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp, an accomplished rock guitarist.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Johnny Depp signed too?” said Dave with a smile.

Also in his sights is Sir Paul McCartney, Rolling Stone Keith Richards, former Yardbirds guitar legend Jeff Beck and ex-Black Sabbath frontman, Ozzy Osbourne before the guitar is auctioned.

Andy Goss, Rainbows Supporter Relations, said: “The story of this guitar is amazing – as are the names who have left their mark on the Stratocaster to help youngsters with life-limiting conditions and their families. And we take our hat off to Dave for his incredible efforts and determination to complete his remarkable project to support our work at the hospice.”

Our picture shows American Pie legend McLean with Dave Allen (left) and Andy Goss, from Rainbows.