Owner of a Lonely Heart

The late Skip Spence finally receives some attention

The late Skip Spence, finally receiving some long-overdue attention
The late Skip Spence, finally receiving some long-overdue attention

Weirdest of all, though, is Spence himself. Hidden after the final track (an elongated version of "Givin' Up Things" by the Minus 5 that taps the original's gorgeous melody for all it's worth) is "Land of the Sun," a mid-'90s recording Spence made for the X-Files movie. (The track was never used.) On it he only speaks above a mechanical background. His voice is weary and haunted. Much like the way William S. Burroughs could evoke paralyzing and catastrophic paranoia with a single croak, Spence conveys a sense of loss, an extraterrestrial feeling that he isn't quite all there anymore. Still he sounds frighteningly human. In the end Spence was a guy who saw real ghosts and rather than fight with them, chose simply to walk away.

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