Bob Mosley

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Bob Mosley (born James Robert Mosley; December 4, 1942 in Paradise Valley, California)[1] is principally known as the bass player and one of the songwriters and vocalists for the band Moby Grape. He has also developed a career as a solo artist. Some of his best known songs with Moby Grape are "Mr. Blues", "Come In The Morning", and "Lazy Me" from the first Moby Grape album (1967),[2] "Bitter Wind",[3] from Wow/Grape Jam (1968) and "Gypsy Wedding", from 20 Granite Creek (1971).[4]


Bob Mosley spent his adolescence in San Diego, where he graduated from Kearny High School. One of his first bands that he organized was in San Diego called The Misfits, who had one single on Imperial Records and one on Troy Records in the early 1960s. After playing with the Joel Scott Hill Trio, he relocated to San Francisco where he played with The Vejetables for a brief period. Mosley has had a varied musical career, including a prominent but interrupted role in Moby Grape during the 1967-1971 period, the commencement of a solo career in 1972, plus a period in 1977 playing with Neil Young in a band called The Ducks,[5] which had a brief life and lamented demise.

Mosley's career has been plagued by the challenges of schizophrenia, as was the case with Moby Grape bandmate Skip Spence. Both musicians were homeless for several years. Mosley's schizophrenia was first diagnosed after he left Moby Grape in 1969, following the release of Moby Grape '69. Mosley shocked the remaining band members, in leaving the band to join the Marines. It was during basic training with the Marines that Mosley was first diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He was discharged from the Marines nine months after basic training.[6]

In 1996, three of Mosley's fellow band members, Jerry Miller, Peter Lewis and Don Stevenson, in part reformed Moby Grape with the objective of helping Mosley recover emotionally and financially.[7] Bob Mosley describes the circumstances as follows: "In 1996, Peter Lewis picked me up along the side of a San Diego freeway where I was living, to tell me a ruling by San Francisco Judge Garcia gave Moby Grape their name back. I was ready to go to work again."[8]

Unlike bandmate Skip Spence, whose musical output largely ceased within a few years of the onset of schizophrenia, Bob Mosley has been able to continue to write songs and record music for much of his life. His most recent solo release is True Blue, released on the Taxim label in 2005.[9]

Solo discography[edit]

  • Bob Mosley[10] (1972)
  • Never Dreamed[11] (1974)
  • Wine and Roses (1986) Nightshift Records; acoustic five song mini-album
  • Mosley Grape Live at Indigo Ranch[12] (1989)
  • True Blue[13] (2005)


  1. ^ Bob Mosley profile from
  2. ^ "Mr.Blues" is described by reviewer John Reed as follows: "(B)assist Bob Mosley...not only looked like a combo of a pugilist and a surfer, but his songwriting agility was just as unique. 'Mr. Blues' may appear to be an homage to the blues artists that influenced the band - but this is no Muddy Waters remake - as Mosley exercises his depression demons, but then wonders where the feelings that caused all his sadness has gone too. Amongst an upbeat rhythm (and) defiant lyrics (is) a throaty delivery from Mosley that is so gritty, yet sweet, that he almost creates his own version of 'black and blue eyed soul'. Review of Listen My Friends! The Best of Moby Grape, May 17, 2007. Blogcritics Magazine;
  3. ^ The song, as described by reviewer Matthew Greenwald, is "a beautifully written ballad that uses the metaphor of nature, trees and wind to illustrate a man's depression. It's deeply affecting and has a strong spiritual quality to it."
  4. ^ A rearranged version of "Gypsy Wedding" appears on Bob Mosley's self-titled first solo album (1972). The song was also included on The Ducks' setlist, when Bob Mosley was playing in that band with Neil Young.
  5. ^ Pat Mead,The Ducks! Recollection, including band photo.
  6. ^ See Steve Leggett,Profile of Bob Mosley;
  7. ^ Nickey Baxter, Raisin Band MetroActive, August 8, 1996. At the time, Skip Spence was not well enough to participate in the band reformation.
  8. ^ Bob Mosley commentary in relation to the circumstances ultimately leading to the recording of True Blue. Earlier attempts by Moby Grape band members to help Mosley out of homelessness had been less successful. One such attempt is described by Peter Lewis as follows: "We went to find Bob, and there he was, living in this cardboard box. He had these friends, the squirrels and the lizards that he had. And I brought this guitar, cost me a hundred bucks, you know, and I left that with him and a tape of Moby Grape songs and a tape recorder with batteries in it and some extra batteries. So the next weekend, I came back, and there was no guitar, but the cassette case... He had tried to tear all the tape out of it and had left it, you know, down there in the bushes. And that's all that was left. Bob was gone, you know." Paul Conley, Moby Grape just can't catch a break "All Things Considered" newsletter, December 21, 2007.
  9. ^ For a series of pictures of Bob Mosley, taken in 2005, see here For a photo of Bob Mosley at the 2007 "Summer of Love" reunion festival, at which Moby Grape performed, see here.
  10. ^ Bob Mosley
  11. ^ Never Dreamed
  12. ^ Mosley Grape Live at Indigo Ranch
  13. ^ True Blue

External links[edit]