Newsletter Archive

Archives: Spring 1998

Spring 1998 Edition

The Horse's Mouth America newsletter is co-edited by Barbara Bickmore and Rick Wahlgren, and a feature of the America Home Page. If you have any comments or submissions, send them to Barb or Rick.


*Happy Trails - 1998 Concert Schedule

*Human Nature! Human Nature!! Human Nature!!!

*America Scheduled To Appear On Howard Stern Show

*Concert Reviews

*Gerry Producing

*Interview With Dewey

*Charity CD

*Las Vegas After Dark Video With America

*Run for the Roses......And the Winner Is.......America Song Tournament

*Peace/Dan Peek Update

*Dan Peek In Concert Review

*Website Of The Week

*Zeroing In On That Elusive Silent Letter

*Marching To America

*America in TV Guide and Guitar World

*You Can Own Gerry's Fretlight Guitar!

*Horse's Mouth and America Home Page Communications

Happy Trails - 1998 Concert Schedule

Here's the latest Human Nature Tour '98 schedule, including some recent changes. Time to saddle up, hit the trail.........and take a "nature ride" with America!


Friday May 1 Lake Charles, Louisiana: Civic Center Theater

Saturday May 2 Boulder, Colorado: Coors Events Center 9pm

Sunday May 3 Colorado Springs, Colorado: New World Arena 8:30 pm

Tuesday May 5 Albuquerque, New Mexico: Tingley Coliseum 9pm

Wednesday May 6 Tucson, Arizona: Convention Center Theatre 9pm

Tuesday May 12 Nagoya, Japan

Thursday May 14 Hong Kong, China

Friday May 15 Manila, Phillipines

Monday May 18 Taipei, Taiwan

Wednesday May 20 Singapore

Thursday May 21 Bangkok, Thailand

Saturday May 23 Indio, California: Amerifest Music Festival

Thursday May 28-Wednesday June 10 Sparks, Nevada: John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino (16 shows total)

Friday June 12 Fresno, California: Tower Theater

Saturday June 13 San Juan Capistrano, California: The Coach House 7pm and 9:30pm

Sunday June 14 San Diego, California: Humphrey's

Monday June 15 Kelseyville, California: Konocti Harbor Resort/Spa 8pm

Wednesday June 17 Richmond, Virginia: Innsbrook Pavilion

Friday June 19 Atlantic City, New Jersey: Shell-Trump Marina Hotel

Saturday June 20 Atlantic City, New Jersey: Shell-Trump Marina Hotel

Friday June 26 Warsaw, Indiana: Warsaw Ballroom Festival/City Park

Tuesday June 30 Appearance on Howard Stern and Human Nature Release

Saturday June 27 Bloomingdale, Illinois: (Chicago) Bloomingdale FamilyFest 8:30

Sunday June 28 Norway, Michigan: Marion Park Summerfest

Thursday July 2 Arlington Heights, Illinois: Frontier Days 8pm

Friday July 3 O'Fallon, Missouri: O'Fallon City Park 9pm

Saturday July 4 Moreno Valley, California: (Riverside area) Family Fun Festival at Morrison Park 7pm

Sunday July 5 Silver Creek, Colorado: Westfest-Silver Creek Resort 5pm

Thursday July 9 Fort Loramie, Ohio: Country Fest at Hickory Hill Lakes

Friday July 10 Robinsonville, MS: Horseshoe Casino 9pm

Saturday July 11 Robinsonville, MS: Horseshoe Casino 9pm

Monday July 13 Westbury, NY: Westbury Music Fair

Thursday July 16 Cadott, Wisconsin: Rock Fest

Saturday July 18 Louisville, Kentucky: Louisville Zoological Gardens

Sunday July 19 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Heartwood Mansion 7:30

Thursday July 23 Denver, Colorado: Grizzly Rose

Friday July 24 Hastings, Nebraska: Adams County Fair

Saturday July 25 South Amboy, New Jersey: Club Bene

Sunday July 26 Oswego, New York: Harborfest at Breitbeck Park

Thursday July 30 Rock Springs, Wyoming: Sweetwater County Fair 8pm

Friday July 31 Corvallis, Oregon: Benton County Fair 7 and 9pm

Saturday August 1 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Festival

Saturday August 8 Uncasville, Conneticut: WolfDen, Mohegan Sun Casino (two shows)

Tuesday August 11 Baton Rouge, Louisiana: The Texas Club

Thursday August 13 New Orleans, Louisiana: Bally's Belle of Orleans

Friday August 14 Bossier City, Louisiana (Shreveport) Casino Magic

Saturday August 15 Wichita, Kansas: The Cotillion

Sunday August 16 St. Joseph, Missouri: Trails West Fest 7pm

Saturday August 22 Sheboygan, Wisconsin: Lakefest 2pm and 7:30pm

Sunday August 30 Hershey Park, Pennsylvania 5:30pm and 8pm

Saturday September 5 Las Vegas, Nevada: Las Vegas Silver Bowl

Wednesday September 23 Bellingham, Washington: Mt. Baker Theater 7:30

Thursday September 24 Pasadena, California: Twin Palms 7pm and 9:45pm

Friday September 25 Newport Beach, California: Twin Palms 7pm and 9:45pm

Saturday October 4 Deadwood, South Dakota: Oktoberfest

Saturday October 10 Houston, Texas: Compaq Arena

Sunday October 11 San Antonio, Texas: Empire Theatre (2 shows)

Human Nature! Human Nature!! Human Nature!!!

No horsin' around this time! AMERICA's new CD, Human Nature, is due to be released on June 30, 1998!!!!

Here is the press release from Karen DiGesu with Oxygen Records with all the details.



New Album, Human Nature, Scheduled for Release June 30

New York, NY - Oxygen Records, a division of the King Biscuit Entertainment Group, announces a multi-album deal with 70's rock group AMERICA. The group is getting ready to release Human Nature, their first album for Oxygen, on June 30, 1998. The album marks a continuation of their collaboration with the likes of The Eagles' Timothy B. Schmit and the Beach Boys' Carl Wilson, each of whom worked on songs on the record. The signing of America, who came to the world's attention with their record-breaking hit A Horse with No Name is a boon to Oxygen's roster of adult contemporary artists. King Biscuit president Steve Ship says of the signing, "We are very proud to be working with America, whose music has had a tremendous impact on all of us here at Oxygen and on popular culture. America's legacy places them at the very heart of California's legendary rock sound."

For their upcoming album, Human Nature, America assembled a group of musicians that reads like a Who's Who of rock. Playing on the album are Phil Jones (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles), Robert Lamm and Jason Scheff (Chicago). Elliot Shiner (Fleetwood Mac's The Dance) mixes two songs for the album, including the first single, From a Moving Train.

After 30 years of making music together, America's Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell continue to tour the country and record new material. Their many hits through the 70's and 80's include Ventura Highway, Sister Golden Hair, I Need You and You Can Do Magic.

1997 marked the group's highest grossing tour of recent date, and America continues touring the country this spring and summer, making stops in Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, Chicago, Denver, Houston and other cities.


Oxygen Records plans to launch an aggressive promotional campaign for Human Nature which will include radio and TV appearances. AMERICA is scheduled to appear on the Howard Stern show on June 30th, the CD's release date.

Karen DiGesu has been impressed with the unbridled enthusiasm of the online fans and their keen interest in Human Nature. As the release date draws near, she has generously agreed to provide some direction to fans (i.e., radio stations in target markets) who have expressed an interest in promoting Human Nature at a grassroots level.

Many thanks to the folks at Oxygen Records for their exuberant interest in and support for AMERICA!!

America Scheduled To Appear On Howard Stern Show

Watch for America on the Howard Stern show June 30th, which matches the day Human Nature will be released! Will Howard join in for a little three part harmony......and maybe add a bizarre lyric or two???? Should be lots of fun!

Concert Reviews

Subject: SANTA BARBARA Submitted by Mags (

Hi all,

Well, I just got back from a trip down South (and only 36 posts to read upon returning!) and I have reviews of the Santa Barbara show held at the Coach House, March 26, and both Cerritos shows held at the Cerritos Center for The Performing Arts, March 27 and 28 (I think I got "volunteered" to post reviews by Kelly, Barb and Gary, who have certainly been to so many shows by now (many more than my 30 or so), they must somehow admire my rookie enthusiasm!). Anyway, it was gracious of them to allow me to do so, so here goes! The Cerritos review will be on a separate post:

SANTA BARBARA: What could have been a potential "bummer" ended up being such a BONUS; the guys were supposed to have played two sets that night, but ended up being able to perform only one due to a booking problem (i.e. ticket sales). Ahem...fellow America fans...where ARE you?! BUT...this was fine by me, cuz it allowed for a 22-song set (including a two-song encore), AND...I think it allowed the crowd to hear a few extra-special tunes!

I'm sure Gerry and Dewey must have been a bit disappointed by the venue in general, but as long as the smaller, funkier venues can be tempered with the nicer, larger-capacity ones, all this touring can continue to be well-worth it for them! doesn't matter to any of us WHERE you guys play...we'll gratefully take what we can get...just knowing how hard you work creating and performing, and how difficult it must be to be away from your families so much, is just more reason to give you our support. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Another bonus to this once-thought dilemma is that it allowed the guys to have an opening band, namely that of a very talented duo, Jon and Anastasia, (who are local - from Carpinteria) and whom you've heard about from other folks on this folder. They played 6 songs, all acoustic, and were a delight to hear. They are both EXTREMELY talented, and Anastasia's voice alone is so powerful and ethereal, especially for her being such a litle slip of a thing! I'm certain we'll be hearing more about them in the near future!

The good folks at The Coach House must've thought some of us needed to be able to know the thread count of Ger's and Dew's shirts, or else they seated us so close as to help, "kick an amp" should the need have arisen. No matter, cuz we didn't have a mosh pit or anything, although I think at one point Dewey looked down and wondered what the heck I was writing down (just some thoughts on the song, Dewey, I promise it wasn't my grocery list).

Poor Dewey spent the day sweatin' in the sun watching his son's baseball game, then spent the evening sweatin' up a storm on stage! All a part of Sweating/Stage Dancing 101 that makes up their touring exercise regime, I guess. Dewey was going on and on about his afternoon, and good ol' patient Gerry was waiting to start "California Dreamin',"which prompted him to comment that Dew could go on and on, but it's Ger that has to start the song - eventually.

Also, I was delighted to finally meet Kelly and Jim, Barb and Gary, and Jim Nakao; they are such nice folks!

Imagine my sheer delight when I viewed the set list taped to the stage floor and saw some of what was to be played...can you say, "To Each His Own," anyone???!!! I know I must have squeeled out loud. Although, sadly, I must report to Erin (Sgt Drkness) that "To Each His Own" had been written over the previously-crossed out "Sergeant Darkness." Whether it was a typo, or the guys changed their minds, I don't know...but I was thrilled!!! (uhmmm, sorry, Erin). Also, the set list mentioned "All My Life" as part of a three-song encore but, no dice (rats!).

Also, no "Young Moon," (even though our Kelly yelled out for it, Ger said they had to stick to their set list!). I SECOND THAT EMOTION, KEL!!! To be fair, we gotta give the guys credit for knowing what works best for THEM, and what THEY want to PLAY, but, on the other hand, oh please, oh please, oh please? Anyway, here's what we were treated to:

Riverside - I love how it has been expanded on in concert vs when it was first layed down on tracks, with the addition of the two new lines of lyrics. This is a great set opener

Ventura Highway - Wonderful, as usual

You Can Do Magic - Great guitar licks

Don't Cross The River - Go, Brad, Go!

Daisy Jane - Does one ever get tired of hearing it? I think NOT

Mirror-To-Mirror - Wow! MORE from Young Moon, please!

Another Try - I last heard this live years ago...and only ONCE. I was ELATED to hear it again! A Beckley masterpiece! How lucky can one gal get!

The Last Unicorn - Fabulous! Gerry made mention that a new Jimmy Webb tune will be on the band's 21st release (not the new release, but the next one thereafter). Ger said they waited a bit too long to ask Jimmy for a contribution to the June/July release. So...heads up...this will be something to look forward to in the future!

Three Roses - Beautiful harmonic blend, as usual

I Need You - Ger on guitar and Wood-z on keys

Tin Man - Bring it on home, Dewey

Woman Tonight - Go, Wood-z, Go!

To Each His Own - Like I gotta EXPLAIN?!

Only In Your Heart - The entire audience helped out

California Dreamin' - Always love hearing it

Lonely People - Ger and Brad nailed it, as usual

Green Monkey - Yahoo!!! Rockin' good stuff!

Never Be Lonely - Hot licks...everyone on the same page

Sandman - Hot, hot, hot! Always love hearing the new intro

Sister Golden Hair - New intro is special

Encores: California Revisited - Dewey was in fine form Horse With No Name - ZZ Top move??!? I've grown so fond of it that when Ger, Brad and Wood-z DON'T do it, I'm bummed! post is Cerritos...


As has already been mentioned, the venue was filled both nights and is not only an acoustically-pleasing place, but aesthetically-pleasing as well! I did, however, have to gently remind a couple of folks that had had one too many, and were sitting behind me on Friday night, that my reason for being there was to hear Gerry and Dewey sing and play...not to hear them cackle like hyenas about a ski trip gone sour (considering they left before the set had barely even begun, they had no $^@# business being there to begin with...don't mess with me when America's on stage!). once the "riff-raff" left the building, the rest of us had a great time!

Ambrosia opened the show and played 9 songs and an encore (including most of their biggest charters, "You're The Only Woman," "That's How Much You Feel," "Holdin' On To Yesterday," and "You're The Biggest Part Of Me"). Dave Pack and company still know how to rock and time has been exceptionally kind to their vocal chords...lots of strength and range. The Saturday show deviated a bit in terms of song placement.

America took the stage and we were treated to a 75-minute set Friday ("To Each His Own" and, I think, "Don't Cross The River" were not played Friday), and a bit longer set on Saturday:

Riverside Ventura Highway You Can Do Magic Don't Cross The River Daisy Jane Another Try The Last Unicorn Three Roses I Need You Tin Man Woman Tonight To Each His Own Only In Your Heart California Dreamin' Lonely People Green Monkey Never Be Lonely Sandman Sister Golden Hair

Encore: Horse...including...drumroll please...the addition of both The Professor and our own Gene! I was also delighted to meet both these fine fellows, and am looking forward to catching a Gene-o gig at Sloppy Joe's in the future!

Gerry's son Joe was onstage both nights during the encore as well, but the little guy's a bit shy and kept hiding behind Dad and his guitar, no matter how many times Ger moved. Maybe your big brother can help you out in that area!

The crowd, acoustics and pure talent of Gerry, Dewey, Brad, Michael and Willie led to two very memorable evenings that won't be forgotten. The guys remind me of The Energizer Bunny; they keep going, and going, and going...

Last, but certainly not least, it was truly special to meet Gerry and Kathy, Dewey, Brad, Wood-z and Willie...much nicer people you will not meet!

Well, the guys seem to have a well-deserved three weeks off, then it's off to entertain America fans the world over. It's great having you home in California venues, but we realize we must share!

Thanks, guys, for giving us such a great time...we truly appreciate it. Looking forward to Reno/Sparks, where Erin and I are planning on making certain you have a full house of America fans each and every night...if not a personal cheering section, at least! --------------- Subject: Showmanship.....Energy Submitted by Steve McCartt

I just saw America for the first time in concert on Tuesday April 21 in the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington along with the loving spoonful. Although I have every album America has produced except Perspectives--I never could find it--and I have every CD they have released, I had never had the opportunity to see them in person. My wife, who is as big a fan as myself, and I were amazed at the showmanship and energy that Dewey, Gerry and the rest of the band displayed. I was sitting just three rows back and seeing this group that I had grown up with less than twenty feet away was a dream come true. My wife and I had not been to a concert in nine years and we could not have picked a better one. America's music has meant so much to us and obviously to the thousands of people there with us that night.

I am so excited to hear that they will be releasing another album in June. I enjoyed there last album by American Gramaphone--Hourglass. I sort of wished they could have given us a sampling of what was upcoming, but at the same time, I so thoroughly enjoyed all of the old favorites, I can't imagine which song I would have had them drop to make room for the new stuff. Guess I will have to wait for Human Nature to be released in June. Thank You Gerry and Dewey for all the good tunes. And thanks to Dan for his part. --------------- Subject: 3, 4, 1828 Submitted by Gary B. (

What do these numbers have to do with AMERICA? Well....... 3 states, 4 shows, and 1828 miles later, we are home. Yes, it was time for another road trip. When we saw the schedule early in the year and noticed the shows lined up in the Pacific Northwest, we decided "here's our chance". The trip was timely for three reasons. First, we had never been to that section of the US. Second, we wanted to visit with our very good friends, Rick and Mary. And lastly (sort of), there were three shows in the area (more on that later).

It all started last Saturday, April 18th. We flew to Seattle and rented a car. Then the short scenic trip to Rick's place in northern Washington. They have a lovely home on several wooded acres. After Rick's expertly guided sightseeing tour, we had a wonderful dinner overlooking the water in Vancouver, BC (thanks again, R+M). The next morning Barb and I headed for Portland, OR. We arrived a day early to allow time to sightsee. What a beautiful city! But of course, the main attraction was still yet to come.

We got lucky in our choice of hotel in Portland. It was within easy walking distance of the Memorial Coliseum. The show started with The Lovin' Spoonful taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. As usual, we were not too excited to sit through an opening act......we were there to see AMERICA!!! But wow, was I surprised!! They put on a great show. No, John Sebastian was not there but he wasn't missed either. The Lovin' Spoonful played all their "hits"......and more......including a group whistle- and sing-along. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane.

AMERICA took the stage right on time at 8:45 p.m. for their "greatest hits" show. The guys played with great enthusiam, helping to keep these songs fresh. Songs like "Never Be Lonely" and the new intro to "Sandman" also added some spark to the familiar mix. The audience was up and dancing before the third song. Like most AMERICA shows, it was over way too soon.

The quality of the sound was impressive for a large arena (thanks to Bill's expertise!). It was also encouraging to see such a tremendous turnout when Sarah McLachlan and Lisa Loeb were performing right next door. All of these shows had larger audiences than I am used to, and it was fantastic seeing everyone enjoying themselves so.

As Rick said, we followed the bus up to Tacoma on Tuesday. The Tacoma Dome is soooooo huge that they can set up a football field inside. But this night it was reserved for music!!! The guys really rocked the place, and the appreciative fans were singing along. I'll always remember the girl sitting next to me. When Gerry started to play "I Need You", she started to melt down in her chair. I thought that we'd have to scrape her off the floor. Fortunately, she seemed to recover in time for the rest of the show.

On this particular night, Pete was not "The Lonely Guy". Instead, Barb and I were spotlighted as "The Lonely Couple" (gee thanks, Ger). And the guys thanked all of us (Rick, Mary, Barb and I) for attending (thanks back at ya, guys!).

A banner in the Tacoma Dome proclaimed Tacoma to be an "All America City", and on this night, it definitely was!!

On to Spokane.......another beautiful Washington city. It was a long drive but the diverse scenery made it well worthwhile. Once again, the show was in a large venue.....the Spokane Arena. This arena was located near a riverfront park with waterfalls, an amusement park, and the biggest red wagon I've ever seen!! It was so so big that the handle was a slide for kids. Once again we were lucky to see The Lovin' Spoonful perform. They really got the crowd into it with their sing-along (hint-hint).

AMERICA came on and performed flawlessly. The set list was the same, but to the unsuspecting fan, it seemed as if AMERICA were playing the songs for the very first time. As Joe Butler of The Lovin' Spoonful would remark to Dewey later, AMERICA is "so smooth". It always amazes me how the guys can perform nite after nite and keep up their grueling schedule as they do!!! The guys traveled all nite to get to Spokane, having left Tacoma at 2:00 a.m.

That about does it for our "scheduled" trip. We had planned to return to Seattle for more of our vacation be continued!!!!!!

We knew that the guys were headed for Boise after Spokane but that was just too far to drive, or was it??? We figured out the mileage.....tough, but "dew"able. The problem was going to be the return trip to Seattle. This is where Head or Heart comes in. Do you follow your Head and go back, or do you follow your Heart and go to Boise for another show? Well.......with a little encouragement from the guys and after a "short" eight hour drive, we arrived in Boise. The weather was threatening all the way and just as we exited the freeway all "hail" broke loose. We made it to the hotel just in time. Like the previous three shows, this one was in an arena and was also a benefit for the Firefighters Association.

Inside the Boise State University Pavillion, they have a cow. Not just any cow, but a 30 foot inflatable "Got Milk" cow which flew over the crowd mooing and dropping gift certificates. They have unusual forms of entertainment in Boise!!! Joe Butler (lead singer of The Lovin' Spoonful) thought it was "udderly" ridiculous.

Again we enjoyed The Lovin' Spoonful. They had CDs for sale and after each show they generously signed autographs and posed for pictures. We were introduced to them early in the trip and they all seem like extremely nice guys (and gal).

Finally our "last" show began. The playlist was the same as the other nites and it sounded just as sweet to our ears. Once again, AMERICA captivated the audience with their splendid sounds. We dared Gerry and Dewey to add "California Dreamin'" on this evening but they didn't. (No offense to The Lovin' Spoonful, but AMERICA's version is 10 times better!) Knowing this was "the end" for awhile didn't help. It's so sad when they start "Sandman" because we know there are only three songs left. The night ended with a rousing rendition of "Horse" and it was over.

Salt Lake City?.......hmmmmmm? Could we?? Should we?? No, we didn't travel to SLC! We had already extended "our trip" and now it was time to head home. As we pulled out from the hotel, sadly the bus went one way and we went the other.

Barb and I would like to thank everyone involved this past week for the wonderful time we had. Gerry, Dewey, Will, Brad, Woodz, Scotty, Bill, Pete, Rooster, and John, the promoter, THANK YOU so very much!!! Hope to see you all soon. --------------- Subject: Shows in the "Rose" and "All America" Cities Submitted by Rick Wahlgren (

Mary and I got back late last night from the Portland and Tacoma shows, and they were spectacular!!!

We raced down I-5 for five hours after work to there only 10 minutes before the show started........met Barb and Gary and the guys..........and then walked in backstage to a darkened Portland Memorial Coliseum. (home of the Trail Blazers) Suddenly, the lights came on and there was a THUNDEROUS greeting for America by 8000 plus fans!!!!

America was off to a magnificent start of the Human Nature tour in the Rose City......and the Portland fans were very greatful when America said a special thank you with "Three Roses."

This intense crowd started singing, dancing, and celebrating right away and were thrilled to see America........and didn't slow down all night.

The next morning we went up to Tacoma with the "Ameribus,"..........checked out the concert arrangement inside the beautiful Tacoma Dome.......and later went on a Mississippi River steamboat, which now serves as a casino on the Puyallup Indian Reservation.

Tacoma's nickname is the "All America City" could it live up to its image by matching Portland's wonderful welcome???? The answer was..........."YES" times 12,000 appreciative fans!!!!! The Tacoma Dome was packed!!!!!!

Since Gary has filled in the gaps about the shows........there was something rather special that happened after the show. We went back to see the guys, and they were in a locker room........the *exact* locker room our basketball team used in '90 and '91 when they won two state boy's basketball championships!! I found myself looking for our kids in their white, green, and gold uniforms.......the chalkboard with our game plan.......could almost hear the kids saying the team prayer........their cheers, tears of joy, hugs and laughter afterwards.

But.......this night it was another brilliant team of winners in the Tacoma Dome.......Gerry, Dewey, Woodz, Willie, and Brad.........true champions that night in the "All America City."

Subject: A Spoonful of Human Nature Rolls Through Salt Lake City

Submitted by Steve Lowry (

The University of Utah basketball team finished second in the NCAA tournament this year but America finished first as they visited the home court of the Runnin' Utes in Salt Lake City. The venue was the Jon M. Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus and about 10,000 screaming fans were treated to a show that rivaled the championship game of the NCAA tournament.

The show was sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police and they encouraged the fans on the floor level to take plenty of photos and to dance in the aisles. I'll have photos to share in a few days.

The concert opened with the Lovin' Spoonful playing many of their hits from the late sixties and early seventies. They were in fine form as they offered their renditions of "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind", "Do You Believe In Magic", and many others. When they played "Summer In The City" I couldn't help but think of the Human Nature CD which will be coming out soon which features a song titled "Hot Town". Soon they were finished and the crowd gave them a very polite standing ovation but they were really waiting for the act to follow.

It wasn't long before the opening chords of "Riverside" were floating through the Huntsman Center and 10,000 anxious fans were finally getting what they came for. "Ventura Highway" was next followed by "You Can Do Magic". As Gerry introduced the band and talked about their "grueling five day tour" (LOL) he said it was good to be at the end of the tour and that they'd give everything they had since this was the final concert of the tour. They certainly did give their all as they continued with "Don't Cross The River" and "Daisy Jane".

"Mirror To Mirror", "Another Try", and "The Last Unicorn" would normally be played at this point but the guys had a limited amount of time to play so they had to skip those three songs and move on to "Three Roses". "I Need You" was next featuring Gerry on guitar. After so many years of hearing Gerry play this love song on piano, it's refreshing to hear it on guitar. Gerry has stated that he wrote the song on the guitar so it's only natural that he come back to that.

The tempo picked up after that with "Tin Man" and "Woman Tonight" followed by "To Each His Own" and "Only In Your Heart". Dewey mentioned that they were glad to be celebrating their 25th anniversary of winning the Best New Group award and that brought a big ovation from the appreciative crowd. "California Dreamin'" was next on the playlist but they skipped that song because the Lovin' Spoonful had played it in their set. The Spoonful did a decent job on the song but it was nowhere near as good as America's rendition.

Before playing "Lonely People" Gerry joked about the security men being lonely because no one was dancing in the aisles or rushing the stage. They hadn't made it through the first verse before a group of people rushed the stage and started dancing in the aisles. It was a very orderly, although enthusiastic, crowd so the security let them "do their thing".

It's unfortunate that the guys had to skip "Green Monkey" and "Never Be Lonely" at this point because the crowd was really into it. But a rousing version of "Sandman" followed by the classic sound of "Sister Golden Hair" with it's new intro was enough to keep them going. After "Sister Golden Hair" the crowd stood on their feet cheering, clapping, screaming, whistling, and stomping their feet to encourage the band to come back for some more. The guys waited quite a while to let the fans fully express their appreciation and then they came out for the encore of "Horse With No Name" joined by the Lovin' Spoonful.

All to soon the concert was over and I was once again amazed at how flawlessly the entire band performed and how much energy they put into it. You would have thought it was their first year on the road rather than their 27th (or whatever it is).

There were a couple of things that were very special to me about this concert. First of all I was once again impressed with how personal Gerry and Dewey are. Before the concert they were behind the stage signing autographs and taking pictures. They showed genuine interest with each fan as they spoke with them and gave them their autograph or allowed them to take their photo. After the concert a handful of handicapped fans were allowed to meet the guys. Once again they were extremely personable and took time to ask them their name, to introduce themselves, and to make them feel special. It's a great tribute to Gerry and Dewey to continue to hold their fans in high esteem after all these years.

The second thing that was special about this concert, didn't really have anything to do with the concert at all. As I walked into the Huntsman Center I heard a song playing over the speakers with the words "from a moving train". I listened carefully and sure enough it was Gerry Beckley singing the song with Dewey Bunnell singing backup vocals. I found out later from Dewey and Gerry that they had told Bill to go ahead and play Human Nature before the concert started. I didn't hear many of the other songs but I definitely heard "From A Moving Train" which I'm sure is going to be a great success. Gerry told me that as far as he knows this is the first public playing of Human Nature so if they keep this up, you fans at the upcoming concerts should have a real treat in store even before the concert begins.

As I look back on this concert I have more than a spoonful of good memories and now I anxiously await June 30 when Human Nature will be released.

Also, I want to thank Scott, Bill, Pete, Rooster, Willie, Brad, Michael, Dewey, and Gerry for making it such a wonderful evening for my wife and I. They'll never know how much we appreciate them.

Gerry Producing

He keeps going.....and going.....and going...............

Despite his incredibly hectic schedule, Gerry recently found time to add "producer" to his lengthy resume. Gerry is handling production duties for female artist Teresa Bright on the Pioneer label. Ms. Bright's LP will include a version of Gerry's own "Kiss of Life".

Gerry reports that, "The Hawaiian project is a record I have produced with Hank (Linderman) of an artist named Teresa Bright. On it she has recorded Kiss Of Life, but my involvement is throughout the whole disc & not just that number. It's called "Crossing the Blue" will be out in June in Japan."

Interview With Dewey

Recently, I had the delightful opportunity to interview Dewey. Many thanks to Dewey for being a gracious interviewee and for his insightful responses!

Barb: What are your musical roots and what musical artists have been influential to you in your career?

Dewey: When I was quite young I used to sing "Hound Dog" by Elvis around the house, and I liked my parents records, like the Everly Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Della Reese, Fats Waller,and a guy named Martin Denny who used jungle sounds in his recordings! But my interests increased in the early 60's with the instrumental surf bands and blossomed with the Beach Boys and Beatles.

B: When writing songs, many musicians write the music first and then write the words to fit the music. What is your songwriting style? Has it changed throughout the years?

D: I have always started writing a song with a chord progression that I like first. I then create a melody to lay on top and finally write lyrics to that melody. A fairly simple template. I have rarely altered that pattern in my songwriting. I've never been prolific but when I focus on creating a song I try to create an image in my mind that I can walk around...a place or a feeling that is three dimensional. Of course, many times I will ask Gerry to add a bridge to the middle of a song and likewise I will sometimes write lyrics to a song Gerry has written...thus the co-writes.

B: What is your favorite America song? What is your favorite self-penned song?

D: I have always felt pretty good about Ventura Highway and Daisy Jane as good solid "America" songs. And "Three Roses" has always been a favorite song from the old stuff that I have written. In recent projects I liked "Sleeper Train" quite a lot. Otherwise I am very proud of all the songs...each has it's particular feel.

B: How do you go about selecting the title for a new album?

D: The "H" thing has always narrowed the field. We were able to make the titles apply to the project when we recorded in different locations such as "Harbor" (Hawaii), "Hideaway" (Colorado Mountains), "Hearts" (San Francisco), etc. In the case of "Human Nature" it feels like an interesting title with many definitions. It also happens to be the name of Gerry's publishing company and studio...I helped convince him to let us steal it for the album!!

B: How has the Internet changed the music industry and do you see it as a positive or negative force?

D: The Internet is here to stay! I think it is a wonderful way to link the music directly with the interested the great web pages that have been designed and the AOL folder. The advantages are, of course, instant access to itineraries, release dates etc. I'm not sure that I like having virtually every show reviewed or random photos and other incidents available for the whole world to surf in on! Fortunately it is generally all positive...but there is a downside!'s a great tool otherwise!

B: Recent online discussion suggests that America is gaining momentum. Do you see indications of this as you travel and perform in various places? Do you think the new CD will be a catalyst for a resurgence in America's popularity?

D: We are very grateful that we have established a following that has remained loyal to the old music and still anticipates new stuff. At the same time we do manage to attract newcomers each year as younger people listen. It helps to have continued radio play keeping the songs alive and to have a great band and crew keeping the music "live" on the road. As for "momentum"...I think we just keep chugging along and the simple fact that we are still at it creates it's own interest. Of course I would hope that the new CD (Human Nature) continues the trend!

B: Although America has traveled extensively throughout the world, is there still some place you would like to perform but haven't?

D: I would like to tour Scandinavia and there has been talk of playing India and possibly some venues in the Middle East.

B: What are your personal musical preferences?

D: I don't listen to enough new music to feel very qualified to make recommendations. My preferences lean toward older music that gets me going such as old Allman Brothers, Laura Nyro, Dire Straits, Bryan Ferry, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, The Beach Boys, Santana, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers...and on and on! 'Course I like Johnny Lang and Fionna Apple, too!!

B: What do you think is the key to America's enduring success?

D: The key to our endurance is that we grew up in this business, it's all we know, and we enjoy doing it!

Charity CD reports that America once again has supported an important charity: MADD. The song that America donated to this CD is "Nothing's So Far Away (As Yesterday) from the Encore Album.

Subj: Windham Hill News From: (Windham Hill Records)

Windham Hill and MADD, (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), have teamed up to bring you HONOR THEM ALL, a special collection designed to increase awareness of and help support the on-going work of MADD. This compilation features songs by Yanni, America, Carly Simon, Lorrie Morgan, Jim Brickman, Janis Ian, and more!

Why wait for Mother's or Father's Day to show you love them? Order this special album today @ or call toll-free, 1-888-64W-HILL, (1-888-649-4455). Order now through June 30th and receive a free exclusive Windham Hill gift box with each HONOR THEM ALL CD ordered.

Las Vegas After Dark Video With America

The recent Las Vegas After Dark interview with America will soon be available for sale from the America Home Page. It is the entire 30 minute show, with America appearing on the Celebrity spotlight section..The price for the tape is $19.95 plus $3. shipping and handling.

Run for the Roses......And the Winner Is.......America Song Tournament

By the narrowest of margins, just ONE vote, "Sister Golden Hair" edged out "Ventura Highway" in the America Song Tournament. The tournament began with 128 AMERICA songs, randomly picked and paired. The winning song from each pair proceeded to the next round until just two songs remained. Though one vote separated the two finalists, both songs were declared winners! It is interesting to note that of the final two songs, one was a Beckley tune and the other was a Bunnell tune.

A HUGE round of applause for Steve Lowry and Mark McVey for the brilliant idea, for developing and skillfully executing the tournament, and for tabulating the votes.

A "Just For Fun" song tournament is currently underway on the America Fans web page. The finalists are "All My Life" and "Sister Golden Hair". But you better hurry to cast your ballot for one of these two songs because voting ends at midnight on May 3, 1998.

Peace/Dan Peek Update

Brian Gentry from Peace reports that the song "Windfall" from the self titled Peace CD has been chosen to be released as a single, and that Dan, Ken, and Brian are very busy in the recording studio. This CD is available on the Peace home page, and is outstanding, along with the "Stronger Than You Know" CD!!

Other possible single release is Dan's beautiful song, "Summer Rain" from the "Peace" CD. Also, for those of you who have written in requesting where to purchase Dan Peek's solo albums, this should help.............. Word has just come out from Thoughtscape Records today that Dan Peek's first two solo albums, All Things Are Possible and Doer Of The Word, are going to be released on CD in May. They are currently accepting pre-orders for the CDs. For more info, check out their website at:

In matters related to Dan Peek, producer Chris Christian's 1981 album is now also available from Thoughtscape.

Also, the One Way Records web site still claims that the America's Capitol CDs will be released in 1998. They admit that they've had some problems and had to slow down production of new CDs and abandon certain projects, but America is still slated to move ahead. Their website is:

Dan Peek In Concert Review

Subject: Dan Peek Review Submitted by:

How about a Dan Peek concert review about 19 years after the fact? I was in my senior year at Western Kentucky University (go Hilltoppers!) in late 1979. "All Things Are Possible" had just hit the charts and Dan Peek was doing a one-man tour to promote it. To be honest, at that time I was still mad at Dan for leaving my favorite group. I still remember the shock I felt when I found out he had left. Back in 1978 I had purchased the "Live" album, opened it up and started reading the liner notes. I remember finding the pictures of Dewey and Gerry then flipping the liner over several times looking for a picture of Dan. But no Dan was to be found. Then I noticed that there were no Dan Peek songs on the album! The shock set in. Dan had left. I felt personally betrayed. I heard nothing else about Dan until the following year when I saw a flier from a Christian student group that was sponsoring a Dan Peek concert on campus (a state university could not sponsor a concert by a Christian performer, but it could sponsor a Seals & Croft concert in which they openly push the Bhia faith, a double standard? but I digress). I wondered why a Christian group would be sponsoring a Dan Peek concert? Then I heard "All Things Are Possible" on the radio. I went to several record stores looking for a Dan Peek album to no avail. Then I happened to be walking off campus and walked in front of a Christian bookstore that had the album displayed in the window. I didn't buy it, I was still resentful. Then the day of the concert came. I wasn't planning on going, I thought the $5 ticket price too steep, but that was just an excuse because I was still mad at Dan. Then I ended up going to the concert because a girl I knew wanted to go (and some people still have the nerve to say that men rule the world). Dan came out and sat at a piano and started playing and singing. He sang many songs from the "All Things Are Possible" album and several of his America songs. Between some songs he would tell stories about them and about his life experiences. I remember a story he told before doing "Don't Cross The River." He said the song was inspired by a story his Grandfather told him when he was a boy. When his Grandfather was young he decided to swim across a river near his home. He jumped in and began swimming. He began to struggle when he had gotten just past the half way point. Then when he was almost to the other side, he realized he wasn't going to make it, the river was just too wide; he couldn't make the last few feet. so he had to turn around and go back (collective groan from the audience). He also told why he left America. He said he had actually become a Christian as a boy, but as he grew into adulthood and became a rock star he basically left Christianity behind. But he soon found that he felt something was lacking in his life. He tried everything from drugs, and alcohol, to eastern religions but nothing satisfied him or brought him inner peace. He then decided to had to return to Christ. To quote from the article "I knew that no matter what I'd done, I could repent and God would accept me." At that point I forgave Dan for leaving my favorite group. I understood he left because of convictions and not because of a petty dispute. During the intro for "Love Was Just Another Word" he said the song was very special to him because it was the last song he did with Dewey and Gerry. The concert was a very enjoyable and changed my attitude about Dan. I'm glad I attended. Needless to say I went out and bought his album. It also gave me insight into some of Dan's America songs. Several of them have Biblical allusions (as do some of Dewey's and Gerry's) like "Donkey Jaw," "Jet Boy Blue" (thief in the night), and "Hurricane" (some will be taken, some will remain). I understand Dan, but I would still love to see a reunion.

Website Of The Week

Recently, AMERICA's home pages were honored as "Website of the Week". Here is the announcement that was on Bob Shannon's web site (

America A page with a name: America Fans Home Page, of course...Actually, there are two pages that work together to provide a unique experience for America fans worldwide. Among the highlights: a list of all 168 of their songs, with lyrics for each one! Steve Lowry and Rick Wahlgren have done a great and thorough job; there's so much here, it's mind-boggling. Includes newsletters, t-shirts, MIDIs of America songs, a photo album, links, and news on America's latest CD.


Zeroing In On That Elusive Silent Letter

OK........we may be getting closer to finding sources for the highly acclaimed....but hard to get Silent Letter. Read on for details.............

from: "Warren C. Rivera" <>

Subject: Cassette availability of Silent Letter recording

I just received a cassete version of "Silent Letter", apparently made in Italy. It was my understanding that it was hard to find this recording. If anyone is interested, I ordered it from "Harvard Square Records", for $7.00 plus S and H. Their number is 617-868-3385, and the item number is CA3989, label IGD.

And...........keep on reading............

From: Subject: Silent Letter

I spoke with Frank Robertson from One Way Records today (4/24/98) at 3:23 PM EST. I asked him for an update on the release of Silent Letter on CD. He said (this is a direct quote) "Probably within the next 60 days". Just in case, his phone number is 518-489-3288. This is great news - 2 America CDs in the next couple of months!

Oh yeah, it's real important to keep one thing in mind. I'm just the messenger... if he's wrong PLEASE don't shoot ME! I'll call him again REAL soon.

Marching To America

After reading the following note, it makes me want to dust off my old trumpet and join Caleb Nelson's marching band............... I have been given the "task" of arranging a marching band show featuring America's music. If you have any suggestions for programming, I'd sure appreciate them. Right now, I have a proposed order:

Opener: "A Horse With No Name" (with intro from "America Live" Album) Technical Piece: "Old Man Took" Ballad: "All My Life" Closer: "The Border"

Regards, Caleb Nelson

America in TV Guide and Guitar World

If you missed the article featuring America in TV Guide, you can read it all at: America: TV Guide Article The article interviews past winners of the "Best New Artist" category.

AMERICA was also featured in the latest issue of Guitar World - Acoustic with an early color photo of Gerry, Dewey and Dan and some info on "A Horse With No Name".

You Can Own Gerry's Fretlight Guitar!

Optek Music Systems has Gerry's Fretlight guitar for sale from the America Home Page. This guitar was used during the '97 World Tour, and the price is $1500. Check out the page for more info.


Send in your trivia, concert reviews, America memories, opinions, commentaries, etc. for the Spring edition of The Horse's Mouth!!!!!!


Email: (Rick Wahlgren) or (Rick's AOL "handle") or (Barbara Bickmore)

Rick Wahlgren 1717 Matz Road Ferndale, Washington 98248 phone: 360-380-6271

Home Page Sites.................

America Home Page (by Rick Wahlgren)

Classic Rock Band in Pictures (by Ike Gauley)

Fans Across America ... and the World (by Steve Lowry) /america/index.htm

Dan Peek....Peace Home Page: by Rick Wahlgren


AOL America Message Board (this is a *permanent* message board). Gerry and Dewey are AOL members, and read the America message board often.............

1. Keyword mmc (for Musicspace Message Board) 2. Rock/Pop 3. Classic Rock 4. America: Beckley and Bunnell (and you are there!!!!!)

[Winter] [Summer]
Last Revised: 3 Swptember 1998