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Moby Grape
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Musicians
    (1966-1971)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Skip Spence (April 18, 1946-April 16, 1999), guitar and vocals
    Peter Lewis (July 15, 1945- ), guitar and vocals
    Jerry Miller (July 10, 1943- ), guitar and vocals
    Bob Mosley (December 4, 1942- ), bass guitar and vocals
    Don Stevenson (October 15, 1942- ), drums and vocals
    Recorded the albums 'Moby Grape' (1967), 'Wow' (1968), 'Moby Grape 69' (1969), 'Truly Fine Citizen' (1969) and '20 Granite Creek' (1971)
    Members (except Spence) have held sporadic reunions since their original break-up
    Their name was the punchline to a dopey joke. ('What's big and purple and lives in the ocean?')
    Lewis said, 'Six months after we met we were rock stars. That was horrible.'
    Columbia Records overhyped their debut album, simultaneously releasing five singles, and holding a coming out party that featured 10,000 purple orchids falling from the ceiling (after which they caused endless slipping and sliding on the dance floor) and 700 bottles of wine with Moby Grape labels (but no corkscrews).
    They were involved in a protracted legal battle with their manager over rights to the band name.
    Both Spence and Mosley were diagnosed as schizophrenics and were homeless.
    Critic Jeff Tamarkin said, 'Moby Grape could have had it all, but they ended up with nothing, and less.'
    All five members contributed as singers and songwriters.
    Critic Mark Demming said of their debut album, 'While history remembers the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane as being more important, the truth is neither group ever made an album this good.'
    After three decades of court battles, they won back rights to their name (2006).
    Lewis commented, 'We were so fucked over at one point that we can't help believing we can get it right in the end.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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