Chat Folder Archive

Archives: May 1997

Message: 135 Posted: Sat May 31 10:29:39 1997 By:
Subject: RE: Manila Concert Review

Many thanks to Jessica for the super Zu review!! Four nights of magnificent memories to treasure!!

Barb & Gary

Message: 134 Posted: Sat May 31 10:23:04 1997 By:
Subject: RE: America In Boston

Thanks for the info, Mike. I'll post it on the AOL folder so that those guys will know too.


Message: 133 Posted: Sat May 31 07:45:31 1997 By:
Subject: America in Boston

Here's another North East America show! America will be performing
at Boston's City Hall Plaza on August 16th at 7:00pm. It's a free


Message: 132 Posted: Thu May 29 22:31:08 1997 By:
Subject: Wishful thinking or insightful intuition?

I was really happy to hear that Gary Katz is scheduled to produce
America's next album. Katz has done such great work with Steely
Dan that it makes me wonder if the guys aren't planning on making this
next album their second commercial comeback. Could we have another
"You Can Do Magic" on our hands in 1998?

Also, I wish I could have been in Manila to see the guys, too!! It
looks like the Philippines are a better place to see America than
Denver in 1997.

Message: 131 Posted: Thu May 29 09:04:36 1997 By:
Subject: RE: Manila Concert Review

Jessica, I thoroughly enjoyed your reviews of all 4 shows in Manila !! Sounds like a "WILD" time was had by all !! I guess I should have been there ??????


Message: 130 Posted: Wed May 28 10:20:40 1997 By:
Subject: Manila Concert Review

Here's the review that Jessica sent to me:


Hi there! This came a little late because a storm wreaked havoc with our schedules here. The band was lucky to have missed it by only a day. Nice timing there. They could have been stranded here last Sunday because flights were canceled. Regular flights were resumed only yesterday.

Anyway, I've attached an account of the four-day show and I hope you have fun reading it, guys.



After four nights in a row of America, I'm still recovering from the blast the band made at Zu, the entertainment center of Shangri-La Manila Hotel from May 21 to 24. The venue is actually a disco with safari-inspired interiors, and as its name implies, it is a favorite spot of the city's many types of night creature. Zu recently launched its "Star Tracks: Live" series with Taylor Dane and Cool and the Gang as previous features.


The first show was already an SRO. The staff of Zu were caught unprepared for the big crowd that turned up. Tables were added and moved a lot to accommodate more people in the space which was supposed to be the dance floor. Despite the fact that the shows were packaged as a "trek back to the 70's" type, the audience was wide-ranged in terms of age (from around 15 to 65!). There were a couple of fathers who brought their sons to discuss the different guitars used by the band and to watch the guys play them. Majority though belong to the 25-40 range. My friends and I had to "fight" for our spot in the front row. Finally when we were all settled, America was announced. There was an expectant hush as the guys took their places onstage and then a welcoming applause followed as Riverside opened the night's show. It was the first time for me to hear the song like most of the audience and yet, we all clapped and hummed enthusiastically along to the smooth beat.

Ventura Highway was next, earning instant recognition from everybody. From my seat a few feet away from the slightly raised stage, I had a good look at the guys' faces for the first time. From the photo used in the show's ads and brochure (which was the same one used back in the 1992 concert), I didn't expect Gerry to be that thin or for Dewey to look younger in person. The rest of the guys, though, were as they looked in the concert photos I've seen on the America Home Page.

The band played 23 songs for the night, three of them as encore. There was a little hitch (probably loose wiring or something) in the middle of Magic but the crowd didn't mind. Expectedly, America's hits in the 70's (specifically under the Greatest Hits album), got the most attention and applause. Magic and All My Life which were hits in the country, were greatly appreciated, too. As for myself, I enjoyed all the songs, but I was specially thrilled to hear some of my personal favorites performed live like Green Monkey, The Last Unicorn, Another Try, Sgt. Darkness and Never Be Lonely. I don't think these were in the playlist last time I watched.

When the band said their "thank you's" and "goodbye's" after Daisy Jane, I had to calm my friends down who were hankering for Horse. They've just been pumped up by a series of fast, powerful tunes like Green Monkey, California Dreaming and Sandman and didn't like the night to end just yet. I knew the guys would be back (because I've read from other concert reviews that they always end the show with that song!) and yet, I was unprepared when Gerry came out alone and sang All My Life. I've waited for this one back in 1992 but it wasn't performed. Hearing it this time reduced me to silence. The clean but evocative version with only the acoustic guitar accompanying Gerry's voice took my breath away. As Dewey pointed out afterwards, it was such a lovely change after all those fast numbers.

There was a general feeling of regret when the guys walked off the stage for the second time. My only consolation was that I'd be back the next night!


The second night turned out to be the most crowded of all. However, I came very early (three hours before show time) to get the front most table again. It turned out to be right at the edge of the stage because the staff of the place had anticipated the crowd this time. A few minutes before 9 p.m., a group of local celebrities arrived, among them the daughter of an ex-president, one of the two former Miss Universe from the country and several actresses and politicians. The night's audience was also the noisiest, with one daring lady even coming up the stage while we were waiting for Gerry to reappear for an encore. It was also the night the local organiser had the show video taped for airing on a local TV station next month. Gerry looked very "conspicuous" in a grey metallic silver shirt which made Dewey remark that Gerry was carrying the fashion statement for the band. So even if the playlist was the same, (I guess the band's assumption was that every night would have its different set of audience), I certainly enjoyed myself. My second round was just as great as the first.


Unexpectedly, the weather became gloomy. It even drizzled later in the afternoon, making the usually early crowd arrive later. I was again in my favorite spot. This time, I had the opportunity to ask around for Rooster. For the last two nights, I've been wanting to ask someone who he was from the two guys I've always seen onstage before the show but I've never found the right time. Well, I finally did tonight. I asked someone from Zu to find out which of the two guys on stage was Rooster . When she did, Rooster himself came over my table to ask why I was looking for him. He was probably surprised that someone knew his name. So I introduced myself and explained how I met Sue Robbins (his fiance) through the America Home Page and the America Express newsletter. He confirmed that Sue was no longer online. I wanted to give Sue a letter and a baseball cap with "America in Manila '97" on it and he kindly agreed to give them to her. And - he even asked me if I wanted to meet the guys backstage. My main goal was to find him to give the letter to Sue but I didn't really expect to be invited backstage! And that wasn't all. He even gave me guitar picks (a good thing because I never caught the picks Gerry threw after every show) and a backstage pass later.

The guys played the same songs again but they were much more relaxed and talked more between songs this time. Probably just recovered from jet lag. I also brought my camera this time and took a great many shot from my prime spot wherein I didn't have to moved much to get a close up shot even with the limited zoom lens of my camera. And then finally, it was over and it was time for me to look for Rooster backstage.

He met me right on time and led me to the dressing room. I was quite nervous about the prospect of meeting the guys that I didn't know what to say when I was finally there. Rooster introduced me to Dewey, then to Wood-z and then to Willie. Dewey autographed my Hat Trick, View from the Ground and History CD covers and I took a picture of the group. But then, Gerry and Brad had left so I didn't meet them. Willie kindly gave me the drum sticks he used for tonight's show. I was quite speechless while Rooster told me to come back the next day when Gerry might be around to sign my Van Go Gan CD cover.


The last night finally came. Dewey greeted the audience with a short spiel on how they had enjoyed their four nights in Manila, saying that it would be a bittersweet night because they would be leaving for Guam the following day. The same playlist was followed but with a little more energy - and laughter from the guys (most of the time though, the joke was just among the five of them). The band seemed to always have groups of friends among the audience every night and Gerry or Dewey would playfully give some guy the "Loneliest Person" award prior to Brad singing Lonely People.

I've been hearing the same set of songs for four nights and yet, I was still surprised when the end came. An affectionate and warm cheer went up when the guys waved for the last time to the appreciative audience. One fan even gave Dewey and Gerry a painting of them (based from the brochure) and Dewey graciously accepted it. Meanwhile, I made my way to the backstage to catch Rooster and say my thanks. This time though, there were a lot of people waiting there before me, wanting Dewey and Gerry's autographs. I wanted to join in the group following Gerry (because my CD covers have only Dewey's name on them), but they were in a hurry to finish the photo session with the Zu staff and crew and I think they were too tired to deal with a couple of rather insistent fans. Finally, they were gone and Rooster emerged from the dressing room. I thanked him again for all his help and wished him and the whole America group good luck in Guam. He suggested that I hang around the bar where they would be going in little while to meet Gerry, but I couldn't make it since I was with friends. Too bad.

Outside, it started raining hard. Maybe the weather felt sad about America leaving, too.

America really charmed Manila. I think there were a lot of people in the audience who were really America followers, but a big portion was composed of those who heard and saw them for the first time and those who have heard of the group but didn't know they were that GREAT. I think they were surprised that they actually had fun with a group which they thought belonged to the past. There was also a great deal of respect for the skill and harmony with which the guys performed and played the guitars (the guitar passages were a treat !). It wasn't that the show was flawless. The guys missed cues, there were minor technical problems several times, and Dewey and Gerry's voices sometimes gave out. However, I think the key word for America is showmanship. They are undeniably masters of the live act. They knew how to anticipate and cover for each other, they had a good repertoire of songs which were arranged to fit the live scene, but most of all, they knew how to have fun on stage. It was simply catching.

After the first night, word spread around about all the fun that was at Zu and a lot more flocked to see for themselves. The local organisers did a great job of providing all the info to the interested audience. I'm sure America would have easily filled a bigger venue than the 400-seater Zu. Maybe next time?

Message: 129 Posted: Tue May 27 18:09:23 1997 By:
Subject: Manila Concert Review

Steve, I sent you an account of the four-day performance of America in Manila. Please advise me if you got it. If not, I'll just have to put it here myself. I see you're going to another concert. Good for you! Good luck and enjoy.
Thanks, Kelly for that message you sent. There's more so stand by.

Message: 128 Posted: Tue May 27 08:43:13 1997 By:
Subject: Salt Lake City Concert

Anyone who is interested in ticket or venue information about the May 31 concert in Salt Lake City can go to I'll be there (of course!).


Last Revised: 5 January 1998