People! is a rock band that was formed in San Jose, California. Part of
the Bay Area rock groups like, Jefferson Airplane, The Greatful Dead, Janis Joplin and Quicksilver Messenger,Service in 1965..
Their greatest chart success came with their 1968 summer hit single
"I Love You". The song written by The Zombies bass guitarist Chris
White rose to number one in Japan (twice), Israel, Australia, Italy,
South Africa, and the Philippines, and peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. That summer they toured with The Who.
The band members included Robbie Levin, Geoff Levin, Albert Ribisi, Larry Norman, Gene Mason, Denny Fridkin),
John Tristao joined the band in 1969 as the lead singer replacing Gene and Larry. The group disbanded in 1970.
After People! broke up, Larry Norman became one of the pioneers of Christian rock music. On October 19, 2007, People! Came back together to be inducted into the San Jose Rocks Hall of Fame. It was the first time they had performed together since 1968. Larry died four months later.
In June of 2017 Geoff Levin the original leader of the group
contacted Gene, Robbie, Denny and John to experiment with
recording a single. Eve Of Destruction was picked for its
timely message. It turned out to be a good experience so
they are now recording a new album tentatively titled RECONNECT.
Gene and John are the two lead vocalists also covering guitars
and banjo. Robbie is on bass, Denny on drums and Geoff on guitar,
keys and handling the producer duties.
to purchase CD on Amazon -
// lead vocal + guitar + banjo
Gene Joined the group in 1965. Gene has performed with numerous bands. Bandana, Borderline,
DENNY FRIDKIN joined the group in 1965.
// BG vocal + drums + piano. He later performed and toured with Larry Norman.
GEOFF LEVIN, original founding member of the band.
// BG vocal + guitar + keyboards + slide guitar
He later founded the performance art group Celestial Navigations with Geoffrey Lewis.
// BG vocal + bass + mandolin.. Original founding member. Later he created Rockin" Horse. And then performed with Rick Springfield.
// lead vocal + guitar + bass + drums. John Joined the group in 1969. He later became the lead singer and toured with Credence Clearwater Revisited for 22 years. He recorded on their platinum album "Recollection".
PEOPLE! had a hit record I LOVE YOU in 1968. The two founding brothers became zealots for Scientology. They fired their lead singer Larry Norman per the Scientology policy of DISCONNECTION. This destroyed the group and cut short their hit record and sky-rocketing career.
In 2017 Geoff, the original head of the group, escaped Scientology after 50 years and decided he wanted to make amends to the band members. He asked ROBBIE, JOHN, GENE AND DENNY to record a new album. They said yes and the healing began. REUNITED with no Scientology.
When it comes to your dreams, it’s never too late. Do-overs are possible. The exciting part is, we are taking all our experiences and increased skills to make a new album that expresses what we never got to do five decades ago. We just got back from San Jose where we shot music videos and played together for the first time in almost 50 years. We bonded again and the music has only improved!
We have learned so much over our years apart... John Tristao toured with Creedence Clearwater Revisited for over 2 decades. Robbie Levin played bass with Rick Springfield, Denny Fridkin performed with Larry Norman, Gene Mason has been performing continuously since People! in San Jose bands such as Carousel and Bandanna. Currently he is with the Dave Holodiloff Band. Geoff became a composer for film and TV and founded CELESTIAL NAVIGATIONS with actor Geoffrey Lewis. They released 8 albums and charted on Billboard. Geoff has produced over 60 albums and is using his producing skills to make the new PEOPLE! album.
Scientology’s toxic practice of “disconnection” is what led to the band breakup in 1968 and in 1984 Geoff had to disconnect from Robbie as he spoke out publicly against the church. Recently, when the band got back together, Geoff’s children, Collin and Savannah, severed their ties to their Dad because he chose to reconnect with his brother Robbie (who had been declared "an enemy of Scientology" and labeled an SP (suppressive person) by the organization.
The band feels that we are helping to heal our emotional scars and bad memories and that we can make up for the lost opportunities and pain we all felt. We have overcome the force that broke us up and proving it’s never too late to follow our dreams no matter what our age or circumstances. We are recreating our musical family and making an album born out of our long journey. We are musically mixing the old with the new and feel our story will resonate, and our music is more relevant today than ever.
We are up against possible repercussions from the Scientology organization with its loyal members attacking us because we dared to tell our story; a story we kept hidden for 50 years. Thanks to journalist Tony Ortega for opening Geoff Levin's eyes to the truth.
We are so happy we can finally be open and create new memories for ourselves, our old friends and new friends! “It ain’t over till it’s over”; follow your dreams. Please let others know our story so they won't make the same fatal detours in life.
Thank you for being a part of our journey!
Larry Norman - April 8, 1947-Feb 24, 2008
He joined the band with Gene Mason in early 1966. He recorded on the single "I Love You" and the Album of the same title.
He went onto to have a career as the godfather of Christian Rock music.
In 2007 he reunited with the band at an event for the San Jose Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event. He was also seperately inducted at the event.
Al Ribisi Jr. joined the band in 1965 and was an original member. He played keyboards and guitar. He recorded on the singles and albums. He left the group in 1970 to work at Celebrity Centre in L.A. He declined to work with the group in 2017. He had not been in the music field for more than two decades.
Mikel Hunter Harrington - July 18, 1935-Nov 16, 1997
Captain Mikey was a radio program director and DJ at KLIV in San Jose when he met Geoff Levin in 1965. He took an interest in Geoff's band and became their manager. He negotiated a deal with Capitol Records in 1967 and produced their singles and first album. He was instrumental in the developement of the band until he left when most of the band joined Scientology.
John Riolo, the original drummer for PEOPLE! Due to school committments, John had to drop out of the group to be replaced by Denny Fridkin. John went on to be in other bands until he founded American Music Custom Drum Parts. He was at the 2007 San Jose Rocks reunion in 2007