Skip Spence - Oar
The story of Alexander “Skip” Spence and his single solo album Oar are the one of which true rock cult legends are made.
Starting out first in a band in his native Canada, he became the drummer for Jefferson Airplane (played on their debut Jefferson Airplane Takes Off), then moved to Moby Grape as one of the co-founders of the band and writing their best-known song "Omaha."
Yet, according to the account of producer David Rubinson, under the heavy use of psychedelic drugs, particularly while recording the band’s second album Wow/Grape Jam (1968), Spence confronted his bandmates finally trying to attack them with a fire axe. Eventually, he ended up in a psychiatric ward.
After his release, Rubinson arranged for Spence to enter a small recording studio in Nashville and instructed recording engineer Mike Figlio just to keep Spence in the studio, leaving the tape machines on at all times. The result was this incredible, spaced-out album, that was initially supposed to be just a set of demos, but Rubinson decided to present them to Columbia Records as a finished product.
The album became a cult favorite, particularly with the critics and other artists, but even with a series of reissues, never caught up with a wider audience.