An early member of Fleetwood Mac, slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer left behind a fine (if limited) musical legacy
, but is perhaps better remembered for his sudden defection from the group to join a religious cult. Spencer was born in West Hartlepool, England on July 4, 1948; he started taking piano lessons at age nine, switched to guitar at 15 to emulate his rock & roll idols, and the following year discovered Elmore James, who became his chief influence. In 1967, Spencer became the fourth member of the fledgling Fleetwood Mac, concentrating primarily on slide guitar but also doubling up on piano. He was a major component of the group's early blues-rock sound on albums like 1968's Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and 1969's English Rose. A gifted musical impressionist, Spencer's affectionate send-ups of early rock & roll styles and artists were sometimes incorporated into the group's live shows; in 1970, Spencer released a self-titled solo LP in that vein on Reprise, featuring parodies of rockabilly, teen idol ballads, surf, Elvis, psychedelia, and even Mac itself. That same year's Kiln House would prove to be the last Mac album Spencer played on, however. ~portion of bio by Steve Huey.