Artist: Skip Spence Track: "Little Hands" Album: Oar Listen
San Francisco acid-country-rock band Moby Grape was the victim of horrible circumstances, none as crushing as the emotional and psychiatric breakdown of co-driving creative force Skip Spence. According to Bob Mosley, the Grape member I interviewed last year, Spence was one a rare personality -- gigging with everyone who mattered on Haight Street, swaggering through hippiedom and gradually succumbing to the crazed mental faculties that made his music so great.
Long story short, he was rumored to have taken a cab from his hotel into a Grape recording session -- wielding a weapon (some say an axe, some a gun) and threatening his band mates. He went to Bellevue, a nut house, and emerged with this album, calling in favors throughout the music industry to help him record it. It's a genius, heart-wrenching, completely bizarre piece of music. And it's one of my favorites.