Happy Birthday: Dan Peek
Although he’s no longer with us, today we celebrate the life of Daniel Milton Peek, known to his friends as Dan and known to the world at large as one of the members of America from 1970 through 1977.
Peek first met his future America bandmates Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley when their military families were stationed in England and all three guys were students at London Central High School. When they joined forces to become America, Peek was a jack of all trades within the band, playing guitar, bass, keyboards, and harmonica while also singing lead and backing vocals. Arguably his greatest claim to fame within the band was that four of his compositions turned into Hot 100 hits: “Don’t Cross the River, “”Lonely People,” “Woman Tonight,” and “Today’s the Day.”
Unfortunately, Peek was – by his own admission –abusing alcohol and other drugs during the course of his tenure in America, as he acknowledged in his autobiography, An American Band: The America Story. As a result, he departed America in 1977, after which he opted to return to the church and settled into a career as a Contemporary Christian artist. He still maintained a friendship with his former bandmates, however, even reuniting with them on “Love Was Just Another Word,” a song on Peek’s 1979 solo album, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.
Sadly, Peek passed away in 2011 at only 60 years old, having fallen victim to fibrinous pericarditis, but he left behind a legacy both as a Contemporary Christian artist as well as a member of America. Indeed, we’ve compiled a playlist which highlights the songs Peek wrote for America. Give it a listen, and you’ll realize just how much he brought to the band.
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