Happy 50th Birthday Mike Gordon | 50 Minute Foam With The Duo

June 3, 1965 was the day Mike Gordon was born meaning today the Phish bassist celebrates his 50th birthday. Mike has two tours on the horizon, first heading out with his band beginning this Friday, June 5 at Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, South Carolina prior to setting off with Phish on their Summer Tour beginning July 21 at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon. In honor of Cactus’ half century we’ve queued up an historic rendition of “Foam” from a decade ago.

On April 27, 2005 Gordon performed with the Benevento/Russo Duo at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia. The first set that night was made up of only one song, Phish’s “Foam.” The massively jammed out version with Marco Benevento on keys and Joe Russo on drums incorporated elements of “Lengthwise” during the exploratory on the Junta track.

With Mike turning 50 today, we present this 50+ minute “Foam” posted by alexsh showcasing Cactus at the top of his game:

Gordon discussed his upcoming solo tour in a new interview with Charleston City Paper. The bassist has long maintained a balance between his own bands and Phish. “Phish has managed to maintain a good chemistry for 32 years now, and it still feels good to reinvent ourselves in little ways, but it’s definitely not enough for me,” Mike explained. “Ever since I was three years old, the most important thing to me is to get up in the morning and create something. Phish always encourages me to bring my material, and it’s all very encouraging, but at the end of the day there is already enough songwriting. They are all very inspired songwriters and decision makers, and one of my personality defects is that when there is already a lot of creativity involved in something, I don’t really push myself. I really need a situation where I wake up and have to make a hundred decisions or the project won’t get done. That is what I don’t get out of Phish, and what I get out of doing my own material. I have to do it with my own band.”

When asked about whether his five-piece is bass-centric, Gordon responded “I definitely like being in the spotlight, but I also like getting the group-mind going, letting everyone have their moment to shine. Personally, I get bored when I see a band perform where it’s clearly built around showcasing one person, and everyone else just happens to be playing there on the side. I want everyone to be going for it onstage. I don’t even know that I’d really call it bass-centric, although I guess it is. It is and it isn’t.” Head to Charleston City Paper for more of the bassist’s chat in advance of Friday’s tour opener.