Exposé Online banner

We the People / American Zoo — Visions of Time - Complete Recordings
(Guerssen GUESSCD056, 1967/2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-06-28

Visions of Time - Complete Recordings Cover art

Meet four teenagers from the mid-60s whose perseverance paid off, though all in due time. When the group We the People released their debut single “Feelings of My Emptiness” b/w “For No One to See” in 1967, three of the members – guitarist Bill Bottrell, keyboard player Dave Danieli, and bassist Bill Hawkins, were 15-year-old high school students from the Los Angeles suburb of La Crescenta. When original drummer Steve Zallian decided to leave the band, Bottrell’s neighbor Jason Martz, a year younger than the others was ready to join the group as their drummer. The disc at hand presents all of the band’s singles (A and B sides of two singles recorded as We the People, and two more single A’s and B’s after they were forced to change their name to American Zoo in 1968 due to another band operating as We the People) plus an early two-song acetate that represents the band’s first ever recordings. The songs presented here are all band originals, mostly written by various combinations of band members. Their strongest influences are the West Coast folk-rock sounds typified by bands like the mid-60s Byrds, early Beau Brummels, and the earliest Jefferson Airplane – and to a lesser extent Help! era Beatles and Between the Buttons era Stones. They were fairly adventurous with their arrangements, preferring acoustic guitar over electric on many of the tunes, and including banjo and mandolin on some, with Hawkins handling most of the lead vocals, and the others providing a rich bed of harmony vocals. By 1969 the band had drifted apart and new projects were started. Over the ensuing years, Bottrell became a recording engineer and producer working with artists like Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and ELO, Sheryl Crow, and Tom Petty, to name but a few. Jason Martz became Jasun Martz, touring with Zappa as Eddie Jobson’s keyboard tech, later contributing vocals and drums to his Live in New York album; he worked with Michael Jackson on many of his best known recordings, and also released his own avant-garde symphony The Pillory, plus several other excellent recordings following that. Original drummer Steve Zallian went on to work as a director, producer, and sceenwriter in the film industry, including Schindler’s List. Hawkins also went on to a brief career in music, but never hit the big time, and sadly Dave Danieli passed away at a relatively early age. Visions of Time brings together all of the band’s recordings, a little less than half an hour’s worth of music, which up to this point has only been known to serious record collectors. Now it’s here on CD for all to enjoy.


Filed under: Archives, 2014 releases, 1967 recordings

Related artist(s): Jasun Martz, We the People / American Zoo

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Heldon - Agneta Nilsson & Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale – With these two reissues over the last few months, Cuneiform have faithfully completed their exhaustive Pinhas/Heldon reissue series. While both of these albums are rightly considered transitional...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues