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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Skip Spence "Oar"

This is a sort of an oddball rarity, it's a decent one to listen to and a strange hitorical curiosity....Skip Spence was a founding member of Moby Grape, who made exactly ONE good album ("Moby Grape") and a bunch of shitty ones.....anyway, Spence had a lot of mental problems, which led to his physical attack on a pair of his Moby Grape bandmates. He spent six months in Bellvue Mental Hospital, where he wrote this collection of songs. The releasesd recordings,on which Spence plays all instruments, were originally intended as a demo, to be fleshed out later.....the sparse, bare sound, however, evidently appealed to someone, and it was released as is......this is not going to be for everyone, a not all that rocking, folkish kind of thing.....but listen carefully, and you can actually hear the pain of Spence, and the sounds of a mind that was not well....another rocker whose demons got the better of him, not unlike Roky Erickson or Syd Barrett, both of whom made some very interesting recordings while "not well" also.

I don't even remember where I got this one, it's a download from somewhere, not sure how many of you will have heard it, heard of it, or even care much.....but I do, at times, enjoy this recording....I considered bundling this together with perhaps an album each by Roky and Barrett, but did not, as I did not wish to give the appearance that I was treating their mental problems as some sort of novelty, because I am not.

Please comment on this recording, I am interested in your thoughts on it.....I doubt it goes into anyone's heavy rotation, but without question, you may find it of interest, and it keeps alive my desire to provide variety on this blog.

OAR-01 Little Hands/02 Cripple Creek/03 Diana/04 Margaret/Tiger Rug/05 Weighted Down (The Prison Song)/06 War In Peace/07 Broken Heart/08 All Come To Meet Her/09 Books of Moses/10 Dixie Peach Promenade (Yin For Yang)/11 Lawerence of Euphoria/12 Grey/Afro
Spence passed away in 1999.....his main legacy being the classic first Moby Grape album, which is must-hear material.
Also, I understand there is a "tribute/cover" album, "More Oar, a Tribute to Skip Spence" I have never seen one.....does it really exist? I would like to hear it if you happen to have one!

With my son playing tournament basketball tonight as well as the NFL playoffs, you didn't expect me to go all out and do a huge Smiths-like post did ya? Come on, I'm not a public utility. By the way thanks to the legend that is DaveSez for providing a link to a cool Televsion rarity, you'll have to dig back through the archives a ways ("The Best Televsion Post Ever"), but it is worth it, outtakes from the "Adventure" album....Televsion is one of my all time favorite bands, so ANY additional rarities I can get a hold of from them is worth it, if you feel the same way, you'll want to go find it! Thanks DaveSez!


  1. OAR

  2. Yes More Oar exists. Features Robert Plant,Beck, Robyn Hitchcock, Tom Waits, & aSkip Spence outtake.

  3. Tried going to the Television link, but the Mediafire links are no more. Any chance of putting this post back up with new ones?

  4. Thx! I've been looking for this for years. Skip was also the drummer (!?!) on the Airplane's first album, Takes Off.

  5. Clarence - If you've been looking for this for years, why didn't you just buy it? it's available cheap at Amazon. If you want something for years, were you waiting for Big Scott to post it for free? Is that what we are all reduced to now, leeches and freeloaders? Here it is, Clarence, it's damn cheap, cheaper than a Bud or Molson 6 pack :

    1. What did he do wrong? I'll apologize on his behalf if his actions offend you. I don't consider the people who share in the music that I personally offer up to be "leeches and freeloaders", anyone and everyone is, as I've stressed many times, welcome to use my resources to help build their music collection. Maybe I'm missing something (not unusual), but I just don't understand what the problem here is