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Mike Gordon

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Mike Gordon (born June 3, 1965 in Sudbury, Massachusetts) is a Jewish American bass player and vocalist most noted for his work with the rock band Phish. Gordon is also an accomplished banjo player, and is proficient at piano, guitar, harmonica and percussion. He is also an award-winning filmmaker.


Gordon met Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, and Jeff Holdsworth at the University of Vermont, where Phish began in 1983.

In the music, Gordon's influence is the most obvious in Phish's many different renditions of various bluegrass, calypso and even traditional Jewish songs. He also contributed by singing, usually adding to the lower end of the harmony spectrum, as well as writing off-beat lyrics to amusing but thought-provoking songs.

Gordon played many roles in Phish. Until the band became too big for self-management, he dealt with practically all public relations and fan communication, such as answering fan mail, managing funds, and booking gigs. Gordon wrote seventeen Phish original songs and co=authored twenty-two Phish tracks. [1]

On August 11, 2003, Gordon was arrested for endangering the welfare of a minor after an alleged photo shoot involving a nine-year-old girl inside a deserted boathouse behind Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York, following a performance by The Dead. The girl's father was a leader of a Hells Angels chapter. While being held before police arrived to arrest him, the Angels "were not gentle with the sensitive areas of the rock star's body." After his arrest, he told officers, "I may have shown bad judgment, but I am not a pedophile."[1] A month later, Gordon was officially cleared of any wrongdoing.[2]

Other musical projects

Gordon has played in several side-projects apart from Phish, including Grappa Boom with Jamie Masefield of the Jazz Mandolin Project, The Chieftains with Rosanne Cash, and Doug Perkins of Smokin' Grass.

In 2002, Gordon recorded the critically acclaimed Clone album with acoustic guitar master Leo Kottke. The duo reunited in 2005 for Sixty Six Steps.

Gordon formed his own solo band featuring Josh Roseman, Scott Murawski, Julee Avallone, James Harvey, Gordon Stone, Jeannie Hill, and Doug Belote in 2003 and released Inside In based loosely on Outside Out.

In the summer of 2004 Gordon produced musician Joey Arkenstat's debut album, Bane. Gordon is also credited with providing vocals and shofar accompaniment.

In 2004, Gordon performed with The Benevento-Russo Duo for several shows benefiting Headcount, a voter registration organization. The trio played a number of dates throughout late 2004 and 2005 including the Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2005 and a New Year's Eve series of shows in Florida and the northeast United States.

In December 2005, Gordon formed SerialPod with Anastasio and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. The group debuted at the 17th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in Asheville, North Carolina.

In early 2006, Gordon teamed up with his mother, artist Marjorie Minkin, to present Another Side of In — a visual and audio art show featuring interactive sculptures created by Minkin and set to the music of Inside In.

Later in the year, Gordon formed Ramble Dove. The band came into fruition after Gordon's long-time stint as bass player in a honky tonk band led by Brett Hughes that performed each Tuesday night at the Burlington, Vermont club, Radio Bean. The group performs a number of classic country songs and a few Gordon originals, such as "Ramble Dove," "Loosening Up The Rules," and the rare Phish song "Weekly Time."

That summer, Gordon, along with Phish bandmate Trey Anastasio, again joined the Benevento-Russo Duo for a co-headlining tour with Phil Lesh and Friends before finishing the final leg of the tour on their own. The group performed various songs from each members' catalog, as well as a handful of brand new originals. The quartet parted ways after the tour ended in July.

In August, Gordon joined the Rhythm Devils - a group featuring Kreutzmann, Dead drummer Mickey Hart, guitarist Steve Kimock and a host of backup players.

On January 2, 2007, Gordon appeared with a group billed as The House Band containing many former members of The Grateful Dead playing at a party in honor of the new leadership of the United States House of Representatives hosted by Nancy Pelosi. The group included Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby, and Warren Haynes.

Gordon performed at a concert in Hawaii on September 21 with Kimock and Kreutzmann, and on November 2, appeared during the second set of a Ratdog concert at the Memorial Auditorium in Burlington Vermont, joining the band on the songs "Stuff," "Bird Song," and "Cassidy." On January 5, Gordon again teamed with Kreutzmann and Scott Murawski in Jaco, Costa Rica for a gig at Docelunas, playing a range of covers and originals including "Keep On Growing," "Estimated Prophet," "Twist" and "Intensified."

Mike emerged from touring hibernation this year and performed with his own solo band for the first time since 2003 at The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on June 30, 2008. He joined Trey Anastasio at the first annual Rothbury Music Festival in July during his solo acoustic set. Anastasio and former Phish bandmate Jon Fishman joined Mike for part of his set during the same day. Mike released an album entitled The Green Sparrow on Rounder Records on August 5. His current touring band includes Scott Murawski on guitar, Brooklyn drummer Todd Isler, keyboardist Tom Cleary, and percussionist Craig Myers. Mike completed at 25-date supporting tour across the US with his band in the summer of 2008 and a short four-night stint in December of that year. They began a 22-date US tour on September 8, 2009.

On March 6, 2009, Mike reunited with Phish with a 3-day stint in Hampton,Virginia. Phish then toured all over the the Summer of 2009.


  • Clone (with Leo Kottke) (October 8, 2002)
  • Inside In (August 19, 2003)
  • Sixty Six Steps (with Leo Kottke) (August 23, 2005)
  • Live From Bonnaroo 2005 (with the Benevento-Russo Duo) (July 18, 2006, recorded live in 2005)
  • The Green Sparrow (August 5, 2008)


  • Mike's Corner (May 1997)


  • Tracking (Phish, 1994)
  • Outside Out (2000)
  • Rising Low (2002)
  • The Down with Disease music video for Phish


  • Sixty Six Steps won album of the year at the 2006 Jammy Awards.
  • Rising Low was the winner of the Joe Jarvis Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the 2002 Newport International Film Festival.
  • Outside Out garnered the audience award at the South by Southwest festival.


  1. 'Phish' Bassist Arrested; Allegedly Found In Secluded Area With 9-Year-Old August 19, 2003;
  2. Phish Bassist Gordon Cleared Prosecutors drop child endangerment charges;; September 19, 2003

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Mike Gordon. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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