Visions of Time: Complete Recordings
Guerssen presents Visions of Time, the amazing story of We the People, a '60s teen band from LA (not to be confused with the Florida band of the same name) that created an amazing blend of garage, folk rock, and psychedelic sounds. Between 1967 and 1968, this group of four young kids recorded a few 45s for Reena Records, two of them released under the name American Zoo. Despite their young age, the band members were accomplished musicians and songwriters. They debuted in 1967 with Feelings of My Emptiness/For No One to See, two amazing pieces of moody garage with superb vocal harmonies and arrangements. Their second 45, Back Street Thoughts/Who Am I?, offered two pieces of introspective psychedelia with some over the top tape/echo effects courtesy of Dal Kacher, a session guitarist and sound engineer who had been part of early lineup of The Mothers of Invention. "Who Am I?" was included decades later in Diminishing Returns, a famous psych mix by DJ Shadow. In 1968, the group released their third 45, this time as American Zoo: Mr. Brotherhood/Magdalena featured two more examples of outstanding garage psychedelia. A second pressing of the 45 was released with a new mix of "Mr. Brotherhood," losing one minute but incorporating some wild electronic effects. In the 1980s, the song was included on such legendary compilations as High All the Time (PAPR 1002LP/PAPR 2106CD/PAPR 2113CD) and Psychedelic Unknowns. That same year, American Zoo released their last 45, Back Street Thoughts/What Am I?; the B-side is a reworking of "Who Am I?" with more psychedelic production by Kacher. Even more amazing than the story of these young musicians is the story of what happened to them later: guitar player Bill Bottrell has gone on to win Grammy Awards as a producer, working with Michael Jackson, Madonna, and George Harrison, among others. Drummer Jason "Jasun" Martz toured with Frank Zappa and recorded with Michael Jackson, and is now a well-known avant-garde artist and sculptor. Steve Zaillian, the first We the People drummer, won an Academy Award for his screenplay of Schindler's List (1993). This collection includes all the We the People/American Zoo 45 sides plus two previously unreleased tracks from 1967, taken from the only surviving copy of the band's 10" demo acetate. Carefully remastered sound. CD booklet features rare photos and detailed liner notes by Gray Newell (Shindig!, Ugly Things).