Newsletter Archive

Archives: February 1996

Volume 2 No. 2

February 1996


America Trivia

Coach House Concert Review

El Cajon Concert Review

Dan Peek Update

New America newgroup in the works!

American History: Carnegie Hall Feb. 1972

This and That (Letters from Readers)

Updated Tour Schedule

***** America Trivia Well, the trivia buff award goes to Tom D. who was the ONLY one to correctly identify Lisa Dal Bello as the lady singing with Gerry in a duet in the film "Middle Age Crazy." He added that she was a star in Canada at one time, both on records and in films. In addition, Tom says there wasn't a soundtrack album released from the film, although the movie itself was available on videocassette at one time. Thanks for the info., Tom!

Here's a new quest for you trivia fanatics. This one was suggested by Joanne in Florida:

Can anyone list all the names of girls mentioned in songs sung by Gerry?

You can send me your responses, and I'll compile them for the next issue.

( Good luck!

***** Coach House Concert Review by Jim N.

AMERICA performed two shows this past Friday (Jan. 26) to sold out audiences at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano in southern California--just south of the big city (LA). The Coach House is owned by the same person who owns and runs the Galaxy in Santa Ana and the Ventura Theatre in Ventura, California. All great places to see shows, very intimate.

Although Gerry was recovering from the flu, the show went on. A real trouper, he managed to hang tough and play it through--just another day in the life of a professional.

In this same vain, Will had cut his hand, a rather mean looking cut at that, but he also pushed through. Better days are coming, I can feel it.

I do know that Gerry was very delighted to be presented with a "toddler" size fender stratocaster-style guitar for his son Joe, by America's indispensable sound man. A real beautiful instrument, we will be waiting to see him accompany the band on stage.

A couple of other observations: It was really great to meet Hank Linderman, a very fine person and quite a gentleman as well as a great musician. With great insight into the creation of Van Go Gan and Hourglass, Hank is quite an interesting person. If you should see him at a show, please feel free to express your appreciation for his support of America.

Also, Mr. Woods' sisters were there and they sure enjoyed observing their bro on "Woman Tonight" and other songs. They were awfully proud.

Lastly, I must say I observed what I thought was quite a wonderful event after the show. A group of drooling teenager girls were waiting for autographs. They must have been 14-15-ish--I am not so good at guessing ages so far south of the tunnel of life; suffice it to say teenagers. They wanted the guys to sign their CD inserts; Gerry was away resting in peace.

Although Dewey was busy, he came down and so graciously answered their questions and signed qutographs for them with personalized greetings. Dewey was so polite to them, his "Sir Galahad" presence was felt through and through, besides looking so fit and trim. It was a thrill for me to observe these young fans gaggling over Dewey's presence--1975 revisited. Thanks Dewey! They were so happy! America and Dewey made their day!

And isn't that what it's all about?

On to another town and another place in time, the institution of America lives on...

***** El Cajon Concert Review by Barb B.

Saturday, January 27, 1996

The Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, California, seemed an unusual locale for an America concert, but we would never have passed up an opportunity to see the guys perform. Because it is an Indian casino, there was no alcohol allowed on the premises, making it different than most casinos.

The casino also lacked the "money" sounds typically associated with casinos. The slot machines do not spit out coins but instead provide the players with vouchers that are redeemable for cash. Despite our apprehensions, the casino proved to be a clean, modern, concert venue. The only drawback was the tremendous crowd. Because the casino gives away a car every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, the place was packed.

The casino does not actually have a showroom, but the horse racing room was transformed into a concert hall for the evening. (Word has it that construction of a permanent showroom is currently underway.) The tickets to the show were free and had been given out to the casino's patrons in advance, but we were fortunate enough to snag some seats.

The concert was a late-nighter, with the warmup act scheduled to go on at 10:30 p.m. The warmup act was a male and female guitar duo who performed an all instrumental set. The capacity crowd thought they were great!

Finally, it was time for America!!!!!

The guys began the set with the rousing "Riverside" (Love this as the opening song, guys!), easing into "Ventura Highway." Many of the hits followed, including "Daisy Jane," "I Need You," "Lonely People," "Only in Your Heart," "Woman Tonight," and "You Can Do Magic."

America added two new songs to their roster in 1995--"Green Monkey" and "The Last Unicorn." I am happy to report that these terrific songs are still on the play list. Gerry's vocals were splendid on "Unicorn" even with his cold.

America has added a new lead-in to "Sandman," featuring the masterful Mr. Beckley on acoustic guitar (this is a keeper, guys!).

All too soon, we heard the familiar chords of "Sister Golden Hair," which experienced concert goers recognize as "the end." The guys took their bows and left the stage; however, "backstage" was actually out in the audience.

With nowhere to retreat, the guys returned to the stage immediately and encored with Dewey's ever-popular signature song, "A Horse With No Name."

The beauty of live performances is the spontaneity and not knowing what might happen. America's performance was not without its minor comical mishaps. Early on, Will dropped a drumstick mid-twirl, much to the amazement and amusement of his fellow band members. And during "Horse," Gerry was literally "unplugged." Both events went unnoticed by the crowd, but brought smiles to our faces. The perfect evening ended all too quickly.

In the blink of an eye, Gerry, Dewey, Will, Brad, and Michael were off to the airport to catch their flight to Japan. Sayonara, guys! And have a safe journey!

***** Dan Peek Update

For those of you following the career of Dan Peek since his departure from America in the late 1970's, we have received some information from him that we'd like to pass along.

Dan's been busy, particularly in his work with the band "Peace," which is made up of Brian Gentry and Ken Marvin. Their album, "Stronger Than You Know" was released in 1994. Produced by Dan, the album also features three songs that he co-wrote: "Crazy Over You," "Long Way Home," and "True Love."

Dan wrote: "Brian Gentry and Ken Marvin who comprise Peace remind me very much of Dewey and Gerry when we first met.

Peace is obviously influenced by America and the other bands that influenced us...Byrds, Beach Boys, CSNY, Simon and Garfunkel.

I have high hopes for Peace. In fact, Seven Mile Records is my own label put together specifically for the band. I have even toyed with the idea of joining them. That's how much I enjoy their stuff. For the moment, however, I am content to work behind the scenes.

Additionally, I continue to write and record my own things. In fact, I feel like an "artist" again.

That same freshness and thrill of discovery...during the halcyon days of America...has resurfaced as I have been enjoying cloistering myself in my home studio and creating...."

Those of us who have heard Peace's "Stronger Than You Know Album" have enjoyed it tremendously.

You should be able to order a copy through your local music store (Please e-mail me if you need additional information about how to do this.)

Anyone with greetings or messages for Dan are welcome to send them along to me ( or to Rick ( and we will pass them along so that Dan gets them.

***** New America newsgroup in the works!

Rick Wahlgren has been working hard to get a new newsgroup dedicated to the discussion of America added to newsgroup lists across the U.S.

The old newsgroup, "" became somewhat confusing, as people thought it was an open forum for the discussion of music IN America in general, rather than the discussion of the band.

To alleviate these problems, Rick proposed a new newsgroup:

which should be appearing within a couple of weeks. If you don't see it added in your area, please contact your internet provider and request that it be added.

NOTE: Due to length limitations on the newsgroup name, it was necessary to spell Dewey's name with only one L...this is NOT a typo!

***** American History: Carnegie Hall, Feb. 1972

"Variety's" Feb. 21, 1972 issue included a review of America's recent show at Carnegie Hall. The standing room only concerts grossed $32,500 according to the reviewer, and were a repeat performance of the Felt Forum, NY concerts held on Feb. 11, which had also sold out.

The opening act for the show was John David Souther, who also joined the band during the encore.

Although the reviewer was not very enthusiastic about the show, he definitely preferred the second half of the show, when the band "went electric" in comparison to the first half of the show which was acoustic.

***** This and That (Letters from Newsletter Readers)

>From Rich M.:

My first America concert goes back a few years. It was at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena...Linda Ronstadt was the OPENING act! America was second billing and James Taylor was the headliner...that was one of the rare nights that they open the "roof" on the arena. It was a GREAT show!

I've personally seen America about ten times in concert, and my wife has seen them about four. We met Gerry in the lobby of the Holiday House in Monroeville, PA while he was waiting for a limo to do a radio interview.

We were early for their show and asked Gerry to join us for a drink before the show. He said he couldn't because of the radio interview, but gave us Dewey's room number and suggested we give him a call. We did and got to talk to him as well.

The Holiday House was a classic place for a concert. It was very personal, so much that most of the shows included dinner before the performance. We saw the guys two nights in a row...they were super! It was right after "Magic" was released and they had a magician come on stage to perform during the song...lots of fun!

My wife, Pam, and I are still romantics. Gerry and Dewey's songs have always meant a great deal to us, before we were married and still today. America is the only band where probably 99.9% of their songs have been very relevant to our lives. Please tell Gerry and Dewey that there are a lot of hidden blessings affecting people from their addition to just being great to listen to....I say 99.9% pretty much because of "Hangover," but, oh well, that used to be real relevant to me too!

***** The following was submitted by Lillian L.:

I've been a fan all my life, but I've been collecting only since '82 when "Magic" came out. I have a friend in San Jose who has a scrapbook that goes back even further, as far back as their high school days...turns out she went to the same schoool they did in England! I met her at an America concert. She's been a long-time fan. And I've met some of the nicest people through my interest in America...

***** Winter 1996 Concert Schedule Update

Feb. 14 Fairbanks, Alask

Feb. 16 Anchorage, Alaska

Feb. 18 Kanai, Alaska

Mar. 8 Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nevada

Mar. 9 Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nevada

Mar. 10 Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nevada

Note: If you are planning to attend one of the Alaska shows, please send me a note at: Thanks!

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Last Revised: 6 January 1998