The twelve-string acoustic solo on “Horse With No Name” was played by Gerry Beckley of the folk/rock group America. He and bandmates Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek added six-string and bass guitars and very cool vocals. Bunnell wrote the song and sang the lead. This song was included in the US pressing of America’s first album and the single was a #1 Billboard chart hit in March of 1972.
Beckley, Bunnell, and Peek…America
Dewey Bunnell was a teenage, British-born, US Air Force brat living in London in the late 1960s, feeling “homesick” for the USA and looking for the direction his life needed to take. His philosophical musings of home and the road ahead produced an allegorical song that profoundly affected listeners who used the template of the song to examine their own lives.
Horse With No Name resonates with those who grew up with it in a way that precious few songs do. For those of us, of a certain age, this is one of the songs that is a touchstone of personal introspection and self-examination. Each one of us will find our own meaning in the enigmatic lyrics and loping rhythms, or maybe just get carried away on Beckley’s descending triplets. Best savored on the best part of your best road trip.