Dan Peek, Co-founder of Rock Band America, Dead at 60

Reuters is reporting than Dan Peek, co-founder/guitarist for folk rock band America, passed away on Sunday, July 24. He was 60 years old.

Peek founded American in the late 1960s with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell. The three were friends at a high school in London, where their fathers were stationed in the United States Air Force.

The band found success almost immediately, with their eponymous debut album hitting the top of the charts behind the hit song "A Horse With No Name." You may remember that we recently named "A Horse With No Name" No. 28 on our list of the Top 30 12-string Guitar Songs of All Time.

"We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined," wrote America co-founder and bandmate Dewey Bunnell on the band's website. "This news brings me great sadness. My sincere condolences go out to his wife, Catherine, and the entire Peek family. May Dan rest in peace, and his memory be cherished forever."

Peek left the band in 1977 to perform contemporary Christian music.

Friend and America co-founder Gerry Beckley said of Peek, "his music will live on in the great songs he shared with us all."

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.