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Phish on LSD

Trey, Fish, and Mike reminisce during Gorge soundcheck (July, 2013) about one of their earliest shows where everyone took LSD (but not Mike) and they scared away Jeff Holdsworth. This video was shot from the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River (incredible views) and recorded the conversation between Trey who was checking his vocal mic and front of house sound engineer Garry Brown.

Here’s the transcript I’ve managed to cobble together — like I said it was soundcheck and they’re setting levels and there is some tuning going on in the background.

Trey: (cough) My voice isn’t coming out of the speakers. Is that where my mouth was? It was too much. Page trying to talk and it didn’t work. We stood there for like, fifteen minutes, and then we realized that … if I played my guitar and some actual chords (inaudible) finally we just ran away and never played.

Fish: Actually, the other guitar player Jeff Holdsworth ran away and never came back.

Trey: He never came back. That was the last gig he ever played.

Mike: I remember he kept walking up to the mic and trying to sing and he couldn’t.

Trey: And Mike turned to me at one point … we were up there for at least ten minutes … it was the most awkward thing …. Mike turned to me and said, “Check everyone’s minds they’ve turned to egg yolks” which, meant so much to me.

(inaudible, bass tuning in background)

Trey: It was the most profound thing that anyone had ever said to me. We never played. That was it.

Fish: Didn’t Mike also say, “let’s go to G now” … I think he was playing a C …. And said “just play a G”

Trey/Fish: Just play a G chord.

Mike: You couldn’t figure out a G chord.

Trey: And what’s a chord? It’s so many wires, it’s so many frets.

(bass tuning)

Trey: Maybe we should try that tonight, what do you think Garry?

(jazzy guitar noodling & Columbia River Gorge views)


Phish – Destiny Unbound – Merriweather Post Pavilion – 7/13/03

After a 61 gap absence, Phish busted out the Mike Gordon penned “Destiny Unbound” during summer tour 2013 at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 13th. Destiny, which follows the tale of star-crossed lovers Highway Bill and Highway Jill, saw most of its performances between 1990-1991 and dropped off the radar until it’s return in 2003 (after 796 shows). The band has never performed the song at Madison Square Garden — here’s hoping it will this New Year’s Eve run.

Phish – Say Something – Mike Gordon debut – The Gorge, WA – 7/27/13

HD VIDEO :: DEBUT of the new MIKE GORDON and SCOTT MURAWSKI tune “Say Something” from the Gorge, WA, July 27, 2013. As soon as this song started, the crowd erupted and started dancing to the sounds of this 70s inspired funk groove. I was positioned between Mike and Trey about three people deep — you’ll see towards the end of the video that there’s soot (dust-like particles) flying through the air which was the result of a neighboring “fire on the mountain.” Great song, literally set the night on fire.

New York Guitar Festival – Feat: Mike Gordon, Larry Campbell – World Financial Center, Winter Garden

The 2012 New York Guitar festival kicked off this past evening at the Winter Garden Atrium,  in the World Financial Center, by celebrating 30 years of Brian Eno’s album, “Apollo: Atmosphere and Soundtracks.”

The album, played LIVE for the first time ever, featured Mike Gordon (bass) Larry Campbell (guitar) David Torn, Noveller, and Jeff Parker. A tribute to NASA’s Moon landings, Eno’s album imagines very ethereal, peaceful-yet-haunting, moving, and spacey(literally!) sounds and soundscapes.

Played in its entirety, Eno wanted the music to induce a feeling of “weightlessness” and so there’s no way  a note-for-note replication could be created of these highly-complicated tracks–though, if any band has come close–it was this lineup.

This video of the band “jamming” captures the band improvising on their own, after completing the album, and  being introduced to the full house at Winter Garden. Oops, looks like you’re not allowed to see that video!! Also amazing were the moving images of nebulae, swirling dust, and spoken word about the Apollo moon landings and NASA. Remember kids: We are all molecules.

PHISH – 2011 NYE RUN – Friends & Photos

Who had fun on New Years? I did, I did!! We had an amazing four-night run at Madison Square Garden with Phish! Here are some moments (you won’t find them in a box) that I captured of the band, the scene and my friends! Oh, and there were fans dancing in the air (SKYWALKERs!!) AND a bunch of WHITE meatsticks!! Don’t miss my video of “Down With Disease” showing all the New Year’s madness in my previous post!

Download: Mike Gordon, The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH

Mike Gordon kicked off a mini-tour of New Hampshire this past weekend with two shows. The first, on Saturday, 11/12/11, at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, featured two sets from Mike’s steady lineup of musicians: guitarist and vocalist Scott Murawski from Max Creek, drummer Todd Isler from International Orange, percussionist and mad-beat-dropper Craig Myers from Rubblebucket, and keyboard wizard Tom Cleary teacher of jazz at the University of Vermont.

**To download an iTunes ready version of the Mike Gordon show from The Music Hall, taped by Ted Gakidis, please click here.**

The show mostly showcased tunes off Gordon’s recent album Moss, (“Horizon Line,” “Spiral,” “Fire From A Stick,” and “Can’t Stand Still”) which, over the past year have been road tested and remain mainstays in the band’s repertoire.

Drawing from his second album, Green Sparrow, Gordon opened his second set with “Dig Further Down” and closed with “Traveled Too Far.” Sprinkled throughout the show were covers that ranged from bluegrass (Bill Monroe’s “Walls of Time”) to pop (Alanis Morrisette’s “Hand In My Pocket”); and even Gillian Welch’s “Time (The Revelator)” and Little Feat’s “Skin It Back.” The second set closer, The Who’s “Wont Get Fooled Again” was a first for the band.

Scott Murawski sang “Willow Tree”–a tune he brought from his other band, Max Creek, and Tom Cleary performed an original in each set, “Crumblin’ Bones” and “Be Good And You’ll Be Lonely,” which features three-part harmonies between Gordon, Murawski, and Cleary. Gordon stretched out and revisited two older fan favorites, “Couch Lady” and “Susskind Hotel” before closing out the first set.

Mike Gordon ended the evening with an encore of the GRAB original “Hap Nappy” and Tower of Power’s “Down to the Nightclub.”

Download: Mike Gordon, Atlanta, GA, 9/17/09 (one of my faves!!)

Happy Birthday Mike Gordon! Let’s all celebrate and get bassed by downloading this iTunes ready (and one of my favorite MIKE shows ever) from Hotlanta…with very special guest artists Col Bruce Hampton sitting in on “Yield Not to Temptation” and guest sax player Deji Coker on “Nobody’s Home” and “I’m Deranged.” The Variety Playhouse show took place on Thursday, September 17th, 2009. Here’s the full setlist.

Click here to download to Mike Gordon’s Atlanta ’09 show!

Phish on Jimmy Fallon – Kill Devil Falls – 6/9/2010

Jimmy Greets Mike and the Band

Thanks to the long and delayed Flyers v. Hawks game, I had to stay up just past 2am to catch the second appearance of Phish on Jimmy Fallon. They performed a solid and pop-driven version of “Kill Devil Falls” which originally taped on May 13th, 2010, as part of “Stones in Exile” week. Jimmy Fallon introduced they band while holding up the cover of the band’s latest album, Joy, on which the tune appears. Phish, whose TV spots are as rare as say “Kung,” had last graced our TV sets in 2004 when they played Letterman.

Dear Diary: Phish RAWKED Jimmy Fallon

It’s 4:30 P.M. and I’m inside NBC’s 30 Rock building feverishly posting a photo to facebook with the caption: “I’ve got a golden ticket.” And, it’s true. That’s exactly how I feel waiting to get into the taping of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” to see Phish perform. Everyone wanted to get into this show. Questlove even tweeted that he “Never got a “absolutely 0 guests” memo for a show b4. But it’s understandable: its friggin Phish! #rollingstonesweek.”

The guy behind me, Matt, works at NBC and is clearly stoked to be here. He can’t wait to rub it in to his 41-year-old brother, who used to hang at The Wetlands, that he scored a way to get in. Behind him a curly mop top interrupts to ask if we’ve heard anything about a rumored surprise Phish gig. He swears it’s happening–it’s all over the web boards and Phantasy Tour. He’s convinced, without a doubt that this is definitely happening. We burst out laughing. I tell him I’ll see him at Roseland later.

We file into the studio an hour later. There’s a beautiful buzz all around us. Is everyone here a Phish fan? I spot taper Mike Salvo, who I met on Mike Gordon’s March tour, sitting on the second to last bench. It’s not one of the original (and recycled) red and cushion-y Radio City Music Hall chairs, but he’d get to move to the Band Bench, which would put him spitting distance to Fishman for the performance. Another friend, Keith, is also back there and would give me a fist bump as he made his way down the aisle.

We’re warned pretty frequently by the NBC pages and suits with rainbow peacock pins to “Turn your cell phones off! No cameras!!” and there are plenty of them to enforce the law and direct people to their seats. The studio is smaller than expected. Maybe 200 phans? Sweet, this is my smallest Phish show ever. Wait, does this count as a show? My stats.

The warm-up guy can’t believe his luck. He’d get to rib us on every hippy connotation he could muster. “How many of you are here to see Phish?” he says with an all-knowing nod. 80% of the crowd hoots and hollers and basically goes nuts–but politely quiets back down. “You guys were here early, right? Out in the parking lot.” Yeah, yeah, we all agree and someone yells “Shakedown.” Warm-up guy clues us in that Fallon will come into the studio audience for some crowd participation. If Fallon picks on the guy in front of you, “don’t put your ugly mug in the shot and say ‘hey, yeah man…I look good’ cause, guess what? You’re ruining the shot!!”

We’re pumped. It’s time for Jimmy Fallon to come out. His desk is straightforward to my left, a big open space in the middle of the floor, and to my right are The Roots. Since it’s Stones week on Jimmy Fallon they’ve hosted some killer sit-ins. Our special guest, and we’re quickly told there will be more, is New Orleans zydeco-boogie woogie-blues-and sweet jelly roll styl-y piano player Dr. John. Between segments he and the Roots totally jam out “Right Place Wrong Time.” All the lead ins and outs of the segments are done by the Roots and Dr. John and they’re pretty smokin’.

Jimmy Fallon With Page, Trey, Jon, and Mike

There are hi-def screens everywhere and we can watch along with the taping. I count at least six audience mics hanging and the sound in the studio is really good. In the very back of the studio behind us a DJ spins tracks off of “Exile” but quickly skipped past “Loving Cup” at the end of the night.

Fallon is totally on the level with the demographic of his audience. When it’s time for him to announce the evening’s musical performance for Stone’s week the word PHISH is barely audible over all the CHEERING. It’s deafening. We’re ridiculous.

Mike Gordon Holds Down the Groove With Jon Fishman

Someone starts pounding their feet on the floor and we all follow suit. It’s a RUMBLE and Fallon’s eyes totally light up. We’ve impressed him. The Roots have never reckoned with a flock like us. This is going to be fun. I turn to my friend Melissa and say, “We get to see Phish!” I almost forgot that there would be an actual performance still to come.

There were some do-overs. A few of them of course. Sam Rockwell came out at least three times because Fallon was tripping up. “Can we do that again? It’s like a riddle,” he said referring to the Broadway show “Behanding in Spokane,” that both Rockwell and Christopher Walken are in. Actually, on the third try–and the take that aired–Rockwell came out and busted a few moves with Fallon on the floor….and ended up in a split.

That's Me and My Boy Fallon!

Now the order of guests that we saw, was different than the one that was aired. LL Cool J came first, then Sam Rockwell, and then the ultimate of surprise guests for the evening, Keith Richards. From my perch in the third row I could see producers Lorne Michaels strolling in and out–checking in on what has probably been the biggest and most publicized week and show for Jimmy Fallon.

During one break, and there were quite a few, Seth Myers came out and gave a high-five to a guy sitting diagonal from me. The seat was definitely saved for this VIP, and if I had to guess I would say that he was a writer. Total guess tho.

FINALLY it was time for PHISH. The curtain pulls back, the Crew pushes all the gear forward. Page, Fish, Mike, and Trey file out and wave to the audience. One camera is on Fallon and Keith Richards—they are standing off to the left in front of a screen and Phish is ready and armed with their instruments.

They start off “Loving Cup” a little bit faster than usual—but it’s a celebration. Could be the happiest of the LC’s that I’ve seen, they absolutely nailed it with the look of total professionalism. Well, everyone but Fish…he traded his signature donut dress for a Ren and Stimpy shirt. Classic!!

Trey Belting Out "Loving Cup" With Band Bench Behind HIm

What the home TV audience didn’t see and we were privy to, was the extra song, “Kill Devil Falls.” After a quick onstage discussion with the stage manager Fallon announced that he would be right back after changing his suit and tie. The crowd was obviously stoked that another song was on the way. Once back, Fallon announced that Phish start their summer tour in Chicago on June 11th—and he held up the cover of Joy for the camera.

We were such a good audience that Fallon delivered on his promise to have munchies for us–bags of Funyons were waiting for us as we exited the studio. He made sure to mention more than once or twice that we were awesome (aww, thanks Jimmy! Feeling’s mutual!). Well, almost everyone was awesome…two girls got kicked out at the very end for yelling (while the tape was rolling) SHOW US YOUR FALLON!! Oh wait, that’s totally awesome!! We win anyway!!

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