America started out as a trio. I loved this band when I was in high school. One of older girls at school was a ticket scalper and I was able to get front row seats to see America. Eric Carmen opened the show. Love him also. If I remember correctly my friends Linda and Adrienne (sisters and twins) got the seats for Eric and part of America's set and then I switched seats for the rest of the show. I saw them twice at the Nassau Coliseum.
Dan Peek, who was my favorite, died this week. As of now they have not named the cause of death. He provided the high harmony and lead guitar for the trio as well as singing lead on their hit "Lonely People."
Dan left the band in 1977. The road and living a rock star life became too much for him. He became a born again Christian.
The other founding band members Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley has this to say on America's website:
"I am so sorry to learn of Dan’s passing. Dan, along with Gerry and myself, formed the band “America” as teenagers after being great friends in high school during the late 60’s. It was a joyous time for the three of us, full of excitement and laughter. We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined. Dan was an equal and integral part of that early history, and I have never forgotten the good times we spent making that music and learning about life together. Although we eventually went our separate ways, his contributions to the music of “America” have always been present and will last forever. This news brings great sadness. My sincere condolences go out to his wife, Catherine, and the entire Peek family. May Dan rest in peace, and his memory be cherished forever." -Dewey Bunnell
"I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Dans passing. He was a dear friend for many years. Dan and his music will live on in the great songs he shared with us all. My sincere condolences go out to Catherine and the entire Peek family. May he rest in peace...."
In what must be a bittersweet moment for the band, their record Back Pages, which is an album of covers (Beach Boys, Fountains of Wayne) is released today.
America is a big part of my musical tapestry. I love their melodies and harmonies. I loved their song from the film Music and Lyrics. I always wondered what their lyrics were about. Part of the fun was trying to figure out why we "shouldn't give up until we reach for the silver cup and ride that highway in the sky." Now it all makes sense.