Skip Spence Bio, Age, Height, Family, Wife, Children, Moby Grape (Musician), and Net Worth

Skip Spence Biography

Skip Spence whose full name is Alexander Lee Skip Spence, popularly known as Skip Spence or Skippy, is a Canadian- American musician and singer-songwriter. He was the co-founder of Moby Grape playing guitar with them until 1969 and releasing one solo album, Oar in 1969’s.

Skip Spence Age

Spence was born on 18 April 1946 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and was 52 years old at the time of his death on April 16, 1999, due to lung cancer.

Skip Spence Height

Spence stood at a height of 1.77m, and his weight was about 72 kg as of 1999.

Skip Spence Family

His father, Alexander Lett Jock Spence born in 1914 was a machinist, and salesman, and played Route 66 as a solo singer-songwriter and piano player. Moreover, his father was also a decorated Canadian WWII bomber pilot, having been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. However, Alexander died in 1965 with no clear reasons for his death. Additionally, Skip has a half-brother named Rich Young and his sister, Sherry Ferreira.

Skip Spence's Photo
Skip Spence’s Photo

Skip Spence Wife

Rumors say Skip was in a relationship with Tuesday Weld, an American actress, and model. He survived with his four children, Adam, Omat, Heather, and Aaron with his former wife and girlfriend and eleven grandchildren.

Skip Spence Career

Alexander Skip is one of the founding members of both Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape, the Bay Area’s most influential bands. Spence began his musical career in 1965 as the original drummer for Jefferson Airplane. Furthermore, he was cast as the drummer by founder Marty Balin, who was auditioning for the Quicksilver Messenger Service at a club. Spence’s songwriting talents were not a waste, however, and he co-wrote several songs on the Airplane’s debut album. Before leaving in 1966, Skippy left behind one song, My Best Friend chosen as the first single from the Airplane’s 1967 masterpiece, Surrealistic Pillow.

In 1968, Oar was recorded over seven days in Nashville, on which Spence plays all of the instruments. The Land of the Sun was one of the last recordings, if not the last known recording by Alexander Spence. His promising career was largely ended as of the mid-1970s, due to schizophrenia, compounded by drug addiction and alcoholism. However, here are some of the songs he had written before his death;

  • Little Hands
  • War in Peace
  • Weighted Down
  • Books of Moses
  • All  Come to Meet Her
  • Grey/ Afro
  • Lawrence of Euphoria
  • Cripple Creek
  • Diana
  • Broken Heart
  • Furry Heroine

In 1994, Skip participated in a music program for the mentally ill, sponsored by the City of San Jose. Later in 1996, he was commissioned to write a song for The X-Files soundtrack, Songs in the Key of X which was included on the More Oar tribute record, Land of the Sun. Moreover, his final performance with Moby Grape was on August 9, 1996, at Palookaville in Santa Cruz. Spence led the group through a version of Sailing and an impromptu performance of J.P.P. McStep B. Blues, which he’d written for Jefferson Airplane in 1966. You can also listen to songs by other artists like Mary Lambert.

Illness and Death

Skip died of lung cancer on 16 April 1999 in Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz, California two days before his 53rd birthday. He was checked into a Northern California hospital with pneumonia on April 5th, and his condition worsened. Birdman Records was just getting ready to release More Oar, a tribute album with performances by Robert Plant, Beck, Tom Waits, and others, in a few weeks. It was based on Spence’s 1969 solo album, Oar, and donations to fund Spence’s medical bills. Skippy had suffered from mental illness for the last thirty years.


Skippy is described on the All Music website as one of psychedelia’s brightest lights writing Omaha for Moby Grape’s first album listed as one of the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time in 2008, the Rolling Stone Magazine. A Skip Spence tribute concert held in Santa Cruz in June 2008 featured his son Omar. Omar Spence was backed by the Santa Cruz White Album Ensemble while singing his father’s songs, with Dale Ockerman and Tiran Porter (formerly Doobie Brothers). Don Stevenson also performed while Keith Graves of Quicksilver Messenger Service played drums. Peter Lewis joined the group onstage for the finale and in October 2008, an additional Skip Spence tribute concert was held. William Gibson paid tribute to Spence in his collection of essays, Distrust That Particular Flavor.

Skip Spence’s Net Worth

Spence’s estimated net worth is $200 million. His primary source is his job as a musician, singer, and songwriter.

Social Media

Details concerning his social media are unavailable to the public domain.