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Striking a chord with its style very reminiscent of Neil Young and oblique, dreamy lyrics, it shot straight to the top, and America the band took off; their debut album spun off three hit singles. But by , co-founder Dan Peek, tiring of the rock lifestyle, became a born-again Christian and left the group. Backed by songs from noted tunesmith Russ Ballard, the group continued as a duo, scoring a hit in with Ballard's "You Can Do Magic," but never quite regained their foothold on the charts. Robert Fontenot Jr. All told, America had three platinum and three gold albums, along with eight Top 40 hits, from through Peek had lived in Farmington since , soon after he left the band.
He also had a home in the Cayman Islands. Peek was born Nov. His father was in the Air Force and the family frequently moved.
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He met Bunnell and Beckley in the late s. In the late s, Peek became disenchanted with the travel and lifestyle. He left America in and turned to Contemporary Christian music.
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He moved to Farmington, an area where his father was once stationed, that same year. Milton Peek said his son continued to write songs and record in the studio in his Farmington home until his death.
So there were some dodgy issues involved with the whole process of doing those records. It was really bizarre, because when I left America, somehow Gerry and I ended up becoming like oil and water. He really is. I try to give him credit whenever I can.
Plunging into politics
And Dewey is a good songwriter. He has his moments, and over the years turned into a very good guitar player. But he was a quick learner, and he asked me several times to show him how to play lead, and I did and he caught on quick. But he played some really great guitar stuff. And it was just a real snappy, great, Christian pop song, basically. But I almost ended up having the identical relationship with the producer, who I shall not name, but we were just like oil and water, constantly banging heads. He ran me up the wall.
Nice Guy. Part of it was because he kept trying to cram all of his songs onto the records. It was just a little overly ambitious of him. And even with George Martin… he was a great producer who had a very light touch. But when it comes to sitting in the same cramped space for 16 hours a day for months at a time, it gets old real fast. It took me almost three years to get the courage up to go back in the studio, because it had been such an unpleasant experience working with him.
Was the experience any better the second time around? Dan Peek: No, probably worse. I felt he pulled some numbers that I think I wrote about on my blog.
But I will say this: The end product was good. What we came out of the studio with was great. And so, in some ways, it was worth the head butting.
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You worked with producers like George Martin over several America albums. I mean, I go back and I listen to them, and its just thousands and thousands of hours, because basically, I played virtually all of the instruments and sang all of the vocals, but I got it the way I wanted it.
But I really finally got all of that out of my system, where I got to wear all the hats and call all the shots. You must be logged in to post a comment.