Sunday, March 23, 2008

a band with no name

A recent television commercial featured the very old and well-known song "A Horse With No Name". When L identified it as a Neil Young song I said "No, it's not, it's some other band with a name like Bread or... I couldn't remember so I reached for the computer.

In fact that song is by a band called America, which consisted of the sons of US military personnel stationed in the UK. The song was inspired by the memory one of them had of wandering around Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. From the point of view of rainy Britain, the desert qualities of that area must have seemed exaggerated, either by memory or drugs or both.

It turns out that the song is commonly mistaken for Neil Young due to its obvious Neil Young-like sound... Interestingly it was released around the same time as Young's "Heart of Gold" single, and both songs reached number one on the charts in immediate succession in 1972. Perhaps the strangest thing of all is, after all these years, who the heck has heard of the band America?


At 5:22 PM, Blogger ptglmn said...

Oh, America or Neil Young what's the difference? It was the 70's and whiny (and weenie) songs were everywhere on the radio. To quote P "You couldn't swing a dead cat without..."

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Pandora said...

Well written article.


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