Friday, June 13, 2008

MOBY Grape's Skip Spence gets a great tribute


Members of the Santa Cruz group, the White Album Ensemble, who have paid tributes to the Beatles for years, take a big step this month covering the music of Skip Spence, with Spence's son Omar (pictured above) doing the singing.

The group includes Doobie Brother Tiran Porter, who sings backups and Dale Ockermann, who plays with the Funky Meters and Mighty Mike Schermer, among others.

I heard them on KPIG's live music show "Please Stand By" Sunday and was blown away.

They really captured the blissful side of Spence's music. Spence, an original member of Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape, was a sad fixture around San Jose before his death, a bearded homeless guy suffereing mental problems who hung out at Santa Clara and 10th streets.

The band will perform his music live at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz June 20.

Led Zeppelin were huge fans of Moby Grape, playing their songs at Zep's first rehearsal. Robert Plant performs on a Skip Spence tribute album, "More Oar," as does Tom Waits and Beck.

Spence's son is the music director of Elevation, a new age ministry in Santa Cruz.

This should be a great show, well worth checking out.

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