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America, the Band


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About the Author

Jude Warne is a music journalist with publications in The Observer, The Vinyl District, Live for Live Music, No Depression, and Film International. She has written long and short-form pieces on Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan, Procol Harum, the Band, the Yardbirds, among others. She has also published a six-volume YA fiction series. She lives in New York City.


[Warne] outlines how the trio eventually overcame resistance to their mellow soft rock to become as a close to a music institution (in their homeland, mostly) as it's possible to get . . . For an awareness of how a heritage band can continue testing themselves creatively as well as focusing on the commercial benefits of their maturing demographic, [America is] an educational read.--The Irish Times
With a surprisingly crisp forward by long-time fan Billy Bob Thornton, the book launches into a real love letter from a fan . . . the read is light, breezy, and fun - a perfect beach companion to any and all of [America's] greatest hits."--Goldmine Magazine
In an easily digestible, in-depth look at the thoughtful artistry and idealistic innocence of one of the most enduring acts of the 1970s, author Jude Warne does more than reassess the band's underappreciated cultural impact in her richly detailed and absorbing read America, The Band: An Authorized Biography. Skillfully and passionately weaving together refreshingly honest, insightful interviews with exhaustive research, Warne demystifies this "logo band," picking the locks of each complex personality to reveal much about their humanity and integrity, as well as their musical motivations and influences....Warne covers a lot of personal ground in the book, digging deeply into the overseas upbringing of all three principal members, products of military families who moved around a lot.... [It] is a tale of friendship and good-hearted intentions, of record label intrigue and a naive belief in themselves. The rock 'n roll excess they indulged in wasn't entirely destructive, nor did the music business completely poison their dreams to the point where they died a cruel death. That, in and of itself, is inspiring.--Elmore Magazine
Music journalist Warne has written the first full-length book about the multiplatinum band America, which despite selling millions of records was much neglected by critics. This authorized and laudatory biography explores the childhoods of band members Dan Peek, Gerry Beckley, and Dewey Bunnell, who, growing up in Air Force families, traveled constantly. In 1970, as students in London's Central High School, they formed America and in 1972 enjoyed a meteoric rise with the release of their self-titled album and the single "A Horse with No Name," which featured acoustic guitars and three-part harmonies and reflected the teenagers' fascination with the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Neil Young. The group moved to California, and their subsequent megahits embodied a laid-back post-1960s vibe. Finally, Warne outlines the band's work with noted Beatles producer George Martin, Peek's exit from the group in 1977, and their increasingly pop-oriented, string-drenched albums of the past four decades. Drawing from interviews with Beckley and Bunnell, Warne has started the process of refurbishing the reputation of America. Fans will be delighted, and those who sold them short will be impressed--Library Journal
With a biography on the band America, an irony-free defence of the oft-maligned hit makers is offered.--Globe and Mail
. . .a meticulous and entertaining account . . . Drawing from extensive research and interviews, Warne traces the lives of band members Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek, all Air Force brats who met in London in the 1960s and bonded over their shared American heritage and love of playing music. . . . Warne's passion for the band is evident throughout, [and] Classic rock fans will enjoy this easygoing biography.--Publishers Weekly
America defined the sonic landscape of the Southern California sound.--Christopher Cross, singer and songwriter
Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, Richard Campbell, Willie Leacox, Bryan Garofalo and Michael Woods carved out a creative niche that holds up fifty years later in an art form that hasn't slowed down in its evolution for a minute. Stories like this are always worth telling.--Michael McDonald, singer and songwriter
I grew up listening to America back in the 70's. Their music inspired and comforted me in a way that I still feel today. They have stood the test of time and I still know every word to every song. They take me to a 'GOOD' place. Thanks for the music.--Bill Cowher, Hall of Fame football coach
This book about one of my favorite bands is spectacular. Although we are both celebrating our half century performing, the only difference is that fifty years ago they were suddenly superstars while I was riddled with fear before each show. God bless America.--comedian and actor, Richard Lewis
This book gave me a fascinating and unexpected picture of the band--complex, focused, prolific, and most importantly, good people.--Fred Armisen, comedian and actor
This finely crafted biography is a fitting tribute to one of the finest American bands. It reads like one of their songs: mythic, winding, and full of American soul.--Daniel Roher, director, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band
I'll always remember how happy my dad was producing America. The records they made together blossomed with creative spark that great collaborations have. My father was always so proud of the great albums they made, as they are so full of beauty, love, and happiness.--Giles Martin, son of America and Beatles producer Sir George Martin

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