Mosley, Bob

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1972)

- Bob Mosley -- vocals, bass


  supporting musicians (1972)

- Woodie Berry -- backing vocals
- Ed Black -- lead guitar, pedal steel guitar
- Frank Smith -- backing vocals
- Allen Wehr -- drums, backing vocals 




- Fine Wine (Bob Mosley)

- The Frantics (Bob Mosley)

- Legendary Grape (Bob Mosley)
- Moby Grape (Bob Mosley)
- The Misfits (Bob Mosley)
- Morning Glory (Allen Wehr)

- Mosley Grape (Bob Mosley)

- Joel Scott Trio (Bob Mosley)
- The Strangers (Bob Mosley)

- Superfine Dandelion (Ed Black)

- The Vejtables (Bob Mosley)





Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Bob Mosley

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS 2068

Year: 1972

Country/State: --

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed copy; cut corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 183

Price: $50.00

Cost: $66.00


Anyone talking about famous rock burnouts is likely to include Moby Grape and the late Skip Spence in their discussion. Equally worthy of mention, though he's never attracted the same media attention, is former Moby Grape singer/bassist Bob Mosley. 

Born and raised in Southern California (Paradise Valley), James Robert Mosley spent his teens playing in a number of local bands, including stints with The Misfits,The Frantics and the Strangers. By 1966 he'd relocated to San Francisco where he was briefly a member of The Vejtables.  Next up was the start of an extended and frustrating relationship with the ill-fated Moby Grape. Having recorded four albums with the group, discouraged with the band's lack of commercial success and what he saw as Columbia Records unwillingness to adequately support the group, Mosley dropped out of the band following the release of "'69". As the story goes, Mosley was paying his bills working as a school janitor and was about to be drafted when he decided to volunteer for the Marine Corps. Mosley made it through basic training, however an extended military career was not in the cards. Following a fight with an officer, nine months into his enlistment he was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid-schizophrenic and discharged. Returning to California, he rejoined the original Moby Grape line-up in time to record 1971's "20 Granite Creek" for Reprise Records. Unfortunately, in another episode of self-sabotage shortly after the album was released the group again called it quits. 


Speculation on my part, but I'm guessing Mosley looked like an attractive way for Reprise to recoup some of its investment in Moby Grape.  After all the label had signed the reunited band to a recording contract and funded an album only to see them split before Reprise could recoup any of their investment.  Mosley had written the bulk of the songs for the album and was clearly talented.  Why not take a chance on him?  


I have to admit that as much as I liked Mosley's work with Moby Grape, my expectations for the album were low.   Recognizing cut out bins are full of atrocious solo efforts, I wasn't expecting all that much from 1972's "Bob Mosley". My mistake !!! Guess I should have remembered that Mosley wrote some of The Grape's best material.  If you doubt that comment, or simply haven't explored Moby Grape catalog checkout Mosley efforts like  'Mr. Blues', 'Come In The Morning', Trucking Man' and 'It's a Beautiful Day Today'.  Recorded in Hollywood's Crystal Studios with producer Michael O'Connor, Mosley was credited with penning all eleven tracks. 'Gone Fishin'' was co-written with brother Andy.  Maybe I'm being overly generous, but having owned this album for years and listened to it dozens of times,  I'd argue Mosley turned in an album that was as consistent as anything Moby Grape ever recorded. Supported by a talented pick-up band including former Superfine Dandelion guitarist Ed Black and ex- Morning Glory drummer Allen Wehr, it was also a more rocking album than anything The Grape ever recorded.  Throughout the collection Mosley demonstrated an almost chameleon-like ability to handle different musical styles. The opener 'The Joker' was a roaring slice of fuzz guitar propelled rocker. 'Hands of Time' was a nice West Coast rocker while 'Thanks' offered up a pretty country-rock tune. Among the other highlights, sporting backing from the Memphis Horns, 'Let the Music Play', 'Nothing to Do and a rerecorded 'Gypsy Wedding' offered up three classic slices of blue-eyed soul.  In spite of a misogynistic lyric, my personal favorite was the soulful 'Gone Fishin''.  Sadly, this lost classic vanished without a trace.

"Bob Mosley" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Joker (Bob Mosley) - 3:37 rating: **** stars

Talk about a roaring, rock and roll voice ...  'The Joker' was the kind of hard rock performance that could have made Moby Grape top-40 stars.  Sizzling opener that showcased Mosley's churning bass lines and made it hard to understand why Reprise didn't release if as a single.
2.) Gypsy Wedding (Bob Mosley) - 3:40
rating: **** stars

One of Mosley's finest songs, I love the Moby Grape original (off of 1971's "20 Granite Creek").  Admittedly standing true to the original, the remake isn't exactly shabby.  That said, I'd give the nod to the original, if only for the fact it was a more urgent performance and it doesn't have the obtrusive Memphis Horns cluttering up the arrangement.  Reprise released the track as a single, though I have never seen a stock copy:





- 1972's 'Gypsy Wedding' b/w 'Gone Fishin'' (Reprise catalog number REP 1096)





3.) 1245 Kearny (Bob Mosley) - 3:15 rating: **** stars

Mosley's address?  Always wondered about the title ...  '1245 Kearny' was another awesome rocker; this time adding a bit of Southern rock to the mix.  His vocal has always reminded me a touch of Marshal Tucker's Doug Gray.  Nice platform for hearing what a talented back-up band was supporting him.  Guitarist Ed Black and drummer Allen Wehr powered this one.
4.) Squaw Valley Nils (Hocked Soul) (Bob Mosley) - 3:09
5.) Let the Music Play (Bob Mosley) -3:43
6.) Thanks (Bob Mosley) - 3:00
rating: ** stars

The first disappointment, powered by Ed Black's pedal steel guitar, 'Thanks' was a pretty country-tinged ballad.  Probably was I'm not a big country fan and Mosley sounded like he was singing through a nasty case of strep throat.

(side 2)

1.) Where Do the Birds Go (Bob Mosley) - 3:30 rating: **** stars

Oh my goodness, Mosley just had a classic rock and roll voice and when surrounded by fuzz lead guitar like 'Where Do the Birds Go' you had to wonder how Moby Grape didn't achieve stardom on the back of his talents.
2.) Hand in Hand (Bob Mosley) - 3:00
3.) Gone Fishin' (Bob Mosley - Andy Mosley) - 2:45
rating: **** stars

Damn, how does a then-young San Diego rocker like Mosley suddenly sound like a 60 year old soulster ???  Seriously you couldn't have been blamed for thinking you were hearing a Clarence Carter track ...  Just a stunning performance and a wonderful tribute to the benefits of fishing.  I love every minute of the song and then out of the blue Mosley throws in a misogynistic lyric "I met this girl sitting at the bar.  Said I'd like to take you for a long ride in my car.  She said "sorry Joe I'd rather comb my hair" so I hit her in the head, slapped her brain with my chair ..."  Docked a star for the thoughtless lyric.
4.) Nothing to Do (Bob Mosley) - 2:20
5.) So Many Troubles (Bob Mosley) - 4:03
rating: **** stars

Sporting one of the album's prettiest melodies, the Gospel-tinged ballad 'So Many Troubles' seemed autobiographical, provided a bit on insight into the troubled man's psyche.  Awesome Ed Black fuzz guitar solo.



Following the release of an album with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Chris Darrow in the Darrow Mosely Band, 1973 found Mosley rejoining Jerry Miller and Peter Lewis in another resurrected Moby Grape. Unable to performer as 'Moby Grape" (they didn't own the name), they resorted to playing California clubs as Maby Grope or The Original Grape, eventually recording a 1976 album as Fine Wine (it was only released in Germany). The mid-70s found Mosley back on the club circuit as a member of Neil Young's touring band The Ducks (along with Jeff Blackburn and John Craviotto). 1979 saw another Grape reunion in the form of " Live Grape". Unfortunately, the mid-'90s were extremely difficult for Mosley. His illness and personal problems culminating in a period of time where he was literally homeless, forced to live in the streets of San Diego.  Moby Grape members Peter Lewis, Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson repeatedly tried to help Mosley get on his feet, but it wasn't until 1996 when the band regained use of their name, that their efforts saw success.