The picturesque town of Camden was reeling Tuesday from the arrest of “American Pie” singer Don McLean, a fixture in the community.

Police arrested McLean on a misdemeanor domestic-violence charge on Monday, and he later posted $10,000 bail and was released from jail. Police and court officials didn’t say much about the arrest on Tuesday other than McLean will be in court to respond to it next month.

Select Board member Leonard Lookner, a retired former restaurant owner, said “the entire town was shocked” by McLean’s arrest.

McLean is well known in the midcoast town of about 5,000 residents for holding charity concerts to raise money for education, Lookner said. He said McLean’s wife, photographer Patrisha McLean, is known for opening her rose garden to local residents.

“They are both really special people,” Lookner said. “I must say I was absolutely shocked. We all were. He’s done wonderful things for the community.”

A spokesman for Don McLean didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday. The 70-year-old singer-songwriter and his wife live in a home overlooking Mount Megunticook in Camden.


“American Pie,” McLean’s signature hit, is about the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a 1959 plane crash. The original manuscript and notes to it sold at auction for $1.2 million last year.

Local officials spent Tuesday fielding calls about McLean’s arrest, which attracted interest from media around the country.

“Don’s a good citizen, and his wife is a great person, and they’ve done a lot for the community, and we don’t know more than that,” Select Board Chairman John French Jr. said.

Police did not identify a victim in the domestic-violence case. Court officials said the circumstances will be revealed in documents before McLean’s Feb. 22 court appearance.

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