Volume 2 No. 6
America Trivia: May Answers
America "Premium Gold Collection" CD Release
America "Horse With No Name" Video CD Release
"Last Unicorn" Video Information
Pittsburgh Concert Review
Ocean City Concert Review
Ocean City and Springfield VA Concert Reviews
Springfield, VA Concert Review
Lancaster, PA Concert Review
Capitol Records Letter-writing Campaign!
Upcoming Concert Schedule
This and That (Letters from Readers)
History: A Look at Past June Concerts
AMERICA TRIVIA: MAY ANSWERS
Congratulations to all of you who correctly identified the famous singers and bands with whom America's bass player, Brad Palmer, previously played. The correct responses were Linda Ronstadt, Stone Pony, and Karla Bonoff (among others!). No one submitted a response in regards to the seventies teen idol with whom Gerry and Dewey worked. The correct answer was David Cassidy. The guys appeared as background vocalists on David's "Home is Where the Heart Is" album. Gerry also co-wrote two songs, "Bedtime" and "Take This Heart." Thanks to JoeShow720@aol.com for that informtion!!
Anyone out there have any more trivia questions we can use? If you can think of something good, send it along to me at: email@example.com!! Thanks!!
AMERICA "PREMIUM GOLD COLLECTION" CD RELEASE
A new compilation of America songs has recently been released. Entitled, "Premium Gold Collection: America," the cd is made in Holland, by EMI Electrola, and is numbered 7243 8 37638 2 5. The liner notes of the cd are in German. Tracks include several America songs previously unreleased on cd, which are marked with an * in the following list. The tracks are: You Can Do Magic, The Border, The Last Unicorn, All My Life, Survival, *Tall Treasures, *One Morning, *Honey, *My Dear, *One In A Million, Right Before Your Eyes, *We Got All Night, *Lady with a Bluebird, Only Game in Town, and several from the 1985 "Live" album: Ventura Highway, Daisy Jane, I Need You, Tin Man, Sister Golden Hair, and Horse With No Name.
If you can't locate this cd at your local music store, it is available by mail from Thoughtscape Sounds, 4801 South 31st, #1, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901. Phone: 800-453-6185 Fax: 501-646-6217. The collection is priced at $23.99 plus $4.00 shipping/handling.
AMERICA "HORSE WITH NO NAME" VIDEO CD RELEASE
Subscriber David Stengle sent in this information about a new video cd release entitled "Horse With No Name." If you have a computer with a cd-rom drive, this is a purchase for you! It's a concert from Radio Bremen in Germany. Also included is a bonus audio cd, so if you only want to HEAR the concert, you can pop that cd into any player. The tracks included are: Ventura Highway, I Need You, Don't Cross the River, Horse with No Name, Moon Song, Lonely People, Wind Wave, Rainbow, Tin Man, California Revisited, and Green Monkey.
The cd also contains a 4-page history of America. It can be ordered from CD Europe, Inc. on the internet.
"LAST UNICORN" VIDEO INFORMATION
"The Last Unicorn" movie, on vhs, is available for $14.95 via Critics Choice, 1-800-367-7765. This is the movie for which America performed on the soundtrack. (Thanks to JimNak@aol.com for this information!)
I've had the video for years....my daughter was very interested in unicorns, so we bought it off the shelf because of the title. Imagine my amazement when we watched it for the first time and I instantly recognized Gerry's voice singing the title track!!
PITTSBURGH CONCERT REVIEW by Lpsalyers@aol.com
May 11, 1996
I made it to the Star Lake Amphitheater around 7:30 pm, near the end of the Atlanta Rhythm Section's set. The trip took 6 hours, including getting lost twice...the temperature was every bit of 32 degrees, not including the wind chill factor and drizzle. Aside from the fact that I couldn't feel my fingers and could see my breath, I was all anticipation...Despite the cold, the guys were PURE PERFECTION!
The set started about 8:00, with "Riverside," "Ventura Highway," "Daisy Jane," and "I Need You," followed by Brad's fine performance on "Lonely People." Gerry told the audience that it was Brad's birthday...again...and the freezing crowd cheered!!! Most of them probably believed that it was!!! The set continued with "Tin Man," "You Can Do Magic," "Sandman," "Sister Golden Hair," finishing with "Horse With No Name." The audience was enthusiastic and participated as much as the cold would allow. I'm sure that Dewey and Gerry realized that we would have been a more active audience if we weren't frozen solid!
The concert was great...well worth the frost-bite...and the guys were fantastic...consumate professionals. I didn't want it to end, and I can't wait until my next opportunity to go again!
OCEAN CITY CONCERT REVIEW
submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org
May 4, 1996
Saturday morning, I drove 200 miles to Ocean City, MD, wondering if it was going to rain all day. But, as I neared Ocean City, the air got warmer and warmer and even the sun broke out. The weather knew that America was coming! I arrived at the Springfest at 12:30 pm, so I had 7 1/2 hours to wait. It was a long wait, but there was a lot to do and see!
Finally, 5 pm arrived...that is when the line began forming, and I was right near the front. We were not allowed into the concert tent until 6:30, but when we were, I got a front row seat! Now only another 1 1/2 hours until the concert! While sitting there, I saw Willie Leacox come out a couple of times. I wasn't fast enough to get his autograph!
The free concert was about to begin. The tent was right on the beach, with the ocean to the left. Eight o'clock sharp, the guys came out on stage and moved right into "Riverside," the first song on their first album. Everyone was dressed casually, except Dewey, with his white shirt and black-gold vest (although perhaps that's casual for him!) Their second song was "Ventura Highway." The whole audience roared with their approval. They applauded even more when their third song, "Daisy Jane," was played. After that song ended, Dewey mentioned for those unfamiliar with them that they had been doing this for 26 years. Then he said, "This next one is for all the lovers in Ocean City, so snuggle up on the Boardwalk" and Gerry launched into "I Need You." Gerry said they'd flown in from California last night, and they had nothing to do but fly back, so they'd play almost everything they knew from their first to their latest. With that, they played "Mirror to Mirror," from "Hourglass." I was hoping they'd play "Hope" and "Young Moon" too!
Brad Palmer was introduced as the "rookie," being with the band for only fifteen years, and also as a birthday boy. The band took a vote whether to let him sing, but Brad insisted anyway! He sang "Lonely People." Then they sang a song from their first album done with George Martin, "Another Try." They did "Three Roses" next, and then "Tin Man."
At this point, someone in the audience yelled out, "Horse With No Name." Dewey laughed and said, "Are you going somewhere? We'll get there." Gerry too, said, "We've got to go by the list, or else we get screwed up, but don't worry, we haven't missed that one for the past 26 years. It is a safe bet." Everyone laughed. Then they played a beautiful "The Last Unicorn," but unfortunately, something went wrong with Michael Woods' guitar, so for a while we didn't hear from him until the end of the song!
Gerry commented that Michael was their fashion consultant, (He was wearing a strange t-shirt) and that he lives in a supposedly cool place in California, but Gerry doesn't know, since Mike never invites him over. With that, they began playing "California Revisited."
They then "talked" Brad into singing "Don't Cross the River," and followed it with "Green Monkey." They introduced the "veteran" of the band, "Free Willie Leacox," and they commented on his nice shirt. Willie started the next song, "You Can Do Magic." During it, a girl came back into the tent with a cup in each hand, and danced back to her seat. After the song ended, Dewey said, "thanks for the dancing goddess. That was nice."
The last two songs were an electrifying "Sandman" and "Sister Golden Hair," which finished off the concert at 9:10 p.m. Of course, the audience wanted an encore, and America obliged. Dewey said, "thanks for making us feel so welcome." "California Dreamin'" and "A Horse With No Name" followed. Dewey wished everyone a "nice spring, a nice summer, and a nice '96" Gerry threw his guitar pick into the audience; unfortunately I didn't get it. Neither did I get an autograph, for the guys headed out immediately....but 20 songs for a free concert, with no rain, was great! The rain came only when I drove home! The weather had held up for America!
OCEAN CITY AND SPRINGFIELD, VA CONCERT REVIEWS submitted by D & S Zehl
May'96 was the month of America for me. I was fortunate enough to see them twice; the first was May 4th at Springfest in Ocean City, MD, the second at Jaxx in Springfield, VA on May 24th. America was the headliner in Ocean City and they were welcomed with the crowd to prove how many people still love to hear them play.
My husband and I got there around 6pm for the 8pm show and there was already a line of about 100 people. When the security staff opened the tent at 6:30 pm, it was a mad dash for the best seats. Senior citizens and young alike sprinted for the first few rows. I haven't laughed so hard in awhile! The tent was full by 7.
At 8 pm, the guys took the stage and though it was a bit cool that evening, warmed the place right up! The show was one of the best I've been to. When it's America and only America up there on stage, in contrast to a two-act show, they take over and bring everyone to life in a way that's nearly impossible to describe. The crowd sang along to each and every song from the classics to the new releases from the "Hourglass" cd. The hour and a half show, as usual, went too fast, and soon they had come and gone, leaving us fans wanting more. Closing the show with "California Dreamin'" and "Horse with No Name" brought the crowd to its feet for that well deserved "thanks, we love you, and good bye"...but, for me, it was "see ya in a few weeks!"
May 24th, Jaxx nightclub was a bit of a different venue from where I've seen America before, but as usual, they brought their terrific music and class to the establishment. The show started around 11:30 pm, a bit later than I think the guys are used to, but they put on one heck of a show regardless! Gerry introduced some "guests of honor" at the show. That kind of brought out the one thing that makes America even better than they were 20+ years ago...the tangible proof that these guys are not only wonderful musicians, but genuinely nice people too!
I'm still dying to catch them playing either "Watership Down," "Inspector Mills," or "Can't You See" at one of their shows.
My husband and I will be celebrating our six year anniversary at Hershey Park in PA in August, so we'll be keeping our fingers crossed at the show there. Usually we're lucky if we get to see one show a year, but since we've discovered the America home page, we've located shows in our area that we normally wouldn't have heard about. A special thanks to Suzanne rfor the updated schedule and venue information e-mails. See you guys in August!!
SPRINGFIELD, VA CONCERT REVIEW submitted by ManOfMuzik@aol.com May 24, 1996
Greetings from the nation's capitol! I saw America in concert at Jazz in West Springfield, VA, a suburb of Washington, DC. Jaxx is a small club with a capacity of maybe only a couple hundred...so it was a great intimate venue for America fans to see "the guys" in action!
Gerry pointed out some relatives in the audience, and Dewey spent a few moments recognizing some friends in the audience from their school days in London.
They performed from 11:15 pm until 1:00 a.m., and all were in excellent form. A lot of smiles and laughs, and it was obvious a good time was had by all...on and off stage! I noticed that "Sister Golden Hair" especially got the crowd going!
LANCASTER, PA CONCERT REVIEW
May 27, 1996
Memorial Day dawned cloudy and rainy, but didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd which started gathering as early as 10 am to see America's show at Long's Park in Lancaster, PA. The show didn't begin until 7:30 pm, so those waiting had a long, cool, rainy afternoon's wait, but they didn't seem to mind!
I greatly enjoyed the show, as always! The audience, kept quite a distance back from the stage by a rope, just couldn't stand it any more and "rushed" the stage during "Sister Golden Hair." Although the security guards were a bit nervous about the "move," the band loved it! Gerry commented after the show that he wished they had moved in a lot sooner! One enthusiastic fan dove in the mud to retrieve Gerry's pick which was thrown into the crowd at the end of the show. He emerged victorious and extremely happy, but looking like a great candidate for a Tide commercial!!
The lousy weather couldn't dampen the spirits of the band, the crowd, or the fireworks, which ended the day's events.
CAPITOL RECORDS LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN!!
For those of you unhappy that many of the Capitol-released America albums are currently unavailable on cd, subscriber John Corbett reminds us that every time we buy an America album from Capitol, be it the "You Can Do Magic" or "Ventura Highway" compilations, or the new "Premium Gold Collection," we are casting a dollar vote in favor of future re-releases. If we all make our voices heard and demonstrate the true following that America still has, maybe we can annoy and badger the record execs until they can't stand hearing from us any more! You can write to Capitol and express your interest in purchasing their catalog of America albums on cd. The address is:
1750 N. Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90028-5274
UPCOMING CONCERT SCHEDULE Here is the latest America Concert Schedule information. Remember, this information is tentative, and is subject to change at any moment. Concerts are continuously being added and deleted, so be sure to check the home page for the most recent schedule available. New information is included for each concert, as we recently obtained the venue information. If you have additional information you could add (phone numbers or ticket information, for example) please send it to me so that I may distribute it to the group. * denotes a show not previously listed.
May 30 Palace Theater, Myrtle Beach, SC
May 31 Starlight Theater, Kansas City, MO
June 1 Riverport Amphitheater, St. Louis, MO
June 14 The Train Shed, Montgomery, AL
June 17 Deauville, France
June 18 Paris, France
June 20 Lehavre, France
June 21 Rouen, France
June 22 Portpondaudener, France
June 28-29 Harvey's Casino, Council Bluffs, IA
July 2 World Invitational Balloon Championship, Battle Creek, MI
July 3 Grizzly Rose, Denver, CO
July 4 Konocti Harbor Resort, Konocti, CA
July 5-6 Horizon Casino Resort, Lake Tahoe, NV
July 10 Red River Opry, Phoenix, AZ
July 12 Star of the Desert Arena, Stateline, NV
July 14 Thornton Winery, Temecula, CA
July 19 *Music in the Zoo, Apple Valley, MN
July 20 Dane County Fair, Madison, WI
July 23 *World Mardi Gras, Indianapolis, IN
July 25 Riverfest, Frame Park, Main Stage, Waukesha, WI
July 26 Dupage County Fair, Wheaton, IL
July 27 Cooper Stadium (after the baseball game), Columbus, OH
July 28 North Star Arena, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
July 29-31 Kewadin Casino, Sault St. Marie, MI
August 1 Freeborn County Fair, Albert Lea, MN
August 2 Clark County Fair, Vancouver, WA
August 3 Trans Financial Balloon Classic, Bowling Green, KY
August 7 Mid-state Fair, Main Stage, Paso Robles, CA
August 9 WFAX River Rocks Series at Town Point Park, Norfolk, VA
August 10 Franklin County Fair, Malone, NY
August 11 The Court Yard at the Mass. Museum of Contemporary
Arts, North Adams, MA
August 16 Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, Peachtree City, GA
August 17 Blockbuster Pavilion, Charlotte, NC
August 18 Walt Disney World, Pleasure Island, Lake Buena Vista, FL
August 22 Woodlands Pavilion, Houston, TX
August 24 Government Center, Boston, MA
August 25 Hershey Park, Hershey, PA
August 27 Shooters, Cleveland, OH
August 28 Grange Fair, Centre Hall, PA
August 29 Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Junction, VT
August 31 Michigan State Fair, Detroit MI
September 1-4 The Ramada Express, The Pavilion, Laughlin, NV
September 7 Grand Junction Hilton Hotel Beergarden, Grand Junction, CO
September 8 *Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, CO
September 9 Tulare County Fair, Tulare, CA
September 23-27 Spain
September 29 *Miller Lite Mainstage, State Fair of Texas, Dallas, TX
October 3 *House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA
October 4 Humphrey's, San Diego, CA
October 5 Ventura, CA
NOTE: Those of you interested in the July 10 concert in Phoenix may need this information. The concert will be held at the Red River Opry in Tempe, AZ. Tickets can be purchased now by calling (602) 829-6779. Top notch tickets cost $30, which includes two free drinks and a free t-shirt, but other tickets are available for $15 (general seating). The Opry seats 1000 people, but tickets are going fast due to intensive advertising on the local 70's radio station. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.
(Thanks to Traci Main for this information!)
THIS AND THAT (LETTERS FROM READERS
The first time I saw America in concert was at Blossom Music Center, an outdoor venue with a pavillion, in the Cleveland/Akron area during the summer of 1976 or 1977. It was my first concert of any kind. I believe Dan Peek had just left the group because I remember they dedicated a song to him. I saw America two more times at that same venue, and once at the Richfield Colliseum nearby. These shows were all before 1982. After a dry spell, I saw them at the Kansas State Fair in 1985, I think, and that was the last time I saw them. At that show, I think that they introduced the parents of Willie Leacox, who lived not too far away. Living in Wichita hasn't really helped in my efforts to keep up with them. I attempted to find out about them when I first logged on eworld a year ago. I posted a note on a music bulletin board asking if anyone had heard anything from America, but to this day I have never received a response. But now I found the America homepage using a Yahoo search and I am in music heaven!! I sure hope they swing by the midwest on this tour!
HISTORY: A LOOK AT PAST JUNE CONCERTS
June 10, 1979 Kansas City Missouri Star
"America, Byrds Trio Blend Old, New" by Paul Hohl
There was more than just a hint of nostalgia in the air Friday night at Memorial Hall as a sell-out crowd of more than 3,100 witnessed a reunion of talents not likely to be seen here in such intimacy again.... McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman, three-fifths of the original Byrds, opened the evening, unveiling a set which, though somewhat commerical in approach, still displayed the unique vocal and instrumental talents which made them seminal forces during rock music of the 60s. America followed, and parlayed its success into a double-header not long to be forgotten...
America proved to be equally as rewarding, though in an entirely different way. The group's material has changed little through the years. It still relies heavily on the vocal harmonies of founding fathers Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell for much of its impact, despite the noticeable absence of Dan Peek, who left the group about two years ago. While the band tries desperately to fill his void with the combined vocal efforts of bassist David Dickey and lead guitarist Michael Woods, the result is not always quite the same and not nearly as pleasant...
Yet both musicians more than compensate through their instruments. This may, in fact, be the biggest asset in America's bid to regain its status of gold-selling mellow rockers. They have assembled a group of outstanding musicians to back their efforts.
Percussionist Tom Walsh leads the way, flailing at everything from vibes and cymbals to a loaf of stale bread he found in the dressing room. Guitarist Michael Woods is not far behind, laying down lead passages with a passion reminiscent of the Starship's Craig Chaquico... Multitalented keyboardist Jim Calire rounds out the group, doubling often and ably on tenor and baritone sax.
The highlight of the set came on tunes from the group's new album, "Silent Letter," such as "The Only Game in Town" and "All Night," which rely less on their harmonies and more on straightforward vocals backed by solid instrumental breaks. Though the audience reacted most to their numerous more familiar hit tunes, the band's greatest hope for regaining the success it once had lies in the instrumental strength of its new material and band...
June 21, 1978 Variety "America and Pure Prarie League"
Nassau Coliseum, New York. For almost two hours of non-stop rocking Thursday, America provided a packed Nassau Coliseum crowd with a history lesson in their successful Warner Brothers disk career. The seven-man band offered selections from all their albums, as well as a few new tunes from an upcoming release.
RCA's Pure Prarie League caught a still arriving audience off guard. The group, in their first Long Island appearance, moved briskly through a well-paced set, but were unable to spark much enthusiasm in a crowd bent on hearing America...
Crowd was psyched for America, greeting them with the flickering flame routine that usually closes rock concerts. Unfortunately, first few numbers were plagued by sound difficulties that gave the band a muffled, muddy beat; the pretty "Muskrat Love" was completely lost in the large Coliseum, with lyrics especially hard to make out. Problems seemed to clear, though, with a topnotch rendition of "I Need You," featuring superb instrumental work by Michael Woods on lead guitar.
...the melodies are progressive and varied, enhanced by arrangments that make them sound much better. Success also lies in the excellent musicianship of all seven band members...America encored with an expected "Horse with No Name," leaving a satisfied, standing crowd at a peak level of excitement.
Last Revised: 6 January 1998