“America and the Maligned Life of Iron Pyrite”

See, it’s not Dan Peek’s fault, really. He just sounds like Neil Young. Chances are when he was first born and cried, his mom didn’t think, Wow, my kid’s cry sounds just like Neil Young, and yet this has come to mainstay as her son’s defining characteristic. Gold, glistening there for all the fools out there.

One time I was looking at this Best of Jethro Tull liner notes and it listed all the members who had ever been in Jethro Tull, and it was literally like 27 guys. In inundating the Dionysian of ideal of “rock band” from 1971 to 1975, punching the clock with five albums in that time, one a year, America kept the same three vocalists — Dan Peek, Dewey Bunnell and Gary Beckley, and their two biggest singles, “Horse with No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair,” are the 7/10 pins, separated by these four years, in that order. Yup, that’s a tough split spare for those haters who say America were a one-hit-wonder to pick up.

Sure, the rest of “Horse with No Name” might be Neil Young influenced, following After the Gold Rush, but before Harvest, mind you, but get this, Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty is AMERICA-influened, not the other way around.

“Sister Golden Hair” is one of those songs that is about a girl, but also gears the listener in on a reduced, understandable to the melody in itself, and the song could just as easily be about someone handing you a bottle of water in the desert, from which America has spawned, but by choice, of course.

Leave a Reply