Happy Birthday Mike Gordon | It’s Just A Mock Song

Phish bassist Mike Gordon was born on this day in 1965 and we wanted to take an opportunity to wish the man known as “Cactus” a very happy 49th birthday. Mike’s life, and the lives of many Phish fans, was changed forever when he responded to a “Bass Player Wanted” flyer posted by fellow University of Vermont student Trey Anastasio. Phish worked up an extensive repertoire and spent hundreds of hours rehearsing over the coming years before the quartet rose to national prominence in the ’90s. The Vermonters have gone on to become one of the top grossing live acts in the country and Mike has shown an eagerness to diversify his sound and achieve musical growth by performing with a number of side projects throughout his career such as his outstanding five-piece “solo” band.

[Photo by Andrew Blackstein]

One of our favorite songs written by Mike Gordon is the composition “Mock Song,” which appeared on Phish’s 2002 studio album –Round Room. In the comprehensive “Mock Song” song history on Phish.net, Phillip Zerbo notes that the tune captures “the essence of Mike” and we couldn’t agree more. Zerbo goes on the write, “both obtuse and graceful, the lyrics produce a surprising phonic elegance. Irony prevailing, the lyrics almost make sense, or at least you could see how they would make sense to Mike. ‘Mock Song’ combines these lyrical oddities with a slow, infectious, trance-like groove, layered with the warm yet dissonant sustain of Trey’s guitar straight out of the book of Frippertronics.”

Sadly for “Mock Song” fans, the song was only performed once in concert. Phish debuted “Mock Song” at The Gorge on July 12, 2003 and it has yet to be played again by the quartet or any of Mike’s projects.

While there’s no “official video” for the tune, fan 420LibraryLady created an incredible montage that provides a fitting visual for “Mock Song.” Check it out:


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