Bill Holt grew up obliviously happy in the 1950s in Springfield, Delaware County, a suburb of Philadelphia. As for many kids during the period, it seemed a time of wonderful affluence, characterized by innocent pop music, paper routes, frogs in jars, and Schwinn bicycles. In stark contrast was the emerging world of the Cold War and rock & roll, hot rods, and young-rebel movies. Despite his guileless upbringing, Holt came of age during the changing times of the early '60s, and his latent political and musical bugs began to stir inside. Still, in July of 1963 at the age of 19, before he could act on his musical whims, Holt instantaneously became a husband and a father, and was forced to enter the straight world of work and responsibility to support his new family. He bought an apartment with his wife, and spent nights and weekends watching the world change before his eyes on a black-and-white television set: the assassination of President Kennedy, the emergence of the Beatles, and Vietnam. By the late '60s, Holt also immersed himself in the ambitious pop music of the Beatles and Bob Dylan and read about experimental composers such as John Cage and about musical forms like musique concrète.
By early 1972, at the age of 28 and after ten years wearing a suit and working for a Fortune 500 company, he had had enough of the American dream and realized his musical calling. The next year Holt quit his job, found the same sort of Ovation acoustic guitar that he had witnessed Glen Campbell playing on TV, and bought one of the original Moog synthesizers and a four-track reel-to-reel recorder. Approaching 30 years of age, Holt set out to reinvent himself as a musician and composer, despite the fact that he had no prior experience writing or playing, other than strumming guitar a bit in his past. He entrenched himself in his basement and set about creating the aural collages that became the LP Dreamies, released in 1973 by Stone Theater Productions. The album was a sensational extension of musique concrète and the Beatles' "Revolution Number 9" (off The White Album), a pair of sonic collages that expertly incorporated sampled dialogue, sound effects, psychedelia, political commentary, and wonderful bits of melodic invention. Unfortunately, the album failed to find a public, and it also placed Holt in financial difficulty, requiring him to return to the work world he had previously given up and, thus, bypass his music. At the beginning of 2000, Gear Fab reissued Dreamies on CD. ~ Stanton Swihart