Meet the Portuguese "Friends of America"
Name that Lyric!!
American History...A Look at Novembers Past
Should Have Been Singles!
Tribute to America
Van Go Gan Special Editions Now Available!
Fall/Winter 1995 Concert Dates
Request for Submissions
Name That Lyric!! Answers
Photo of the Month
***** MEET THE PORTUGUESE "FRIENDS OF AMERICA!"
We all know that America is big in the U.S., and in many countries abroad. Here's a chance for you to get acquainted with some of America's on-line fans in Portugal! Fernando Costa (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a huge America fan!! Last June, Fernando was surfing the internet when he stumbled on to Rick Wahlgren's America homepage. From there he connected with Rick and Ike Gauley, and has chatted back and forth across the ocean with them.
Fernando says the "Portuguese Friends of America" is "not an official thing, but only a small group of old friends that like very much the band America." Fernando first listened to the band in 1975 in the Azores Islands when he was 12 years old, and has been a fan ever since. He says, "I think all America's songs are good, but if I have to choose any it would be maybe: Riverside, Three Roses, Amber Cascades, Ventura Highway, Saturn Nights, Tin Man, Old Man Took, Catch That Train, Only in Your Heart, Young Moon, and of course A Horse With No Name, but I don't want to be unjust to the other songs, nevertheless, it is very hard to decide."
Fernando has never had the opportunity to see the band in concert, but hopes to see them one day in Spain or Portugal, and adds, "who knows? Hope is the last thing to die!"
Fernando likes America's music because when he hears them it helps him understand a little of the US style of life, and he says he can "imagine the US landscapes through the sound."
The "Portuguese Friends of America" is featured in this issue's "Photo of the Month." Check it out to see Fernando and his wife Anabela along with their friends Miguel, Marina and Pedro!
Fernando wants to send his "best wishes to all America fans and tell them to be always together to appreciate the best music of the best band in the world!" Some things are universal, aren't they?!
**** NAME THAT LYRIC
For all of you "Super Fans" who didn't find the trivia in the October issue challenging enough, here's a new quest! For each of the lyrics quoted below, name the song AND the album on which the song first appeared. Answers are at the end of the newsletter....NO PEEKING!!
1. "Why you so amused, don't tell me, You've had way too much tonight."
2. "Cars fighting their way, Out of LA, on a Sunday morning."
3. "I know a place where we both can go, to set our hearts on fire."
4. "You can't disregard your friends."
5. "Gather around, there's a story to be told."
6. "Today, there won't be no competition."
7. "Say that my love is still right for you."
8. "People hear and people talk; word travels fast around my block."
9. "Love me like a child."
10. "Just one more river, and I can make it."
***** AMERICAN HISTORY...A LOOK AT NOVEMBERS PAST
November 8, 1973....22 years ago
Rolling Stone published an article about America, who were then in the closing days of their "Summer of '73" tour, which included much larger venues than their previous tour, including the Hollywood Bowl with its capacity of 10,000. The article offers some interesting insights into the hectic first few years of the band's existence...
November 1981....14 years ago
America was mentioned in Rolling Stone due to their planned thirty-two date South African tour, considered controversial at the time due to a United Nations "cultural boycott" of the country. Jim Morey, the band's manager, explained in the article that Dewey and Gerry would have the opportunity to speak to students on university campuses, and would do a benefit in Port Elizabeth for TEACH, an organization that sponsors the construction of schools in black areas...Morey also explained that the contracts had been executed prior to the boycott, or "I don't know that we would have gone over."
November 1982....13 years ago
Stereo Review published a review of the "America: Live in Central Park" videodisc. The disc was filmed in 1979 by Peter Clifton, and features the group playing a "fine program that includes such hits as 'Tin Man,' 'Ventura Highway,' and the tune that started it all for them, 'Horse With No Name'... The reviewer added that the "atmosphere of a Central Park concert is captured very well, right down to the anti-establishment socializing that takes place around Bethesda Fountain..."
The disc is on the Pioneer label, #PA-82-013 and retailed at the time for $24.95.
***** SHOULD HAVE BEEN SINGLES!
Steve Lowry (email@example.com) replied to our request for your ideas for America songs which should have been singles, but were not. Steve said:
"Up until June of this year I only had the Warner Brothers albums, View >From the Ground, Your Move, and Hourglass. Although I listened to America more than any other group, I didn't know that Silent Letter, Alibi, and Perspective even existed. Once I found out they existed, I did everything I could to track down those albums and thanks to other America fans on the internet, I was able to track them all down. Although there are numerous songs that I think should have been singles, I think that Fifth Avenue and Cinderella are two that certainly deserve consideration. I think the tremendous advance that they showed in their keyboard based music along with rich harmony on those songs makes them both qualify. I could probably say the same thing about many other songs, but I'll limit it to those two."
On the same topic, Richard Janik (firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed the following:
"As per your request for 20/20 hindsight, I offer the following 5 suggestions, in order of bewilderment:
1. And Forever...I figured it was a hit record the minute I heard it played at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Detroit two weeks before Silent Letter was released. Hearing it on the album confirmed my pre- diction. This record is subtle and reserved while being really positive. Great lyrics, vocals and arrangement. Totally unique and cinematic. Reminiscent of "Letter" from Hideaway, but brighter and less cryptic, making it I suppose more radio-friendly. No wonder I don't work at a radio station.
2. Who Loves You...One of Beckley's finest moments, this is just a beautiful arrangment of a really good song that could have easily been one of those unformulaic hit singles on the strength of its authenticity. The subtle soulfulness of Gerry Beckley is more present here than on any other America record, and it gives the track a central groove - all of the musical elements are having the perfect level of conversation with the vocal. Poignant piece of music.
3. Sleeper Train...Great song. The arrangment effectively merges the essences of "Old Man Took," "Hollywood," "My Dear," and "Are you There" into something simple but captivating. Impossible not to see pictures while listening to this. The real hook in this song lies in the arrangement and production. Very cool.
4. You Could Have Been the One...One of the hippest things they ever recorded. Great song. Dan Seals' version pales in comparison. Not exactly their trademark sound, but this track rocks in a sophisticated way and has all the right elements working together.
5. Tomorrow...Dan's songs ran the gamut from the complexity of "It's Life" to the stark simplicity of "Glad To See You." Tomorrow works so well because it sounds so honest and vulnerable. It's not trying to be anything more than a lament, and in doing so it gets right to the point. It's kind of so predictable that it's great. Chorus sticks like glue!" Anyone else want to have a say in this? What songs would you have picked to release as singles?
***** TRIBUTE TO AMERICA
The following poem was written by Barbara Bickmore (VTAHWY@aol.com) for America's twenty-fifth anniversary this year. I thought it was so great that you all had to have a chance to read it too!
Tribute to America
Boyish blonde, bearded gent
Think you both were heaven sent.
My destiny was sealed that day
In 1980 when I saw you play.
Does your "View From the Ground" allow you to see
How your music touches me?
I don't need an "Alibi"
Sometimes there's joy, sometimes I cry.
The "Silent Letter" wends its way
With secret messages you convey
Coloring the canvas of my "Perspective"
I cherish all you have to give.
Adrift on your songs I always find
A peaceful "Harbor" in my mind
A special place to "Hideaway"
To escape the confusion of today.
Sharing your "Hearts" with faithful fans
In foreign and domestic lands.
I anticipate each "Homecoming"
And the magic that your concerts bring.
Warmth like "Holiday" candle glow
Radiates from every show
Make "Your Move" as the curtain rises
Weave the spell that hypnotizes.
Your "Hat Trick" always seems to be
A performance of highest fidelity
Blending words and notes and harmony
Into a perfect symmetry.
How quickly now the years do pass
Sands racing through the "Hourglass".
The beard comes and goes, the sons now shine
As you age with grace like vintage wine.
Twenty-five years of musical treasure
Unsurpassed by any measure.
Will your silver "History"
Become a golden legacy?
Someday when you close that door
Depart the stage in your last "Encore"
A piece of "America" will always be
Cocooned in my heart and memory.
***** AMERICA "MEMORIES"
Lillian Lee (Lillian.Lee@sonoma.edu) contributed the following America "memory":
My first concert was in Fall of 1982, Concord Pavilion, Concord, California. It's a great place to see concerts--kinda small going by today's standards. It's up in the hills and built into a natural outdoor amphitheater. I was 24. A friend of mine and I made the two-hour drive. We already had tickets. We had reservations at the Hilton in town. This was big doings back then. We got to the hotel early and found a flyer in our room saying that America was going to perform that evening and that afternoon. Well, we didn't know anything about the "matinee." After thinking about it for awhile, we decided to drive out to the Pavilion and check it out. Turns out they were doing a benefit show for the county's fire department! We bought tickets, got some nachos, sat down front and enjoyed an entire show! It was fantastic!"
***** VAN GO GAN SPECIAL EDITIONS NOW AVAILABLE
For all of you who have been waiting patiently (and even for those of you who have been really impatient, just like me!) the time has arrived!! Van Go Gan is here!! Not only is Gerry's masterpiece now available, if you hurry, there are 500 special editions, autographed by Gerry, available for $20.00 (+$3.50 p/h) if you send a check or money order to:
345 Maple Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
***** FALL/WINTER 1995 CONCERT DATES
(note: ** indicates dates listed since last newsletter)
Nov. 3 Stoney Brook, New York
Nov. 4 South Amboy, NJ (Club Bene')
******* Nov. 24 Park City, Utah (possible but unconfirmed!)
Dec. 29 Reno, Nevada (Flamingo Hilton)
Dec. 30 Reno, Nevada (Flamingo Hilton)
Dec. 31 Reno, Nevada (Flamingo Hilton)
Correspondence to be directed to the members of America should be sent by e-mail to the following address, to be forwarded on to the appropriate band member:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular to be directed to the members of America should be sent to:
c/o Gallin-Morey Associates
Attn: John Himelstein
345 Maple Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Note: Messages sent via e-mail are much faster and more likely to be received in a timely fashion.
***** REQUEST FOR SUBMISSIONS
Please feel free to send concert reviews, comments, questions, trivia, America "memories," etc. to be considered for possible inclusion in a future issue of the newsletter. These can be mailed to any one of the following:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to your contributions, we have enough information to make the newsletter a bi-weekly instead of a monthly...keep the submissions rolling in and maybe we can go for a weekly!!!
***** NAME THAT LYRIC!! ANSWERS
Okay, so you think you're ready to check your answers? Here they are:
1. "Mad Dog" (Holiday)
2. "Glad to See You" (Hearts)
3. "High in the City" (Silent Letter)
4. "Only in Your Heart" (Homecoming)
5. "Watership Down" (Hideaway)
6. "One in a Million" (Alibi)
7. "Can't Fall Asleep to a Lullabye" (Perspective)
8. "Fifth Avenue" (Perspective)
9. "Head and Heart" (Homecoming)
10. "The Border" (Your Move)
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
This month's photo is of Fernando Costa and his "Portuguese Friends of America"! It just goes to show that America's music and popularity are definitely universal (but then, we all knew that, didn't we?!!) By the way, if any of you would rather NOT receive the photo, just drop me a note at email@example.com and I'll put you on a separate list to receive the newsletter without the photo...
Last Revised: 6 January 1998