That nameless trusty steed in America’s classic of the ’70s still has plenty of get up and go, as country music fans in Broadbeach will discover
Wherever you are in the world, if you utter the words “I been riding through the desert ...” there’s a strong chance someone will finish with “on a horse with no name”. For hours after, the impossibly catchy “na nas” will echo through your head.
The man behind that song, lead singer of America Gerry Beckley, will touch down in Broadbeach for this weekend’s Country Music Festival, but unfortunately not on horse.
“No, I won’t be riding a horse there,” he laughs.
While Australia is not unfamiliar territory for Beckley, he’s excited to headline the festival.
“My wife is Australian so I split my time between Sydney and LA, but this time it’s for work. We’ve enjoyed the GC for years. The last time was at Jupiters, which I believe goes by The Star now, so I’m looking forward to seeing you all again.
“I’m told the Gold Coast has quite a rich history with country music, which is great, and I’ve heard great things about the festival itself.”
America’s songs might not scream country music, but as Gerry says, their style of music transcends any single genre.
“Now we’re called classic rock, of course, back in the day it couldn’t be classic rock because it hadn’t had time to become classic,” he says.
“But rock is always divided into certain subgroups and country rock is one of those that we fall into.
“I think we cross genres a little bit, but we certainly have country-esque material. A lot of country you hear now is based on bands like the Eagles and ourselves from the ’70s.
“Kind of melding easy listening and mainstream with a strong dose of country.”
There’s a solid backlog of music to choose from, so if you’ve got an obscure America favourite you might miss out on hearing it live, but there’ll be plenty more to sing along to.
“One thing about doing music for 47 years is you’re never short of variety,” Gerry says. “What we’ve got will fit nicely in the country music category.
“Our show is basically the same from night to night – our own songs, a few covers, our biggest hits – but we’re good at going with the flow by now.
“I guarantee people can’t remember all of our songs but as we go through the list and there’s quite a few that people forgot about. The covers are a secret, we’ve gotta have some secrets.”
What isn’t a secret is the notion that some older musos hit the road purely to pay off a tax bill or fund a new venture, but not Gerry and his bandmate Dewey Bunnell.
“That is the case sometimes,” he says. “But the people I know, we do it because we love it. It doesn’t mean we don’t have families to support and bills to pay, but we’re not looking at how quickly we can retire.
“We’re fortunate to be the ones who do what we love.” America, Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Surf Parade Stage, Sunday at 5.40pm