America Co-Founder Dan Peek Dies at 60
Published Jul 26, 2011Dan Peek, co-founder of classic rock act America and writer of their hit "Lonely People," died over the weekend at the age of 60. The cause of death is still unknown.
A brief message on Peek's website simply stated "Dan went to Heaven on July 24," while a video of the artist performing "Lonely People" was posted on the page as well. Not much else was known about Peek's life of late, but according to former America bandmate Dewey Bunnell, the musician was living in the Cayman Islands with his wife Catherine.
Both Bunnell and fellow America alum Gerry Beckley paid tribute on their own site to their fallen comrade, who helped start the group back in the '60s.
"I am so sorry to learn of Dan's passing," Bunnell posted. "Dan, along with Gerry & myself, formed the band America as teenagers after being great friends in high school during the late '60s. It was a joyous time for the three of us, full of excitement and laughter. We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined. Dan was an equal and integral part of that early history, and I have never forgotten the good times we spent making that music and learning about life together."
Beckley added, "I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Dans passing. He was a dear friend for many years. Dan & his music will live on in the great songs he shared with us all. My sincere condolences go out to Catherine and the entire Peek family. May he rest in peace..."
Peek was born in Panama City, FL, but moved with his family to England in 1963 after his father, a U.S. Air Force officer, was stationed there. There he met Bunnell and Beckley, forming an earlier group with the latter called the Days in the mid-'60s. Following a brief return to U.S. soil, Peek went back to England and started up America.
The group's first taste of fame was the first single "A Horse with No Name," a folksy staple that reached No. 1 in 1972 and still spins on classic rock radio. The band managed to rack up eight more hit singles between 1972 and 1975.
After becoming a born again Christian, Peek left the group in 1979 to venture into a solo career.
Thanks to Billboard for the tip.