Alexander Skip SPENCE
Alexander "Skip" Spence first came to the attention of the record buying public when he played drums on the first Jefferson Airplane album, but his first and preferred instrument was guitar. He only became a drummer because an Airplane member spotted him in a club, thought he looked like a drummer, and gave him a pair of sticks. Spence was too much of a free spirit to last with the Airplane or any other band. His spontaneity and lyrical guitar work had a lot to do with the artistic success of Moby Grape's early records, but he left that band after his personal quirks took a nasty turn and he threatened his bandmates with a fire axe. This episode led to a lengthy psychiatric hospitalization, the first of many instigated by the schizophrenia that dogged Spence for the rest of his life until he died of lung cancer. Oar, his only solo record, was tracked shortly after his release.