Taking its quirky name from the punch line of the joke, "What’s big and purple and lives in the ocean?," Moby Grape became one of the primary movers and shakers in the Bay Area music scene of the late 1960s. Critics consider the band one of the standouts of the era for its lively mingling of folk, blues, country and psychedelic sounds. Founder Jerry Miller was recently ranked No. 68 in Rolling Stone's "Top 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time," placing him ahead of such heavyweights as Eddie Van Halen, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and AC/DC's Angus Young.
"We did one at the Fillmore East where we sat down. (Promoter) Bill Graham had a fit. He said, 'All you guys needed was coffins.' But some of the new generation thought it was really alternative. They just shit a brick. They thought we were the coolest thing ever. Yet we didn't understand what we were really obligated to do, which was to come on and give people what they wanted: 'Omaha' ass-kicking like it should have been. That was a valuable lesson. ... The audience was the cream of the crop (in the Bay Area scene of the '60s) -- not so much the musicians. It was the blessing of the audience. They gave and gave. The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and Jefferson Airplane were oftentimes very sour -- and Moby Grape was from time to time very sour. We had no tuners and (the PA systems) weren't great. But the audience was right there with you, always."
— Jerry Miller, Moby Grape