The Archive

Hand picked records important to the history of Soul Strut. This is updated (almost) daily.

 - Oar

  • Alexander Spence

    Oar LP (1969)

    Columbia ‎

Most music fans are familiar with the Alexander "Skip" Spence story, but if you're not it's one of rock'n'roll lore sharing an eerily similar storyline to Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett.

Alexander Spence got his start as the drummer for Jefferson Airplane, eventually forming the Bay Area acid rock band Moby Grape as a guitarist and songwriter.  Excessive drug use eventually took it's toll.  He was institutionalized for threatening to attack his band mates with a fire axe in NYC while recording their second album Wow.  He spent 6 months in Bellevue and came out with a almost 30 songs.

Those that believed in him gave him a record deal and some studio time in Nashville.  Due to his paranoia, it was just him and an engineer with the tape rolling.  What he thought were demos were released by Columbia in 1969 with absolutely no faith in promoting it.  The album was pressed in limited quantities and disappeared from Columbia's catalogue.

Years later the album was rediscovered and hailed as a folk rock masterpiece.  A once dollar bin cut out was now going for $1000's of dollars and sought out by collectors far and wide.  It later got a proper reissue by Sundazed in the 1999.  The same year he died.


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