Ike Gauley has just put our second America home page online!!! Ike's page shows America in pictures, and features much of his great work photographing America in concert. He also has an excellent page about Gerry Beckley's brand new solo release, Van Go Gan. (NOTE.....this page is not currently online)
Professor Sue Robbins will soon have an electronic mailing list newsletter available for all of you who want to subscribe. She's done a lot of research.....and a terrific job on the newsletter. Send Sue a message and get your name on her list.
500 special autographed editions of Van Go Gan are now available. The price is $20, plus $3.50 for shipping and handling. Send a check or money order to John Himelstein, Gallin Morey Associates, Suite 300, 345 N. Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210, or call John at 310-278-0808 to purchase with VISA....or for more info. Send email to John at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Also, check out the VGG Special Edition Page
America's latest release, "Hourglass",(Spring '94)" has been given rave reviews by America fans. Favorites include the titles Young Moon, Hope, Mirror to Mirror, Garden of Peace, Greenhouse, Call of the Wild, and Ports of Call. It is in the typical "hit after hit" and uncompromised quality tradition that America fans appreciate, and is said to be one of Gerry and Dewey's best efforts.
Gerry Beckley's solo masterpiece, "Van Go Gan," is set for a September '95 release by Polystar (Japan), and will be released at a later date in the U.S. (meanwhile...should be available as an import) It features the album title, Van Go Gan, plus several potential megahits such as Sunrise, Sunset, House of Cards, Now Sue, and Kiss of Life. This album is a true reflection of the genius of Gerry Beckley, and his wide array of musical talents.....including writing, vocals, playing guitars and piano, and arranging.*****Just heard of Van Go Gan being available at Virgin Mega stores*****
King Biscuit Flower Hour Records is releasing a September 4, 1982 live recording from the Blossom Theater in Ohio. The release date is mid-July '95. It will include the following titles: (from what we've heard) Tin Man, Old Man Took, Daisy Jane, Love On The Vine, Ventura Highway, I Need You, Inspector Mills, California Dreamin', Never Be Lonely, You Can Do Magic, Sandman, Here, Sister Golden Hair, and Horse With No Name. Tell your retailers that it can be ordered from Passport (formerly "Encore!") distribution at 303-292-9333. It should also be available from 1 stops such as CD 1 Stop, Abbey Road, and Bassin. This joins two other "live" America albums previously released......"America In Concert," and "America Live." A frequently heard comment at America concerts is "they sound just like the record," which is a tribute to America's continued dedication to quality.
A new Internet newsgroup, "alt.music.america" was recently created. This newsgroup is intended to provide a common forum for the discussion of the rock group America for Internet, Compuserve, Prodigy, and America Online users. If it is not available in your area, you may want to talk with your Internet server about carrying this newsgroup. This will create an improved pathway for messages to reach from one site to another. NOTE: This newsgroup has been re-proposed in Jan. 96 as alt.music.beckley-bunnel.....watch for it.........and request your internet server carries
There is currently a very popular *permanent* "America" message board folder on America Online. It can be found in the Music Message Center (keyword: MMC....Rock/Pop....Rock Artists A-L). This permanent folder was created through the efforts of many America fans this summer.....and Gerry and Dewey have been known to contribute! Everyone is welcome to join the gang!!!
Gerry Beckley has become the newest endorser of Fretlight Guitars by Optek Music Systems (800-833-8306) He is the proud owner of a Fretlight FA-200 Acoustic, and used it extensively on his soon to be released masterpiece, Van Go Gan. Also, check out Optek's new home page at: http://www.optekmusic.com
One of the most common Email FAQs is where America albums and CDs can be purchased. Here's some possible places to check out:
World Wide Web Sites:
1.CD NOW....http://allmusic.com/ (This site also has All Music Guide)
2.WWW Music Database....http://www.gcms.com/~burnett/MDB/
3.GEMM(Global Electronic Music Marketplace)
1.Hourglass: American Gramaphone: 800-446-6860
2.Encore: Rhino Records: 800-432-0020 (also have WWW site)
3.America: Ventura Highway and Other Favorites: CDMO 800-367-2366
4.Vinyl LPs: Harvard Records: 617-868-3385
5.Compact Disc Europe: 305-481-1724
6.Tower Records (check out local store)****
7.Virgin Mega Stores****
8.Van Go Gan (Polystar..Japan) Check local stores for imports
*****Should be able to order most Capitol and Warners releases still in print......and imports
America just finished its demanding Summer Tour...performing about 50 concerts altogether in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, and throughout the U.S. Here are several reviews from a GREAT SUMMER posted on America Online by some very special fans........
Where do I begin ? After seeing 6 concert's in 3 day's I'm overwhelmed with information. I will try to set the scenario for you all in each city.
August 2, Contra Costa County Fair, Antioch, Ca.
Barb and I reached the fairground's at about 1:00 in the afternoon. Temperature was about 150 degree's. (Seemed like it anyway) It was a small stage ( to say the least) but as the crew started to set up with instrument's along with the light technician's it set the stage ! ! The first show was at 6:30p.m. As the guy's walked out on stage the place came ALIVE ! ! It was still daylight out and of course Barb and I were front and center. Gerry, announced that he had heard that we would be seeing the next couple of day's of concert's so he gave us also a sweet greeting. "Thank's Gerry" Beside's the guy's all looking sooo good up there they played with great enthusiasm and proficiency even after they'd come back from such .........faraway land's......... and in such heat as Antioch was having. I can't believe they weren't burned out after having played so many gig's in a row. (If they were you'd never have known, they were as Fresh as ever) WOW
Woodz made the lineup for the next 3 evening's so the venue came out different somewhat all 6 show's.(Great job woodz)
They started out with RIVERSIDE and went on to play song's such as DAISY JANE, ONLY IN YOUR HEART, HOPE, YOUNG MOON, TINMAN, DON'T CROSS THE RIVER (sung by Brad, and an excellent sound if I do say so myself) and other's. And don't forget HORSE WITH NO NAME, as an encore. The guitar's, drum's, piano, and bass sounded great. They were in ''PERFECT'' Harmony together--(Harmony, great title for a new C.D., what do ya think Ger ? ? No, that's an Elton John song I forgot)
Willie alway's set's up (and break's down) himself. Say's, that way he has them just as he want's them. (Alway's right on Will) They sounded ''PERFECT'' ! Thank's to all the crew for letting us watch. We enjoyed watching them put it ALL together but, got a kick out of them to ! ! Handsome fella's they are ! ! ! !
The second show was as fantastic as the first of course. The line up was different so we were throughly entertained ! ! GREEN MONKEY from HAT TRICK was played. Gerry's vocal's and piano and Dewey's vocal's and guitar were outragious ! ! ! I hope you all have a chance to hear this one in concert sometime ! ! ''PERFECTION''
August 3, Konocti Harbor, Kellseycille, Ca.
We arrived about 12:00 noon in Konocti. Temperature around 97 degree's. It's a beautiful Resort at Clear Lake in a town called Kelseyville. With excellent navigation we found our way there with no trouble ! Barb and I enjoyed the ride from Antioch to Konocti, Excellent scenery! One we will never forget ! What great memories we'll treasure alway's !
The show didn't start till 8:30 that night so we watched the guy's set up for awhile and then decided to take advantage of the big beautiful Lake and surrounding's sitting in front of us. We rented a Sea-doo, one that seat's two and Barb and I had a blast ! ! Had an unexpected visitor really lay into us out there. But, we loved every minute of it..........When I say I'm spinning round, round, round, round.................D. Bunnell
Back to the subject at hand, the concert started as I said eariler at about 8:30 with ''AMERICA'', they had a warm up band in front of them that played for an hour. To be continued...........
The first show had a variety as did the second. Such song's as RIVERSIDE, THREE ROSES(one of my all time favorite's) and (Dewey dedicated this one to his wife which we all thought was so sweet) YOU CAN DO MAGIC, I NEED YOU, VENTURA HWY, ONLY IN YOUR EYES, DAISY JANE(thankyou Daisy), GREEN MONKEY, YES, (also one of my favorite's)
As Barb mentioned, they played ''LAST UNICORN'', (''DER LICE INHORN'') in German as Gerry said. They had to learn this song all over again because in Germany it is a big hit. (Sorry if I spelled it wrong Gerry I spelled it how it sounded) Great song, we really enjoyed it ALOT ! ! Thank's you guy's ! ! ! They also added song's such as TINMAN, LONELY PEOPLE,(sung beautifully by Brad, thank's Brad) YOUNG MOON, HOPE, HOLD ME TIGHT,(Great vocal's Woodz) SANDMAN, EVERYONE I MEET IS IN CALIFORNIA,(YES) and as an encore,of course the lengendary HORSE WITH NO NAME, alway's sung with ''PERFECTION'' by Mr, Dewey Bunnell. (Thank's Dewey,we alway's look forward to that one) Hope I haven't left anything out remember, this is 3 day's worth ''AMERICA'' fan's.
August 4, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Ca.
On the way to Santa Cruz we followed the bus as not to get lost. Thank's to Mark for a great road trip. (Your a very special man)
WOW, what a place ! As Barb described, the setting was ''PERFECT.' They played all the favorite's people enjoyed most through the year's and loved to hear. They came back with two encore's. One was CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' and HORSE WITH NO NAME.
This was one of many memories (I Hope to come) in my life time I will treasure alway's and I ''THANK'' with all my heart ''AMERICA'' Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell. And to the band, WILL, WOODZ, and BRAD ! ! We love you all ! ! Thank's sooo much from the bottom of my heart and soul ! ! .......
Friday July 28th, it's about 98 degrees and Thunderstorms are raking the southern Penn. area, nothing unusual for this time of year except the night is to feature a concert by America. This is my main concern for the evening since the concert is to be held outdoors at the York county Fairgrounds with a 9:pm show time.
As we drive up to the parking lot the sky begins to clear and a great sunset filled with orange and purple and yellow and green appears, how ironic I think to my self as I hum the words to "Hollywood" to myself.
As I settled into my seat (third row center) I look out and see Willie's drum set with the America logo scrawled across the front, God it sure was great to see that. I knew it was only a matter of time.....
Down went the lights and out come Gerry, Dewey and the rest of the guys, Dewey wearing a white long sleeve shirt and vest and Gerry in his white T-shirt. Its like everything is right in the world for that moment and the first chords of Riverside are strummed. With my back to most of the audiance I was unaware of how many people were at the show untill I heard the cheers during the first song.
Since I was so close (really could have reached out and touched them).I was able to make eye contact with Gerry and Dewey (Gerry told me after the show he was watching my whole family). The next song was Tin Man which suprised me since most of the twenty something shows I have seen have started off with Tin Man, it was great and Dewey sounded fine. I Need You and Daisy Jane followed. Dewey joked about how Gerry always writes the love songs and he gets to La La along. Gerry then spoke about the long european leg of the trip and how good it was to be back in the good ol U. S.
By this time the crowd was on fire Mirror to Mirror, Lonely People, Hope and Ventura Highway followed and then Woodsie sang Woman Tonight.Brad, Mike and Willie were as always rock steady and a great job of vocals by Brad as well. Gerry was talking about how hot it was and that he hoped the audience would make it through. The real heat was coming from the stage as Sister Golden Hair and Sandman were unleashed. This time it seemed that the guitar playing was more aggressive that I had heard in the past and It seemed as if they were really having fun doing it.
The concert lasted about two hours and I really think they were fantastic. I have seen a lot of America in concert but this night I felt the band was playing very tight, Gerry and Dewey were able to personalize a concert so that each person seemed to have their own personal show. It was one of the best that I've seen in recent years.
After the show I had the opportunity to meet Gerry I'll explain that at another posting.
Haley and I arrived in Las Vegas in the 'ol Cherokee after a 6 hour flight from Okla, via Taos and over the Grand Canyon, Fri about noon. We found our way to Whiskey Petes the next morning and checked in. Opening the door to the outside swimming pool, Gerry and I nearly bumped into each other. After a brief chat, we went and returned to the pool area where we discussed various subjects about our online impact on AOL and the internet. He mentioned that he was disappointed that he didn't get to see Rick on the jaunt up his way but was thrilled at the job he's doing in their behalf.
I showed him several pictures and especially the ones that Prof. Sue took of them back east,,,great shots and good enough that Ger wants a copy of one in particular.
I listened to a story of an ooolllddd Indian Trick (Okla. talk for a neat idea) that Ger came up with the writing\recording of "Now Sue" on his Van Go Gan solo album. After we got caught up on various things,,up comes Kelly, Barb and their husbands\kids and Jim. I must admit that I got cramps in my stomach muscles trying to keep it flat as possible around those two lovely ladies. (I told them the only exercise I get is sucking in my stomach at public swimming pools and the beach).
Sound check was Ger doing some songs so they could get the levels right. It's a very, very nice venue, but the sound is very difficult to control. I was a little disappointed that the acoustics didn't match such a nice venue,,,minor detail,,sound crew up to the challenge and did a great job getting it right,,,as usual.
The concert started and it was classic America,,,you could feel the electricity.
Haley, my 13 yr old, was setting to Woodz's left just behind the backdrop, backstage.. Woodz kept her laughing the whole show by winking at her and making silly faces while he played,,, Then the encore Back onstage they came and allowed they forgot to do "Horse". Then out of the blue,,,they said they would have a special treat by having Haley come out to accompany them. She nearly fell off her chair and I nearly passed out. Out she comes and Woodz straps his big Taylor guitar on her. Dewey asks her if she's ready,,she nods her head and then he says,,"Lets do it". Like she was born to it,,,she plays every lick and when it came time to do backup vocals,,,she shares Woodz's mic and sings right along like she's been on tour with them. Me,,,,,????? I'm running around like a "head with my chicken cut off" trying to get 60 pictures out of a 30 shot roll.
Next set,,,they again bring Haley out. This time, when the spotlight hits her,,,she waves to the crowd like it was her doing the show and them backing her up,,not sure what we've created here.
I'll have to say,,,it was the proudest moment of my life and I told her afterward,,she had just lived one of my dreams.
By the way,,,she does know how to play guitar and did know the cords. Then, she asks Gerry WHEN THE NEXT GIG IS,,,,boy howdy!!!!!
People went crazy and the show was great. For those of us who know them personally ,,although barley noticabe, it was apparent that they were very very tired and that the long European tour and U.S. gigs that lasted somewhere around 6 weeks had taken it's toll. They gave it their all, just like they always do and no one else seemed to notice,,,classic America. Another thing that impressed me, was as I was taking my shots,,,they were very aware and gave me their best faces,,,always,,,tired as they were.
I think the guy I saw in my video at the end of the show says it all,,,he went running down to the front,,,dropped to his knees and started bowing,,his hands outstretched up high,,then down to the floor,,,over and over,,,and over. I kind of felt the same way.
Hey you people,
I've seen the guys in spring, fall, and winter and had a blast; but there's something about seeing them outside in summer that's extra special. It's become an annual tradition (nearly 20 years) for some friends of mine. Having just seen them a couple of weeks ago, my buddy Bob and I were hoping for a few surprises and I'm happy to say we came away thoroughly knocked out once again. Here's the scoop...
Pre-Show: It was a hot, humid night in the 80's; for some reason the bugs were cooperating and not too bad.There were about 2000-2500 people on the lawn in front of a very nice, big stage. Another couple hundred were in peripheral areas, including a nearby beer garden. Our first stop was at the T-shirt area, where a friend and I chatted for a few minutes and reminisced about a concert in St. Louis last summer where the venue "Mississippi Nights" had a dance floor and a Grateful Dead-type, tie-dyed T-shirt wearing woman spent the entire show doing a weird dance, mostly solo. A bizarre, but memorable moment. I told him I'm finally on-line and with the rest of you fanatics. We saw Gerry and we were able to chat for a few minutes. He expressed his amazement at the power and growth of the whole AOL phenomena. We talked about the Nilsson tribute and Jimmy Webb. I mentioned "Stereo"(co-written w/ Webb) was one of my many all-time faves. If they ever play it live, I might just pass out from the excitement. He also said there was a possibility (I stress only possibility) of putting together an America/Chicago/Beach Boys tour for next summer-Wow! Nothing concrete to get excited about yet, but what an exciting prospect. We also had a few moments to discuss Van Go Gan, Beckley/Lamm/Wilson, etc. and he was off to prepare for the big event...
Song List(Comments to follow) Riverside-Tin Man-Daisy Jane-I Need You-Mirror To Mirror-Lonely People-Another Try-Three Roses-Ventura Highway-The Last Unicorn-Young Moon-Hope-Woman Tonight-Only In Your Heart-California Revisited aka Everyone I Meet IsFromCalif-Don't Cross the River-Green Monkey-You Can Do Magic-Sandman-Sister Golden Hair-(Encore)California Dreaming-A Horse With No Name.
Show comments: Dewey sporting the goatee-Tremendous sound(The best in recent memory)-Brad's b-day(again)-Dewey w/ funny back in U.S.A./can finally read TV Guide again joke-Gerry in tremendous voice, particularly on "another try" and "unicorn"-3 Roses as Dewey says- it was Unplugged before it was hip-Brad strumming Dewey's guitar while playing his bass during "california"-New stuff sounds Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-Green Monkey Green Monkey Green Monkey!!! instant trivia Who played lead guitar on the original?? My friend Bob saying "sandman" sounded 'grungier' than usual- I swear there was a mosh pit forming to the left of the stage.
The crowd moved to the stage to clap, smile, and sing for the encore-what a joyous, glorious time.
The much anticipated Cerritos concerts are now "HISTORY". They were all that was expected and more. The Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts is a magnificent venue for a concert. It reminded me of an old opera house, floor seating and boxes on the sides and back wall. Every seat had an excellent view of the stage. We had fifth row seats, but the way it worked out we managed to move to the front row because somebody(fool) didn't show up.
Friday.........The opening act was BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS. They played all their hits and were well received by the crowd. But all those in the know were waiting for AMERICA.
Once again they opened with Riverside. Tin Man, I Need You, The Last Unicorn, Hope, Everyone I Meet Is From Califonia, Green Monkey, Young Moon, Another Try, Sandman, Sister Golden Hair all soon followed(although not in that order). The encore was Horse with No Name. The sound was great. The guys seemed more relaxed and it was reflected in their music. Gerry tried to coax his youngest son, Joe, onstage, but he was too shy. More about the other son later. Gerry's wife, Kathy, was also in attendance, but unfortunately we didn't get the chance to meet her. After the show on Friday we had a brief opportunity to talk to some of the guys. Of course we visited with Pete at his shirt stand.
Saturday....... The crowd on Friday was somewhat subdued because many of those in attendance there were patrons who had season tickets. On Saturday it was a considerably more rowdy group. When AMERICA was annouced, people started yelling and cheering. We had bought tickets which turned out to be in the fifteenth row. But we got the very fortunate opportunity to watch the performance from the side of the stage. Its amazing what a new vantage point allows you to see. We could watch Willie work over the drums and the professor keep the guitars tuned and ready to go.
They played the same songs with the exception of GREEN MONKEY. Standing back stage we could see, as promised, Matt warming up. When the band came out for the encore Matt as well as Joe joined Gerry and Dewey onstage for "Horse". Matt performed flawlessly during his solo. Matt and Gerry shared a microphone as backing vocals while Dewey sang the lead. Prior to Matt going onstage, we introduced ourselves to him. Matt is as nice in person as he seems online. When we left the stage area we found Matt signing autographs in the lobby, and yes we got our tickets signed by Matt. Everyone walked into the night humming or singing their favorite AMERICA song.
Professor Sue Robbins firstname.lastname@example.org
The July 30 doubleheader America concert at Bland's Park in Tipton, PA began with a sizzle, both on-stage and off, as the temperatures hovered around 97 degrees for the 4 p.m. concert! The band was awesome, as always, despite some tuning problems due to the heat. The first show included the classics Ventura Highway, Sister Golden Hair, Tin Man, Daisy Jane, Woman Tonight, Everyone I Meet is From California, and You Can Do Magic. I heard Brad Palmer sing for the first time on Lonely People. The crowd seemed to love Mirror to Mirror, which was the only cut played from the new Hourglass CD.
Following a standing ovation, an encore of Horse With No Name kept the crowd on their feet. We almost got to see Gerry's son Joe make his PA debut(?) but he shyly ran back to mom Kathy who was waiting offstage!
Although the temperature had dropped slightly for the second show, the band was still red hot! Mike Woods really strutted his stuff and played to the crowed, while Willie Leacox went beserk on the drums (you know, he really should get more solos...)
Included in the second show were favorites Riverside, I Need You, Another Try, Sandman, and Don't Cross the River, as well as some classics already played at the earlier show. Again, the only new song played was Mirror to Mirror. The late crowd was also on their feet by the end of the show, bringing the band back for another encore!
On a scale of 1 to 10, this concert was definitely a 15! The only improvement would have been more songs from the Hourglass CD (I was kind of hoping for Call of the Wild and Young Moon...maybe next time, guys?)
On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Gerry. He took the time to autograph my Hourglass CD, and read through the booklet which he said he hadn't seen yet. When asked about the availability of his upcoming Van Go Gan CD in the US, he said he's trying to work out some arrangements so that the US fans can get it, too!
I enjoyed watching Gerry, wife Kathy, and son Joe have some fun in the park before the second show. Gerry tried to win Joe a prize by shooting a basket (better stick to the guitar, Ger! :) )
I sat next to two college-aged fans for the second concert, who weren't even born when America first hit the charts, but who said they'd recently "discovered" the band and had become huge fans!
What I love about the concerts are how relaxed the guys are...and how much fun they have while they're on stage! Having just returned from Europe, Dewey said how happy they were to be back in the states. He said he'd gone about 137 mph on the Autobahn....Gerry, calling Dewey "Parnelli Bunelli" added that it was the first time Dewey had ever LEGALLY gone that fast....!
After the second show, the band headed off for a west coast leg of the tour, but only after hanging around to sign autographs for dozens of anxious fans. It's not often you find talent AND class like the guys in America. It's easy to see why they're celebrating their 25th anniversary this year! Here's looking forward to their 30th!
Last Revised: 6 January 1998