GREAT GRAPE

February 24, 2012 – 4:32 am

The fall of Moby Grape was caused by an unfriendly, antagonistic atmosphere.

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MOBY GRAPE
Fall On Amsterdam [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Congrescentrum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, February 12, 1969. Broadcast on RAI. Very good FM.

After 40 years, most would have given up on ever finding an official release of this radio show from 1969. But lo and behold, in 2010 Sundazed Records offered a glimpse of the Amsterdam show with five tracks on Moby Grape Live. The remainder of the 10-song performance can be found here. Material performed are from the albums Wow and ‘69.

The story of Moby Grape is one of greatness cut short, followed by a dark deep fall into obscurity. The band had three excellent guitarists in Jerry Miller, Peter Lewis and Skip Spence and five-part harmonies that would have put the rest of rock to shame. All five of the original members wrote or co-wrote all their songs.

Although Moby Grape appeared at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, they were not part of the official soundtrack or featured in the movie because their manager, Matthew Katz, insisted on a huge sum before he would allow them to be featured in the soundtrack or film. The Grape’s performance at Monterey finally got an official release in 2010 with the release of Moby Grape Live. The band’s other problem concerned Skip Spence, the former Jefferson Airplane drummer turned guitarist, who was not only under the influence of drugs but became severely mental and had to be put under psychiatric care. Spence was hospitalized for six months in 1968 and missed the band’s Europe tour.

Spence’s eccentric and willful behaviour coupled by legal disputes with their former manager took the winds from their sails. Albums came out sporadically and whatever goodwill Moby Grape earned from their early years in San Francisco were all but forgotten during the late ’70s. The arrival of heavy metal and melodic guitarists like Peter Frampton nailed the door on psychedelic rock.

Their problems with Katz persisted and when Sundazed Records reissued the Grape’s first five albums on CD and vinyl in October 2007, Katz fired off a lawsuit the following month. Wikipedia reported that “Sundazed were directed to withdraw the three titles by Sony BMG (inheritors of the band’s original label, Columbia), from whom Sundazed had licensed the recordings”. The albums were Moby Grape, Wow and Grape Jam.

On a happier note “Listen My Friends! The Best of Moby Grape… a compilation album by Moby Grape, released in 2007 by Columbia Records as part of its “Legacy” series… was released in the year following a final judicial determination that the members of Moby Grape had a right to ownership of the band name and related royalties, rather than their former manager, Matthew Katz”.

A customer at Amazon.com had this to say when writing about Sundazed Records 2007 reissues:

“I don’t know the particulars, but if this latest screwing of the band was done by or because of Matthew Katz he should be ashamed. Having this music available for posterity is more important than his ego or his needing a new BMW every year. As a buyer for a major Distributor in the mid 1970’s I had to deal with him on several occasions (he owns the San Francisco Sounds label) and he certainly seemed to be as big a d*** as everyone makes him out to be. What a sad, tragic affair.”
Click here for the full comment.

We are offering the rest of the Amsterdam show for posterity.
- The Little Chicken

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

01. I’m Not Willing - Omitted*
02. Trucking Man - Omitted*
Track 03. Sitting By The Window 3:41 (5.9MB)
04. Fall On You - Omitted*
05. Murder In My Heart For The Judge - Omitted*
Track 06. Untitled Blues 4:57 (7.9MB)
Track 07. Omaha 5:39 (9.0MB)
Track 08. Murder In My Heart For The Judge If You Can’t Learn From My Mistakes 5:11 (8.3MB)
Track 09. Untitled Blues Hey Grandma 4:54 (7.8MB)
10. Omaha Reprise - Omitted*

Lineup:
Jerry Miller - guitar
Peter Lewis - guitar
Bob Moore - bass
Don Stevenson - drums

* Tracks 1, 2 , 4, 5 and 10 can be found on Sundazed Records’ Moby Grape Live released in 2010.

Buy Moby Grape Live here.

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  1. 12 Responses to “GREAT GRAPE”

  2. believe it or not I saw the guess Who way back in the late 60`s and they did a cover of Hey Grandma…

    By sluggo on Feb 24, 2012

  3. Thanks for posting this. I have the Sundazed Moby Grape Live that has 5 tracks from this show. I will patch those in to have the complete broadcast.The album also has cuts from the Monterey Pop Festival as well. A great band should have been huge. Thanks Big-O

    By Bill H. on Feb 24, 2012

  4. For those not endowed by the commercial releases of 1, 4, and 5, there are at least live versions on the subsequent posting of Moby Grape. Whatcha call an old member of Moby Grape? A Moby Raisin? Ok, ok, I’ll run and hide now.

    By 3yrsnojob on Feb 24, 2012

  5. better than a prune eh?

    By darth on Feb 24, 2012

  6. moby cabernet?

    By rick on Feb 24, 2012

  7. # 8 plays “Murder In My Heart For The Judge”! Please post #5 if it is “If You Can’t Learn From My Mistakes” and not on LIVE legaly. Thanks for this show, RKL

    By RKL on Feb 25, 2012

  8. darth, 3yrs, The connection is-Moby Grape member Peter Lewis has been playing with the original re-formed Electric Prunes. Check out their albums or website. Since about 2001.

    By sking on Feb 25, 2012

  9. Oh by the way, That’s Jerry Miller that does the guitar break in I Fought The Law by The Bobby Fuller Four.

    By sking on Feb 25, 2012

  10. Hello RKL

    Thanks for the feedback. Track 5 is indeed Murder In My Heart For The Judge. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Feb 25, 2012

  11. I can explain as I have the complete boot. The song titles on mine match those written above but the actual songs are:
    Tks 5 & 8 Murder In My Heart For The Judge
    Tks 6 & 9 Untitled Blues
    Tks 7 & 10 Omaha

    The songs If You Can’t Learn From My Mistakes & Hey Grandma are not actually played at all. They just repeat tracks 5,6,7 again as 8,9, and 10. Weather these are different versions I didn’t check but the sound quality is different.

    So in a way this is really only missing (omitted) 3 out of 7 songs.

    By sking on Feb 25, 2012

  12. Download this fast, folks! The above story reminds me of the sleazebag lawyers for Pat Metheny and Led Zeppelin…

    By TDC on Feb 25, 2012

  13. Hello sking

    Thanks for the feedback. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Feb 25, 2012

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