Soundtrack of my Life: “War In Peace” by Skip Spence


I started writing this before all the hell of November began, so I decided to finish it. I’ll write the 2016 year-end stuff next month and then that’s it until I find some sort of joy or purpose.

When I discussed Skip Spence’s exquisite and underappreciated OARI mentioned a fondness for the broken and lost geniuses of music, like Syd and Roky. Skip was among them, a giant talent with misfiring synapses. My affinity with them is a natural one as I battle chronic depression and anxiety myself, and I can see pockets of my brain in the dark recesses of their music. Skip was my favourite, mostly because his legend was based on a single album, written while in treatment at Bellevue.

The albums itself is a thing of beauty, but “War In Peace” is special. It’s wonderful and weird, acid laced guitars and hazy vocals. It’s written by someone whose grasp on sanity is tenuous at best, but he can still construct freak out guitars, even if the freak out is quieter than it would have been with either of his earlier bands.  The lyrics are illogical. And then he cribs “Sunshine of Your Love”‘s guitar part and slows it down, leaving it in tatters by the end of the song.

It’s beautiful in its shambolicness. Poor Skip. He coulda been.

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