DEWEY BUNNELL ON THE KELLY LANGE SHOW
KRLA, LOS ANGELES
APRIL 30, 2000
SONG: (VENTURA HIGHWAY)
KELLY: Ventura Highway. You know that song. That’s by America. I’m Kelly Lange and I have on the line with me Dewey Bunnell, the lead singer/songwriter for the group America. Hi, Dewey, how you doing?
DEWEY: Hi, Kelly, how are you?
KELLY: I’m well, thank you. Where exactly are you?
DEWEY: Well, I’m actually in the neighborhood. I’m in the Palos Verdes peninsula here in Southern California.
KELLY: You’re right in town. Is this where you live?
DEWEY: Ah, I do, actually. I live down here with a beautiful woman and her daughter.
KELLY: Perfect. Now, it’s been what, it hasn’t been three decades, has it, since you guys hit? Tell me it hasn’t been three decades.
DEWEY: Yeah, well, we started in 1970.
DEWEY: Gerry Beckley, my partner, and your friend and partner, we were three in the beginning. We went to high school together in England, our dads were in the Air Force.
KELLY: Yeah, you and Dan Peek and Gerry.
DEWEY: That’s right. And we met there over at the U.S. base in 1967. And, you know, we tried to play music, and we were from different walks of life. Dan was from the Midwest—Midwest Missouri. My dad, we had been out here in California, but Gerry had not. His family was from Germany, I mean, had been stationed in Germany. And we ended up meeting in this high school and went to a bunch of concerts in England in the late ‘60s, saw Jimmy Hendrix and the Rolling Stones and did all that.
KELLY: And you were Air Force brats and you started a band back then in high school, huh?
DEWEY: Yeah, we played like dance music and, you know, we were just a teen club act. And then we started writing our own music because we started rearranging songs to get the vocal harmony thing which we always loved—the Beatles, the Beach Boys. So we were trying to apply those harmonies to pop songs that we were in love with in those days, and that’s what kind of led to the songwriting aspect.
KELLY: Right, because you’ve written a lot of them, Dewey.
DEWEY: I wrote that…I tell you what, Ventura Highway, I sing that song a lot better, Kelly, than that sounded. I hate hearing that actually.
KELLY: It was a big hit, Dewey, what do you want? Come on, it was a big hit.
DEWEY: Well I know, but…
KELLY: It’s funny, we just had Helen Reddy here the last hour. Of course we played "I am woman, here me roar" You should have seen her, she’s rolling her eyes and going, "Oh, God, do I have to hear that one more time?"
DEWEY: I met Helen years ago, she probably won’t remember it, it was on a…Paul McCartney gave a party on the Queen Mary, remember down in Long Beach?
KELLY: Wow, Paul McCartney on the Queen Mary. Hey, it sure was fun to live in those days and be young and be happening, huh?
DEWEY: It was. You were probably there, too.
KELLY: Ah, probably was. I probably was.
DEWEY: Everybody was there.
KELLY: I know that your fan club on the Internet is just huge and everybody chats and they just don’t stop. And we’ve got a bunch of people on the lines now, so let’s take a couple of calls, shall we, Dewey?
DEWEY: All right.
KELLY: Okay, this is Jim. Jim, you are on the line from Huntington Beach with Kelly and Dewey. Hi.
KELLY: What’s happening?
JIM: Nice and warm down in Southern California.
KELLY: Gorgeous day here. What’s your question?
DEWEY: Wait, wait, do I know him? Jim? Is that you, Jim?
JIM: Yeah, this is Jim. This is.
KELLY: Uh, oh.
DEWEY: This is my…
JIM: No, I’m just a big fan.
DEWEY: Jim is a cool guy, actually.
KELLY: Really, wait a minute, is he the same Jim that you think he is?
DEWEY: I know he is. I know exactly who Jim is.
KELLY: Give us a clue.
DEWEY: Our guitar tech and Jim are close friends, it’s the same Jim right?
JIM: Ah yeah.
DEWEY: You and Pete.
JIM: Jim, of course, is very very outgoing. He’s exuberant.
KELLY: Talk to us, Jim.
JIM: This is a two-part question. The first one, though is, you know, America has done over twenty albums. And what song or LP is Dewey most proud of that he has written?
DEWEY: Well, you know, it’s funny, it’s a body of work, and all that. And I really feel like the entire catalog, if you will, whatever the terminology is, is important to me, in its entirety. And I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. It would be easier, Jim, to answer which songs I don’t like or I’m not so proud of, there are a handful of those and I won’t go there. But certainly Ventura Highway is an important song.
KELLY: Yeah, and what about when you were 18, you wrote…and then I wrote…
DEWEY: Horse With No Name.
KELLY: A Horse With No Name. I mean, that was just magic.
DEWEY: That put us on the map. We’re always identified, as all musicians and artists are, by your first thing. It’s like first impressions or something. Even the Rolling Stones, speaking of them earlier, they would be thought of, everybody says, Satisfaction or something.
KELLY: I never thought of it that way.
DEWEY: It’s true. You get nailed with whatever that thing is.
KELLY: Yeah, everybody is so surprised with this new talent and you become identified with whatever that first big hit is.
DEWEY: It’s true, we all do that. My friend Bill Mumy, who has written songs with us—Jim. you still there by the way?
KELLY: Yeah, is Bill Mumy the guy that was in…
DEWEY: Lost In Space.
KELLY: And he did the "Cornfield’ episode of…
DEWEY: Of Twilight Zone.
KELLY: Yeah, Twilight Zone.
DEWEY: Yeah, Bill’s been around, Kelly, you know. In fact, wait a minute. I think we have a connection here. Doesn’t your daughter…
KELLY: Yes, my daughter went with Miguel Ferrar for years…
DEWEY: Miguel Ferrar, yeah.
KELLY: Now, see, I didn’t know that.
DEWEY: We are in our own living room, aren’t we?
KELLY: Yes, we are in our own living room, and it’s just us and nobody else can hear us. Yeah, and Billy’s such a fun guy.
DEWEYT: Bill’s a great guy. Bill and I have written songs over the years, and those are the songs that, and this will tie in with Jim’s question, I am so proud of the songs I’ve written with Bill Mumy and they are wonderful songs and they didn’t get the right, as much exposure as the Horse With No Names…
KELLY: Did America do them, Dewey?
DEWEY: Yeah. They’ve been relegated to the Obscure Album Cuts category but they’re beautiful songs and usually late at night when we’re sitting around with a candle lit or something we will put those old records on and listen to those.
KELLY: Boy life is great, isn’t it? Jim, do you have a part two of your question, and if you do can you hang on and we’re going to go to a commercial and then we’ll come back and get it?
JIM: All right, thanks.
KELLY: Okay because guess what we’re going to hear now? Oh, you’re going to love it. Play it, roll it. Because I am talking to Dewey Bunnell who wrote this song when he was 18 years old and that was like 28 years ago. "Horse With No Name," and all of America knew it. Dewey Bunnell, lead singer with America.
SONG: HORSE WITH NO NAME
SISTER GOLDEN HAIR
KELLY: Oh, yeah, be a friend of mine. Sister Gold Hair. Hi, Dewey Bunnell. Dewey Bunnell is on the line and he is, of course, the lead singer with America.
DEWEY: Actually, Kelly, that is my partner Gerry Beckley singing that. My dear friend and partner and fantastic…
KELLY: And you guys have been very very close, and in fact, when Dan left to go and do Christian rock you still remained really really close friends.
DEWEY: Yeah, we’ve never stopped what we’ve done. You know, we’ve been on the road since 1970. In fact, Gerry, as we speak, he and his family are flying back from England, they spent Easter break over there. We had a show, believe it or not, in Morocco, in Amerikush, Morocco, and then, because we were routed through London—both Gerry and I have British roots, you now our mothers are British, and Gerry has a beautiful cottage over there—so he and his wife and his youngest son…
KELLY: It’s a great life, isn’t it? And you’ve got to be proud of going all over this world and have the name America. You guys came up with that. How did you do it? I mean, it seems very simple,
DEWEY: It’s kind of generic, isn’t it?
KELLY: It’s great.
DEWEY: We got a lot of mileage out of it. I think names, Kelly, really in the end, don’t mean as much after the music establishes itself. It’s like, Pink Floyd or whoever…
KELLY: I don’t know. America, what a great name.
DEWEY: But then the music is what carries the act.
KELLY: Yeah, because if the music wasn’t there nobody’s going to know the name. Hey, we still have Jim on the phone, don’t we? Jim, are you there?
JIM: Yes. I’m still there.
KELLY: Dewey? You’re still there, Dewey?
DEWEY: Uh, huh.
KELLY: I’m not sure if I did this wrong. Okay…So Jim, you had another question didn’t you?
JIM: Yes, a little adjustment to the question, but I hope this is okay. Dewey is one of the most prolific songwriters of our time, and I’ve always wondered, you know, who are the musicians that he admired?
DEWEY: Well, I mean, our own core group is a wonderful bunch of musicians and we knock around together and we play 150, 160 shows a year, all over the world.
DEWEY: And so I would have to go there first, right away. Willie Leacox, our drummer, he’s been with us for 25 years. Michael Woods on guitar, Brad Palmer on bass, and Gerry and myself. That’s our five-piece band.
KELLY: Okay, now, having said that, the acts, the groups you admired…
DEWEY: Well. Of course I’m a huge fan of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Carl…
KELLY: Right, I figure it’s got to be the harmony gangs, right?
DEWEY: Carl was a dear friend of ours. The Beach Boys in general have been sort of mentors of ours and we have toured with them endlessly over the years and those summers were always wonderful for us. The Beatles. George Martin produced us, as some of you listeners will remember.
KELLY: Right, and he produced the Beatles.
DEWEY: Yes he did. He did every record of the Beatles from day one. And he did six, seven albums of ours. And he’s a dear friend of ours, of course he’s now retired and he’s been knighted.
KELLY: What about Jan and Dean, were they before your time?
DEWEY: We worked with Jan and Dean a lot. I think I would lump them in with the whole Southern California…
DEWEY: aspect. I’ve always loved guitar players, so I always go with Mark Knopfler, or Jimmy Hendrix, or Santana, or Eric Clapton. I love guitar players. I like that kind of solo guy with his guitar.
KELLY: And when you were kids and you were going to high school at Central High in London, you and Gerry, Dewey, were you listening to American music, too, were you listening to the Beach Boys?
DEWEY: Well, we actually had this wonderful sort of mix of both in the late ‘60s because the U.S. Air Force base would bring in records that weren’t happening in England, you know like the Doors and Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night, bands like that they hadn’t really broke in England. So we had like the British bands, groups like Yes or King Crimson, they were just starting in England, we’d hear those, and then we’d hear those American bands. So we had this wonderful little soup there at the U.S. Air Force base.
KELLY: Ummm, what a great time that was.
DEWEY: It really was.
KELLY: Jim, I want to thank you. We’re going to send you a CD, not that you need one, but we’re going to send it to you anyway. You now I’ve got to take some phone calls quicker.
DEWEY: So long, Jim, good talking to you, buddy.
KELLY: Bye, Jim.
DEWEY: Thanks for calling in.
KELLY: I already cut him off. I’m sorry, Dewey. He’s gone. You’ll see him tonight at dinner.
DEWEY: He’s a nice guy
KELLY: He is a nice guy. Okay, we have, let’s see, this is Kate. Hi, Kate, in Sun Valley, you’re talking to Kelly and Dewey.
KATE: Hi, Kelly. Hi, Dewey. How’s it going?
DEWEY: Hi, Kate.
KATE: Hi, I have two questions for Dewey. Okay, Dewey, I hear rumors about solo albums from you. Is that true or is that just…?
DEWEY: You know, I never really…Gerry’s got a solo album. It’s called Van Go Gan. See Gerry’s a lot, dare I say, more prolific? But he works more, he has a lot of stuff in the can. You know, I write ten songs a year, Gerry writes 30. I think it’s a question of an outlet or a need. I don’t…
KELLY: Yeah you’re down on the beach with a beautiful woman and her beautiful daughter and you’re having a good time.
DEWEY: I’m with my Penny and her daughter (?). But, um, yeah, that’s a good point. I’m out here, like, hosing down the pool area and stuff today. But, no, Kate, I don’t think, you know, a solo album…in the early days, 60s, 70s, you know Neil Young would do a solo album, or whatever, we’d aspire to that. But I love my band, America,
KELLY: Ah, you’re so…
KELLY: Edward, hi. Edward, you’re on the air with Kelly and Dewey. Are you there?
ED: I’m here definitely. This is Eddie, Dewey, how’s it going.
EDDIE: Pretty good, how are you.
DEWEY: Not too bad.
KELLY: This is a guy calling from Chisolm, Minnesota, do we know who he is?
DEWEY: What? You’re calling from Minnesota?
EDDIE: Yeah, we got to watch fireworks with you and Gerry, last Fourth of July in Duluth.
DEWEY: Oh, yeah, yeah,
EDDIE: You both were so gracious to us, and you signed some photos.
DEWEY: Remember it was raining, wasn’t it? It was a bad day.
EDDIE: That was a big thunderstorm. But I did get to hear Wednesday Morning, so that was pretty good.
DEWY: Yeah, nobody knows that song, but you, frankly.
EDDIE: Oh, it’s fantastic. I think Human Nature is just a fantastic CD.
DEWEY: Thank you.
EDDIE: I play it all the time, and Hourglass also.
DEWEY: Kelly might not even know this, but those are our two original material albums from the last sort of eight years, I guess.
KELLY: Wow. Well I’m still reeling over the fact that he got wind of this in Chisolm, Minnesota. We’ve got a big signal, but…
DEWY: It must be the old Internet, dare I say.
EDDIE: Yeah, the Internet. My wife’s probably going to kill me because of the phone call, but…
DEWEY: We have the best guys, Kelly, on the Internet. We have a guy named Steve Lowry he runs this page, it’s wonderful, he’s out of Utah. We have, you know Jimnac…
KELLY: If any of our listeners want to get in on the chat rooms, how do they do it? What’s the www dot what?
DEWEAY: Well we have kind of a generic site called ventura highway dot com, but that’s kind of just a link over to the fan’s page. And that’s where it’s all happening.
KELLY: And from there you’ll find your way. Okay, hey, thank you very much for calling, Edward, and we can listen to the Tin Man.
EDDIE: Can I?
KELLY: Yes, quickly.
EDDIE: I understand there’s a box set coming out?
DEWEY: Pardon me. Say it again?
EDDIE: I understand there’s a box set coming out, and I was wondering if…
DEWEY: Yes, exactly. That’s our big excitement right now. We’ve been bouncing around and debating the title. We have a three-CD box set coming out this summer on Rhino Records. Rhino are good people, they’ve always been, we’ve been close to them.
KELLY: They’re yelling it me. I’ve got to go. Box set, we’ll talk more about it and you can hear more about it on the Internet. Bye, Edward.
EDDIE: Bye, thank you.
DEWEY: Bye, Edward.
KELLY: I’m Kelly Lange. I’ve got Dewey Bunnell, and they’re yelling at me to get off the air and let the commercial run, so here it is. Give us a call. 520-5752.
SONG: TIN MAN
KELLY: Lonely People. The great sounds of America, and I’ve got the lead singer, Dewey Bunnell, on the line from glorious Southern California.
DEWEY: Kelly, every time you play a song, it’s not me singing.
KELLY: Yeah, but your voice is in there
DEWEY: That’s Dan Peek actually singing.
KELLY: Oh, is that Dan Peek?
DEWEY: I’m a lead singer. It’s funny when you have a three-piece, or we’re known as a three-piece, we’ve been actually a two-piece as you’ve noted for about…
KELLY: Well maybe it’s the name Dewey. You know it’s such a great name and everybody knows your name, Dewey. Anyway, how’s Dan doing, by the way?
DEWEY: Dan’s doing great. We’re not in touch as much as, you know, people might wish. But…Dan is a born-again Christian.
KELLY: He’s reinvented himself and he’s doing what he wants to do.
DEWEY: That’s right.
KELLY: He’s got a great voice.
DEWEY: He and his wife, Cathy, have a place down in the Cayman Islands, which is interesting.
KELLY: Nice place to live.
DEWEY: Of course, they’re based in Missouri.
DEWEY: And everything’s cool.
KELLY: And we’re hearing him right now on Lonely People.
DEWEY: Hey, by the way, that last call in from Minnesota…
KELLY: Yes? Edward?
DEWEY: It triggered my need, if you don’t mind, to acknowledge my dear friends, Donna and Chet, who are out here in Southern California from Wisconsin.
DEWEY: Hi, Donna. Hi, Chet. Nice to have you here.
KELLY: Hi, Donna. Hi, Chet. It’s Kelly and Dewey. You’ve got friends and fans all over the place, and right now you’ve got one on the line. Her name is Carole.
CAROLE: Hi. How are you?
KELLY: Hi, Carole, you’re on with Kelly and Dewey.
CAROLE: Okay, I have two things to say. One…
CAROLE: It’s great to talk to Dewey because I grew up with those songs.
KELLY: Of course you did.
CAROLE: What memories.
CAROLE: You’re playing them now.
KELLY: And we can remember what guy we were with when one of them was, you know?
CAROLE: I know.
DEWEY: Some of our love songs, especially the ones Gerry wrote of course, I Need You and All My Life and stuff, are sort of mushy romantics.
KELLY: I love those.
CAROLE: I just got chills.
KELLY: You know, we chicks, who love those, Dewey…
CAROLE: It really works.
DEWEY: Heck, I love them too. It’s nice, that part of the show, when we play the ballads—I Need Yous and Three Roses and songs that get the heart warm…
KELLY: Oh, I love that one, you know what? I love that one so much we’re going to play it, in the next break we’ll find I Need You.
CAROLE: And, Kelly, I wanted to tell you and your producers that you have a great show.
KELLY: Thank you.
CAROLE: You’re welcome. And the reason is, because, I’m a talk radio buff, I’ve been listening to talk radio in Chicago since I was two-years old. And, to have guests like you do, in all the different areas, creative areas and the entertainment industry, it’s a one-of-a kind show.
DEWEY: Carole, that’s a good point. I was going to thank you too, Kelly, for having me because we’ve been aware of you for many years in LA.
KELLY: Well, God bless, we grew up simultaneously here in Southern California. I know you’ve got a big tour coming up, were going to talk about that too. Hey, you know what, Carole? We’re going to send you…
DEWEY: See how she deferred that whole thing? We were trying to give you an accolade, kid.
KELLY: Oh, well, see.
KELLY: I’m Irish and I’m your humble talk show host. Anyway, you know what, Carole? We’re going to send you a CD.
CAROLE: Oh, thank you.
KELLY: The Greatest Hits CD,
CAROLE: Thank you.
KELLY: How about that?
CAROLE: I’ll keep having chills then.
KELLY: You can sit there having chills.
CAROLE: Thank you. Bye bye
CAROLE: You betcha.
DEWEY: See you down the line, Carole.
KELLY: And we’ve got Joanne on the line. Joanne, oh, Joanne is calling all the way from Long Island, New York. The place of my birth. And I guess your Internet group is so powerful, Dewey. Hi, Joanne.
JOANNE: Hi, Kelly, how are you?
KELLY: I’m well, and we’ve got Dewey right here.
JOANNE: Hi, Dewey. How are you?
DEWEY: Hi, kiddo.
JOANNE: How’s everything?
DEWEY: Pretty good, how’s it going in…Long Island? What are you, three hours later? What time is it there? It’s like pushing ten…
KELLY: I know. It’s the Internet. They all knew you were coming on. Where in Long Island? I was born in Flushing. Where are you?
JOANNE: Saint James, on the north shore.
KELLY: The north shore.
KELLY: On the north shore. Okay, what’s your question for Dewey, Joanne?
JOANNE: Well, I have about a hundred of them, but I’ll only keep it to one.
KELLY: Gosh, okay.
JOANNE: One Morning, it was on Silent Letter, was it written for anyone?
DEWEY: Actually, see there’s one of those obscure album cuts. No, it was kind of about, you know, the pauses between all the excitement in the road. When you’re always touring and you’re travelling and you’re playing shows and you’re recording albums and you’re on TV shows. That song was kind of about what you do when you’re just kind of home and you sit down for a minute. They lyric is, "One morning when the mist came down…
DEWEY: …I woke up early… " And it’s kind of like, what you would do…
KELLY: Who wrote it, Dewey?
JOANNE: He did.
DEWEY: I wrote that one. Yes I did indeed. That’s probably why it wasn’t a big hit.
JOANNE: Oh, stop it.
KELLY: Oh, no, don’t say that.
DEWEY: No, I appreciate your even bringing it up, because it was a sweet song and I....
JOANNE: Oh, I love that song.
KELLY: We’re giving you accolades. Boy, we came out of the same school, didn’t we? The humble 70s.
JOANNE: I’d just like to say, if I could just,
KELLY: Yes you can.
JOANNE: This man is a genius when he writes.
KELLY: I know.
JOANNE: He has brought so much into my life, and now into my children’s lives.
JOANNE: I’ve met Dewey a few times after the show and they can’t be more kind… than any other band out there.
KELLY: That’s nice to hear.
DEWEY: You’re not supposed to tell everybody about that.
JOANNE: I can’t help it.
DEWEY: We’re supposed to be rude and obnoxious.
JOANNE: No, they’re not.
KELLY: That is great to hear. Joanne, we’re going to send you a CD so you’ll have it.
KELLY: Not that you don’t have enough already. But thanks for calling us.
DEWEY: Thanks, Joanne, I’ll see you in Long Island.
JOANNE: Dewey, I’ll see you at Westbury.
DEWEY: Good luck to the family.
KELLY: Way down in Long Island. Westbury, we love it, okay.
DEWEY: Oh, yeah, Westbury, that’s where we play a lot.
KELLY: Of course, she knows you from there. Now we’ve got…
DEWEY: Last time we played with Heart.
KELLY: Oh, sure.
DEWEY: The girls from Heart.
KELLY: How are they doing?
DEWEY: They’re doing great.
KELLY: Oh, it’s great.
DEWEY: Nancy and Ann.
KELLY: Nancy and Ann. What was their big big big big hit?
DEWEY: They had a bunch.
KELLY: Oh, they had a bunch.
DEWEY: (SINGING FALSETTO) Crazy on you.
KELLY: Oh, yeah…
KELLY: Good one, Dewey.
DEWEY: Oh, that’s terrible. If they heard that they’d say, "Dewey, would you shut up?"
KELLY: Dewey, give us a break. We’ve got Kevin. He’s in Annapolis, Maryland. Hi, Kevin, you’re on with Kelly and Dewey.
DEWEY: Kevin, we’re coming to Annapolis.
KEVIN: Hey, how are you? Thanks for talking my call.
KELLY: No kidding, you’re going to Annapolis?
DEWEY: Yeah, we’re going to be there next week or something, wait....
KEVIN: In about three weeks. I’ll be there.
DEWEY: I’ve actually got my computer up. I know I’m playing…where am I going to be? Annapolis? On May 18th.
KELLY: All right.
DEWEY: 17th we’re in DC. 7th we’re in Houston. 4th we’re in Miami. I’ve got the whole deal here.
DEWEY: We were just in Amerikush.
KELLY: Wow. You better have the whole deal on computer or you’ll never know where you’re going to be.
DEWEY: I know.
KELLY: So, what’s your question, Kevin?
KEVIN: I had a couple quick questions. The Internet site, on one of the Internet sites that’s out there, the one that your management company has, are you guys going to be developing that any more, or...
DEWEY: Well, you know, we’re kind of, we’re always a day late and a dollar short in our band. We kind of missed the MTV thing. But we’re trying to get it up. We’ve got these wonderful guys running the site presently. But we want to have a site where we can offer, you know, like the lady earlier said, if I was going to do a solo album, well, I wouldn’t do a real solo album…
KEVIN: You need to do that, by the way.
DEWEY … but I might offer up songs on the Internet you could download or something like that. But I’m not answering your question. We’re going to get there. Bear with us. We’re going to try to use this whole new resource as best we can.
KELLY: And, boy, what a millennium it is.
DEWEY: And tee shirts and hats too.
KELLY: All that stuff. Can he go back stage and say hi to you in Annapolis?
DEWEY: Anytime, yeah.
KELLY: He’ll be Kevin.
DEWEY: We’re pretty…as long as we’re not overwhelmed, which we’re not generally.
KEVIN: Well, I have tickets also to see you at the Birchmere in July which is in Virginia. I’m looking forward to that.
DEWEY: That’s a great little venue, too. We play so many different venues, big shows, little shows, fairs, casinos, whatevers. That Birchmere one and the one in Annapolis I think are going to be pretty intimate as they say.
KEVIN: Yeah, the Rams Head is an excellent club. Dewey, my other question was, there was a poll on the Internet a couple of weeks ago about some songs that the fans would like to see you add to the set, and they narrowed it down to two, how soon are you guys looking to implement that?
DEWEY: Well, we actually took that to heart and we pulled out three songs. A song called, Wind Wave, we’re doing, which is from the third album. I forget the other ones…
KEVIN: What about Sleeper Train?
DEWEY: …All My LIfe. Gerry does All My Life anyway.
KEVIN: Any shot of any more of the stuff from Hourglass being added to the set.
DEWEY: You know, I don’t think so, to be honest. Hourglass was, you know, Young Moon was a great song, but it’s difficult to do live. It’s important with a five-piece band that we can perform those songs and do them justice. If we’re leaving things out, then it’s not fair to you, the listener, or the fans.
KEVIN: Well, you guys are wonderful. I love you.
KELLY: You are wonderful. And Kevin and Dewey, I promised you I Need You. Here it is. We’re going to take a break and we’re going to send you a CD, Kevin. So you hang on the line, I’ll put you on hold.
DEWEY: Thanks, Kevin.
KELLY: I’ve got Dewey Bunnell, who is one of the lead singers of America. I was calling him the lead singer and he just said, "no, no, no, no. I’m just one of the voices."
DEWEY: Perfect, Kelly.
KELLY: We’ll get it. But, I just think you’re fabulous, we’re going to hear you sing. This is you, isn’t it?
DEWEY: No, that’s Gerry.
DEWEY: You’re not playing…you did Horse With No Name and Ventura Highway.
KELLY: I think they’re all you. If we’re not playing it, we’ll get to yours next.
DEWEY: No, you’re doing Gerry.
KELLY: This is I Need You, another huge hit. I’m Kelly Lange with Dewey Bunnell, who loves Gerry and Dan Peek. And to get in on this, talk to Dewey, and get a CD for yourself, give us a call. No area code necessary. 520-5752.
SONG: I NEED YOU
KELLY: It’s the Sandman. It’s the Sandman, Dewey Bunnell.
DEWEY: It is the Sandman.
KELLY: See, I told you, I promised you…
DEWEY: Hey, Kelly, I wanted to say, you reminded me, my friends Kelly and Steve (?), down there in Orange County, they go to the Cat.
KELLY: They go to the Cat?
DEWEY: They do.
KELLY: All right. Hey, we gotta to go to the Cat.
DEWEY: They’re always in there. We can’t drag them out of there, you know.
KELLY: It’s hard. We can’t drag you out of the Palisades.
DEWEY: Where am I? I’m down in Palos Verdes.
KELLY: You’re down in Rancho Palos Verdes. Absolutely so beautiful. Now listen, I promised you we’d play one that you’re singing. And this is the one…
DEWEY: Yeah that’s me. You’re right. Thank you. I did sing that one.
KELLY: This is you. You sang this one. You also wrote it, by the way.
DEWEY: I did, I did.
KELLY: Dewey Bunnell. That’s who you’re hearing
DEWEY: I’m very famous. People used to like me.
KELLY: He’s very famous. He’s lead singer, I’m not saying THE lead singer anymore, because he jumped on me because he love Gerry, he loves Dan. Lead singer for America.
DEWEY: We’re a very loving band.
KELLY: And by the way, you are, you are. Well, you know what? Don’t even treat that lightly because so many of the groups and the bands that we knew and loved, they ended up killing each other.
DEWEY: Yeah that’s true. You know, I love your shows by the way because you think about the way we all live and we live day to day.
KELLY: We do.
DEWEY: And we have to be nice…
KELLY: We do.
DEWEY: …to each other. And your women’s show is really great.
KELLY: You promised you’d come on.
DEWEY: I love women, by the way.
KELLY: I know you do.
DEWEY: I’m kind of a girl guy.
KELLY: We know you do, we love that. And by the way, we’re giving away two pair of tickets to the America concert in Saratoga, California, that one is on July 23rd.
DEWEY: That’s a great show, by the way.
KELLY: Oh, it’s so great because you’re at that beautiful winery.
DEWEY: That’s right.
KELLY: An absolutely historic winery in Saratoga.
DEWEY: I’m a tea-totter, but I love watching people drink wine.
KELLY: Oh, you have to love it. Were you always a tea-totter?
DEWEY: Actually, I’m not a tea-totter.
KELLY: Oh, okay.
DEWEY: But I have a sip now and them. I’m a wine taster.
KELLY: You’re a wine taster. Because, you mention Three Dog Night, and I had Chuck Negron on this show, talk about reinventing himself.
DEWEY: We call the other two guys, One Dog Light.
KELLY: One Dog Light, yeah. And he wrote a book called, One Dog Nightmare.
DEWEY: I know. Boy, that’s a tough book.
KELLY: Aye ay ay.
DEWEY: We were around them all during those days.
KELLY: But you never really, you guys, you three, you never really never go into heavy duty drugging and drinking and all of that, did you?
DEWEY: You mean I didn’t tell you, Kelly?
KELLY: No, and you don’t have to tell me now, either.
KELLY: You really didn’t.
DEWEY: In many ways we’ve have tough avenues that we go down and come back up. Not our band, particularly. Chuck had a tough time. We all…
KELLY: Chuck had a terrible time. Chuck was in an abandoned building in downtown LA…
DEWEY: Oh, I know.
KELLY: …lying there on a hard piece of cardboard. And they’re all saying, "Yeah, you’re not Chuck Negron."
DEWEY: Frankly, because he’s such a strong man, physically, and a big strong man, I think that’s what saved him.
KELLY: I do too. That, and God. He says the grace of God. Hey, listen, I’m going to get assassinated if I don’t get to some of these callers. And by the way, we’re going to put everybody who called in and even those hanging on the line, we’re going to put them in a hat and pick out for the two pairs of tickets to the America concert in Saratoga.
DEWEY: In Saratoga. That’s cool.
KELLY: So, let’s go quickly to John in Gilroy. John in Gilroy, California.
DEWEY: Gilroy, the garlic capital.
JOHN: There you go.
DEWEY: Hey, man.
KELLY: Hi there, John. You’re on with Kelly and Dewey.
JOHN: Oh, thanks a lot. Hey, Dewey, it’s really a pleasure to talk to you. I’ve been a big fan of America’s from the Horse With No Name days, so…
DEWEY: Thank you.
JOHN: …this is a big thrill for me. Actually, one of the questions I had dealt with Villa Montaya, and I’ll get to that in just a second. Are you guys going to be putting out anything new, any new stuff?
DEWEY: Well, we’ve got a lot of new material. We always do. Gerry and I both write, and as writers you’re always kind of amassing a song here and a song there. The only new thing, as we alluded to earlier, we do have a box set coming out this summer on Rhino records. Three CDs. 64 songs. As Gerry says, the legal limit for America music. But it should be a nice retrospective of 30 years in the business. And that will
DEWEY: But as for new material, we’re always looking for someone to put it out. I think we’re going to probably end up uploading new material in the future. In the next ten years most of it you’ll get for free.
KELLY: Oh, wow.
DEWEY: It’s just, oh there’s a new Dewey song, a new Gerry song.
KELLY: That’s a whole new world out there, isn’t it? John, thank you very much.
JOHN: Can I ask one more?
KELLY: No we got more calls and we got three minutes. But we’re going to send you a CD, so…
JOHN: Thank you.
KELLY: We’re going to go to Virginia. Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. You’re on the line from Silicon Valley. Hi, Gin.
VIRGINIA: I’m just up the road from Gilroy in Morgan Hills.
KELLY: All right.
KELLY: What’s on your mind? You’re talking to Dewey.
VIRGINIA: Hi, Dewey. I just want to ask a question about the song, Pages.
DEWEY: Pages? Wow, that’s a…
VIRGINIA: It’s such a departure from your usual songs. And it’s one of my favorites and I was just curious about the inspiration to that song.
DEWEY: Well, it’s about reading. If you listen to the whole lyric, as you must have,
VIRGINIA: Oh, yeah.
DEWEY: It’s about reading. We all, especially on the road, the guys and us, we always end up as we get older and older and gnarlier and longer in tooth we spend a lot more time alone or in our rooms or in our bus bunks or wherever we are, reading. We read a lot, and I think, as you will note from the lyric, it’s all about reading. That you can find anything you want in books. You can fantasize. You can, you know, ahhh…
KELLY: You sure can.
DEWEY: That’s the whole point of it. I’m not on a soapbox about reading.
KELLY: No, but, you know what? I was doing a seminar at the great LA Times Book Festival yesterday and they get, you know, a hundred-and-fifty thousand people going through there and everyone of them are thrilled with reading and that’s so good to see, you know?
DEWEY: Yeah, it really is.
KELLY: Kids books, everything.
DEWEY: It’s a physical thing. We have to do this. It’s like something…we can watch TV, we can listen to music, but you have to actually open a book and physically do this thing called reading.
KELLY: You sure do.
DEWEY: And I think inevitably it’s going to be a lost form of learning and entertainment.
KELLY: Virginia, thanks very much. We’re going to send you a CD. And we’ve got time for one more quickie and we’ve got Deb. Deb is in Illinois. Hi, you’re on the air with Kelly and Dewey.
DEWEY: Hi, Deb.
DEB: Hi, Dewey. I saw you first in Bettendorf, Iowa, last summer.
DEWEY: Oh, yeah, Bettendorf, Iowa.
DEB: And I want to tell you Gary from Houston says hi.
DEWEY: Hello as well.
KELLY: Okay, Do you have a question real quick, Deb?
DEB: Yeah, I was wondering what the inspiration was for you writing Pigeon Song?
DEWEY: Oh, my God. That was a one-off thing. It’s on the first album. Gerry and Dan had done a couple songs by themselves and I wasn’t part of them. I just played an acoustic guitar and I said, "Hey can I go out there with an open mic?" And I had written this little ditty, "I had me a pigeon, by the name of Fried, but I done shot him in the head." It went on and on and on. And it was more or less, how do you say? a novelty song. But it has meaning as the years go on.
KELLY: Thank you very much, Deb. You take care.
DEB: Thank you.
KELLY: You’re in the hat for the concert tickets and we’ll also send you a CD. Do we have time for Jenny? We don’t have time for Jenny. Okay…Oh, gosh. So many calls, everybody loves you, Dewey. Tell you what, promise me you’ll come back?
DEWEY: Kelly, thank you so much for having me. I mean, we love you down here in the peninsula.
KELLY: I know, in the good life you’re having down there. But you’ll come back, right?
DEWEY: You know it. Anytime.
KELLY: Promise me.
DEWEY: Give me a call.
KELLY: So that was Dewey Bunnell. We love him. And here’s Ventura Highway. And we’ve picked two winners. Here they are. Kevin Sutton from Dallas is going to get to go to the concert at the winery, if he wants to come out, and you know he’s going to want to. And Jenny Lindsey, Jenny, oh, is that Jenny from Santa Monica? No. Jenny Lindsey from L.A., CA. She didn’t even get on the air, God love her. You know what? She didn’t get on the air but she gets the tickets, so how good is that?
DEWEY: I know.
KELLY: Love you, Dewey
DEWY: Everybody’s welcome.
KELLY: Love you, love you.
DEWY: Love you, love you, Kelly.
KELLY: And here’s Ventura Highway.
SONG: VENTURA HIGHWAY
Last Revised: 19 May 2000