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The soft rock band America has made hit after hit throughout the decades, including I Need You, Sister Golden Hair, Ventura Highway, the upbeat You Can Do Magic and A Horse With No Name that has featured in Breaking Bad, The Nice Guys and the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The duo is/are returning to our sunny shores in December for their 50th anniversary tour. Just in time for that, I caught up with the man behind such hits – Gerry Beckley.
There’s ten shows across Australia, and Gerry could not have been more chipper about it. “It’s always good to see Australia and New Zealand back on the schedule, so we’re excited to be back in a professional capacity,” he says.
It’s a celebration of half a century (half! century!) of music, touring, releasing hit albums, band members coming and going, life experience…
“We’ve got a lot of production elements to reflect the 50th anniversary tour,” Gerry explained. Over the upcoming months, in lieu of the anniversary tour leg, America will be releasing a biography book, a live recording of their London Palladium set from last year, and boxsets of rare material. So save up your Christmas money!
Gerry reflected on his love of music, this passion reaching much further than his time with America.
“I started playing piano when I was three – but at that point I didn’t have the idea of ‘oh, good, this will be my living!’”
We spoke about where he finds inspiration after all these decades: “Every night you are reminded by the fans that have waited to see you. I hope we never get tired of touring. As much as we have aged, the travel aspects – all the waiting in lines, all the flights – all got old so many years ago. It’s never going to be easy. But the shows have become more and more rewarding – that’s the trade off. Every night you get a lovely reminder of why you’re doing this.”
On the topic of retrospect, Gerry was humble about his career: “It’s been a gift since day one. But our time’s marked. As it is the 50th anniversary, it’s a time for all of us to reflect on how fortunate we have been, and what a journey. I don’t know about another 50 years but we aren’t slowing down. It’s basically been a rocket ship ride that we’ve all survived. It’s been a lovely trip.”
America will be playing at Canberra Theatre, Tuesday, 3 December at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased from the website, prices range from $109.00–$139.00.