“American Pie” singer Don McLean was fined $400 for speeding in a school zone on Thursday.
The 67-year-old singer was initially cited for driving his Chrysler too fast through a Maine school zone back in September, according to Yahoo. After he was pulled over, McLean contested the charge, claiming that the school zone’s warning lights were not flashing at the time.
The Daily Mail reports that McLean was cited as driving 43 mph through the school zone, which McLean did not contest. However, if the lights had not been flashing, the speed would have been legal.
McLean requested a trial, and, after a 40-minute proceeding in Rockland District Court, Judge Patricia Worth agreed with police the school zone lights were indeed flashing, and the singer was fined $400.
Initially, the fine was to be $515, but it was lowered to $400 uncontested. McLean paid the fine immediately after the court hearing.
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McLean, who lives near Camden, Maine, first came to national prominence when his 1971 hit “American Pie” exploded into popularity. The eight-minute rock ballad recounts the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a 1959 plane crash commonly referred to as “the day the music died.”
The song has also been interpreted as making political commentaries on the civil rights movements of the 1960s and the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, though McLean refuses to comment on the song’s meaning beyond its connection to “the day the music died.”