Moby Grape – Live – Historic Live Moby Grape Performances 1966-1969 (2010)

FrontCover1Moby Grape is an American rock band founded in 1966, known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting, which collectively merged elements of folk music, blues, country, and jazz with rock and psychedelic music. They were one of the few groups of which all members were lead vocalists. The group’s first incarnation ended in 1969, but they have reformed many times afterwards and continue to perform occasionally.

Moby Grape’s success was significantly impeded by decades-long legal disputes with their former manager, Matthew Katz. Legal difficulties originated shortly after the group’s formation, when Katz insisted that an additional provision be added to his management contract, giving him ownership of the group name. At the time, various group members were indebted to Katz, who had been paying for apartments and various living costs prior to the release of the group’s first album.

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Despite objecting, group members signed, based in part on the impression that there would be no further financial support from Katz unless they did so. Neil Young, then of Buffalo Springfield, was in the room at the time, and kept his head down, playing his guitar, and saying nothing. According to Peter Lewis, “I think Neil knew, even then, that this was the end. We had bought into this process that we should have known better than to buy into.”

The dispute with Katz became more acute after the group members’ rights to their songs, as well as their own name, were signed away in 1973, in a settlement made without their knowledge between Katz and the band’s manager at the time (and former producer), David Rubinson. It was also a settlement made at a time when Bob Mosley and Skip Spence were generally recognized as being legally incapacitated due to the effects of schizophrenia.

As described by Jeff Tamarkin, “The Grape’s saga is one of squandered potential, absurdly misguided decisions, bad luck, blunders and excruciating heartbreak, all set to the tune of some of the greatest rock and roll ever to emerge from San Francisco. Moby Grape could have had it all, but they ended up with nothing, and less.”

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Moby Grape Live is a 2010 album, released by Sundazed Records, of previously unissued live recordings of the band Moby Grape. Included are recordings of the band in its prime in 1966 and 1967, as well as 1969 recordings, subsequent to the 1968 collapse and departure of founding member Skip Spence. A particularly notable inclusion is the band’s performance at the historic Monterey International Pop Festival. (wikipedia)

“After the essential debut record, this is the Moby Grape record I would recommend next.” (

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Moby Grape made several good albums in their day, but only one inarguably great one (their classic 1967 debut), and getting their special magic on tape in the studio seemed to be a tricky affair. But the group apparently had better luck with their muse on-stage, judging from the evidence contained in this album. Featuring material from five concerts spanning a period that predates the first album and ends shortly before the recording of Truly Fine Citizen (the album that preceded their first breakup), Moby Grape Live: Historic Live Moby Grape Performances captures the energy and spirit of the band as well as anything they released during their heyday. This collection starts out with seven songs from a show at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom in 1967, and if the performances aren’t quite as precise as what they achieved in the studio, the interplay between guitarists Peter Lewis, Jerry Miller, and Skip Spence is exciting and brimming with imagination, while the five-part harmonies are terrific and all the more impressive for the fire of the band’s attack. Next up is the first authorized release of Moby Grape’s short set at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival, and though the band might have been better advised to start with something more rousing than “Indifference” and “Mr. Blues,” the group is in fine fettle and the closing version of “Omaha” rocks out.


After a gritty 1967 blues workout on “Sweet Little Angel” that leaves plenty of room for guitar soloing, the album jumps forward to 1969 and a five-song session recorded for RAI Radio during a tour stop in the Netherlands. By this time, Spence was out of Moby Grape, but if there’s a little less electricity in the band the passion is still there, the harmonies are spot-on, “Trucking Man” rocks furiously, and the extended version of “Omaha” shows this group was still finding new wrinkles in their classic repertoire. And finally, a 1966 Avalon Ballroom tape unearths the otherwise unrecorded “Dark Magic,” an epic-scale guitar workout that runs over 17 minutes in this version. Given that concision was one of Moby Grape’s great virtues, a quarter-hour guitar freakout wouldn’t seem to play to their strengths, but if “Dark Magic” meanders just a bit, the interplay between the musicians is little short of amazing and they wind enough twists and turns into the song to keep it exciting throughout. While Moby Grape’s studio work might offer a clearer picture of the strength of their songs, Historic Live Moby Grape does a brilliant job of revealing what made them great as a band, and the best tracks here should prompt any serious fan of late-’60s rock to reaffirm Moby Grape’s status as one of the finest acts of their time. (by Mark Deming)


Peter Lewis (guitar, vocals)
Jerry Miller (lead guitar, vocals)
Bob Mosley (bass, vocals)
Skip Spence (guitar, vocals)
Don Stevenson (drums, vocals)



Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, 1967:
01. Ain’t No Use (Miller/Stevenson) 1.34
02. Rounder (Spence) 2.00
03. Looper (Lewis) 2.25
04. Bitter Wind (Mosley) 1.48
05. Changes (Miller/Stevenson) 4.36
06. Indifference (Spence) 2.47
07. Someday (Miller/Stevenson/Spence) 3.22

Monterey International Pop Festival, 1967:
08. Introduction by Tommy Smothers 1.19
09. Indifference (Spence) 3.16
10. Mr. Blues (Mosley) 1.52
11. Sitting By The Window (Lewis) 2.56
12. Omaha (Spence) 2.54

San Francisco, 1967:
13. Sweet Little Angel (Bogan) 4.50

RNW Radio, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1969:
14. Murder In My Heart For The Judge (Miller/Stevenson) 4.51
15. I Am Not Willing (Lewis) 5.31
16. Trucking Man (Mosley) 2.05
17. Fall On You (Lewis) 2.14
18. Omaha (Spence) 6.05

Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, 1966:
19. Dark Magic (Spence) 17.27



More from Moby Grape:

Moby Grape – Truly Fine Citizen (1969)

OriginalFC1Truly Fine Citizen is the fourth studio album by American rock band Moby Grape. It was released on July 30, 1969, by Columbia Records. After completing the album, the band went on hiatus until 1971 when they reunited with Skip Spence and Bob Mosley to record the reunion album, 20 Granite Creek.

After the departure of Bob Mosley, the remaining trio headed to Nashville where they cut this album in just three days with legendary Columbia Records producer Bob Johnston. This album fulfilled the band’s contract with Columbia Records. At the time, the band was in the midst of legal disputes with their manager, Matthew Katz, with the result that certain songs written by band members were instead credited to their road manager, Tim Dell’Ara. In particular, songs written by Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson became Tim Dell’Ara songs, to counter Matthew Katz withholding royalties on previous recordings.

Replacing Bob Mosley on bass was famed Nashville session musician Bob Moore, who had played bass on many Elvis Presley sessions and was one of the founders of Monument Records, for many years the recording home of Roy Orbison.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a “C+” and wrote, “In which what should have been America’s greatest rock group gasps its last. Quite mediocre, despite a couple of lovely Peter Lewis songs.” (by wikipedia)


1969’s Truly Fine Citizen was the last gasp for the original incarnation of Moby Grape. The departures of guitarist Skip Spence and bassist Bob Mosley had reduced the once-mighty band to a trio, and sessionman Bob Moore had to be brought in to fill out the lineup. Columbia Records decided Moby Grape needed a break from producer and studio collaborator David Rubinson, and they were sent to Nashville to record with Bob Johnston, best known for his work with Bob Dylan. Johnston reportedly began the sessions by announcing the album had to be recorded in a mere three days, and if the musicians didn’t like it they were free to leave. And Moby Grape were in the midst of an ugly legal dispute with their manager that resulted in most of the songs on the album being credited to Tom Dell’ara, their road manager. Given all this, it’s a pleasant surprise that Truly Fine Citizen isn’t a disaster — it’s a loose but amiable set of sunny psychedelic MobyGrape02pop-rock with a decided country influence. Guitarists Peter Lewis and Jerry Miller had already shown their country leanings on Moby Grape ’69, and here it comes to the forefront with some solid Nashville-style picking, and their harmonies with drummer Don Stevenson remain one of the highlights of the group’s sound. There are a few good songs on board, including “Looper” (which had been in the Grape’s repertoire since their earliest days), the sunny “Changes, Circles Spinning” and the title cut, a tribute to a mystic healer the band had met on the road. But Truly Fine Citizen was basically a rush job recorded to finish out Moby Grape’s contract with Columbia, and too much of the time that’s just what it sounds like, despite the obvious talent of the musicians, and the jazzy “Love Song, Pt. Two” and “Now I Know High,” which at 6:14 meanders twice as long as the album’s second longest tune, are clear filler on an album that’s barely over a half-hour long. Moby Grape were still capable of making a good album when they cut Truly Fine Citizen, but they scarcely had the opportunity to demonstrate that. (by Mark Deming)


Peter Lewis (vocals, guitar)
Jerry Miller (lead guitar, vocals)
Don Stevenson (drums, vocals)
Bob Moore (bass)


01. Changes, Circles Spinning (Lewis) 2.30
02. Looper (Lewis) 3.06
03. Truly Fine Citizen (Dell’Ara) 1.51
04. Beautiful Is Beautiful (Dell’Ara) 2.33
05. Love Song (Dell’Ara) 2.25
06. Right Before My Eyes (Lewis) 2.06
07. Open Up Your Heart (Dell’Ara) 2.39
08. Now I Know High (Lewis) 6.14
09. Treat Me Bad (Dell’Ara) 2.20
10. Tongue-Tied (Miller/Spence) 2.04
11. Love Song, Part Two (Dell’Ara) 2.46
12. Rounder (live) (Spence) 2.03
13. Miller’s Blues (live) (Miller/Mosley) 6.07
14. Changes (live) (Miller/Stevenson) 4.20
15. Skip’s Song (“Seeing” demo) (Spence) 3.30
16. Looper (demo, previously unreleased) (Lewis) 2.10
17. Soul Stew (Instrumental, previously unreleased) (Mosley) 2.22
18. Cockatoo Blues (“Tongue-Tied” demo, previously unreleased) (Miller/Spence) 3.42



Various Artists – That´s Underground – The Rock Machine Turns You On (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgDuring the Sixties, “underground music” became very popuilar all over the world.

So many record companies decided to release sampler to push this exciting sound.

That’s Underground, The Rock Machine Turns You On (original 1968 CBS pressing), is one of the most treasured records not only for featuring some big names of the era but because of its spectacular psychedelic splatter multicoloured vinyl. Made before they became fashionable and they hardly get more coloured than this.

The West German album has on the rear sleeve the familiar words “The Rock Machine Turns You On” (not the same compilation as the UK, Dutch and French albums The Rock Machine Turns You On above). The West German records are on distinctive “psychedelic” multicoloured vinyl, but both records shown have orange CBS labels. The rear sleeve shows pictures of other contemporary CBS releases.

This album was for many people a very important album:

“This must have been the first colored vinyl I saw in my life. Not only the splashing colors blew my mind, but also the music heard on this album must have blown the brains out of the 16 year old boy I was then. Still love each and every track on this album.” (Leonard)

“Blown my mind just looking at it. It sure is one hell of a production, the vinyl and song selection all look great. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen or heard of this before but then looked it up and found it was only issued in Germany, Italy and South Africa. Surely, it deserved a much wider release and I can see why it would have been a totally mind-bending experience to a youngster in the 60’s. 50 years on and it’s freaking me out right now.” (Lee Wrecker)

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Alternate front + back cover from South Africa

This LP was  reissued of released in Germany by Repertoire in 2005 under licence from Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH. It dates the original release as 1970 (!) …


I´m sure, that this compilation was for many, many people a very important part of their life … you can call it … a soundrack of their youth …


01. The Electric Flag: Killing Floor (Burnett) 4.14
02. Spirit: Mechanical World (Andes/Ferguson) 5.19
03. The Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today (J. Chambers/W. Chambers) 4.53
04. Leonard Cohen: Suzanne (Cohen) 3.49
05. Moby Grape: Can’t Be So Bad (Miller)
06. Big Brother And The Holding Company: Piece Of My Heart (Ragovoy/Berns) 4.15
07. The United States Of America: Hard Coming Love (Moskowitz/Byrd) 4.44
08. Blood, Sweat And Tears: My Days Are Numbered (Kooper) 3.19
09. Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Dylan) 3.28
10. Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills: You Don’t Love Me (Cobb) 4.08

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Many fantastic colors … 



I got this sampler from Mr. Sleeve … thank you very much !!!