I ran across this Yahoo blog apparently called “Stop the Presses”, and found this in Paragraph 3:
“3. McLean has steadfastly refused to discuss the meaning of most of the lyrics. *“As you can imagine, over the years I’ve been asked many times to discuss and explain my song ‘American Pie,’” *McLean wrote in an open letter to fans in 1993. “I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the [Buddy] Holly reference in the opening stanzas. I dedicated the album American Pie to Buddy Holly as well in order to connect the entire statement to Holly in hopes of bringing about an interest in him, which subsequently did occur… You will find many ‘interpretations’ of my lyrics but none of them by me. Isn’t this fun? Sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence.””
Which appears to be very similar to McLean’s letter at the end of this Cecil column.