Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, founding members of the legendary GRAMMY-winning rock band America, join Dan Rather for an all-new episode of The Big Interview—airing Wednesday, November 27 at 8pE/5pP.
In this exclusive first look, the duo discuss the tremendous impact of The Beatles’ groundbreaking performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and how it shaped them as aspiring musicians. “The Beatles on Ed Sullivan was a turning point for everybody in our generation,” Beckley says. “It just redefined who I was as a kid. All of a sudden, it was no longer surf bands. We’re gonna grow our hair and we’re gonna sing.” The set was just one of many monumental moments that would change music, pop culture, and the country, itself. “I remember that year—we’re talking about ’63 into ’64,” Bunnell recalls. “With the assassination [of JFK], with Ali beating Liston, and with The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, that’s like a massive something happened right there.”
During their tenure with America, Bunnell and Beckley have each written their share of enduring hits. While their songwriting styles have both led to success, they could not be anymore different. Bunnell explains their eclectic yet cohesive sound, saying, “Gerry tends to write ‘indoor songs’, we say—love songs, a lot more introspective. And I do ‘outdoor songs’… So, there’s one difference.” “The other one is if it has two chords, it’s Dewey’s song,” Gerry chimes in. “If it has 102 chords, it’s mine.” Watch it here.
The Big Interview airs every Wednesday at 8pE/5pP, only on AXS TV.