Saturday, December 02, 2006

Skip Spence

Alexander Lee "Skip" Spence (born April 18, 1946 in Windsor, Ontario - died April 16, 1999 in Santa Cruz, California) was a musician and singer-songwriter. He was a guitarist in an early line-up of Quicksilver Messenger Service before Marty Balin got him to be the drummer for Jefferson Airplane. After one album with Jefferson Airplane, their debut Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, he left to co-found Moby Grape, once again as a guitarist.

Suffering from schizophrenia, during the 1968 recording of the group's second album, Wow, Spence allegedly attempted to break down a bandmate's hotel room door with a fire axe while on LSD, and was committed for six months to the criminal ward at New York's Bellevue Hospital.Upon his release, he recorded his only solo album, the now-classic psychedelic/folk album Oar (1969, Columbia Records). However, mental illness and alcoholism prevented him from sustaining a career in the music industry, and he lived much of his later life as a homeless person in Santa Cruz. When it finally seemed that he might have been overcoming those afflictions, lung cancer claimed him.

Spence continued to have minor involvement in later Moby Grape projects and reunions, as well as helping the Doobie Brothers get signed to Warner Bros. Records (the Doobies idolized Spence and the Grape). More recently, Spence's "Land of the Sun," one of the only post-Grape recordings he ever completed, was nearly placed on the X-Files soundtrack.

More Oar: A Tribute to Alexander "Skip" Spence, featuring contributions from R.E.M., Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Beck, and many others, was released a few weeks after his death.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jerry Miller

Jerry Miller (born July 10, 1943 in Tacoma, Washington) is an American musician, a guitarist and vocalist who was a member of the 1960s San Francisco band Moby Grape. Before joining the group, Miller and bandmate Don Stevenson were members of The Frantics, a Pacific Northwest bar band.

He is #68 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He currently fronts The Jerry Miller Band, which plays primarily in Tacoma and Ruston, Washington.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

INDIFFERENCE come! thy torpid juices shed On my keen sense: plunge deep my wounded heart, In thickest apathy, till it congeal, Or mix with thee incorp'rate. Come, thou foe To sharp sensation, in thy cold embrace A death-like slumber shall a respite give To my long restless soul, tost on extreme, From bliss to pointed woe. Oh, gentle Pow'r, Dear substitute of Patience! thou canst ease The Soldier's toil, the gloomy Captive's chain, 10
The Lover's anguish, and the Miser's fear.

Proud Beauty will not own thee! Her loud boast Is VlRTUE--while thy chilling breath alone Blows o'er her soul. bidding her passions sleep.

Mistaken Cause, the frozen Fair denies Thy saving influence. VIRTUE never lives, But in the bosom, struggling with its wound: There she supports the conflict, there augments The pang of hopeless Love, the senseless stab Of gaudy Ign'rance, and more deeply drives 20
The poison'd dart, hurl'd by the long-lov'd friend; Then pants with painful victory. Bear me hence, Thou antidote to pain! thy real worth Mortal can never know. What's the vain boast Of Sensibility but to be wretched? In her best transports lives a latent sting, Which wounds as they expire. On her high heights Our souls can never sit; the point so nice, We quick fly off--secure, but in descent.

To SENSIBILITY, what is not bliss 30
Is woe. No placid medium's ever held Beneath her torrid line, when straining high The fibres of the soul. Of Pain, or Joy, She gives too large a share; but thou, more kind, Wrapp'st up the heart from both, and bidd'st it rest In ever-wish'd-for ease. By all the pow'rs Which move within the mind for diff'rent ends, I'd rather lose myself with thee and share Thine happy indolence, for one short hour, 40
Than live of Sensibility the tool For endless ages. Oh! her points have pierc'd My soul, till, like a sponge, it drinks up woe.

Then leave me, Sensibility! be gone, Thou chequer'd angel! Seek the soul refin'd: I hate thee! and thy long progressive brood Of joys and mis'ries. Soft Indiff'rence, come! In this low cottage thou shalt be my guest, Till Death shuts out the hour: here down I'll sink With thee upon my couch of homely rush, 50
Which fading forms of Friendship, Love, or Hope, Must ne'er approach. Ah!--quickly hide, thou pow'r, Those dead intruding images! Oh, seal The lids of mental sight, lest I abjure My freezing supplication.--AII is still.

Idea, smother'd, leaves my mind a waste, Where SENSIBILITY must lose her prey.