March 2

12 Days Of Phishmas 2018: Mike Gordon Fascinates A Muscle Shoals Legend With Lessons He Learned From Phish [Watch]

first_imgIt’s that time of year again… In eight short days, Phish will return to New York’s Madison Square Garden for their annual four-night New Year’s run. Each year, we like to celebrate the season in the days leading up to Phish at MSG with the 12 Days of Phishmas, a daily series that gives you your Phish fix and helps stoke your excitement in the days leading up to the run. In 2016, we took you back to 12 historic Phish performances at The Garden. In 2017, with the Baker’s Dozen barely out of sight in the rearview, we relived the magic and mystery of the band’s historic residency.For years, we’ve been earmarking some of our favorite Phish interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and other cool content that we haven’t found the right occasion to share with you…until now. For 2018, we’ve made you a very special Phishmas Advent calendar to help spice up your countdown to showtime. As we approach the start of the run on the 28th, we’ll open up one panel a day and reveal a fun surprise inside—a little something sweet and Phishy once a day until the Garden party begins. No peeking! By the time we’re finished with the calendar, it will finally be time for the gift we’ve all been waiting for: Four nights of Phish on their home court at the World’s Most Famous Arena.8 Days Til’ Phish: Bass Summit With Mike Gordon & Norbert Putnam (2017)On the fifth day of Phishmas… Mike Gordon sits down with legendary producer and bassist Norbert Putnam for a “Bass Summit” panel discussion at Colchester, VT’s Saint Michael’s College. The panel was hosted by Saint Michael’s professor of fine arts Bill Ellis in late October of 2017 following Phish’s monumental Baker’s Dozen run.Norbert Putnam was part of the original Muscle Shoals rhythm section and has produced hundreds and hundreds of records, working with the likes of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, J.J. Cale, Joan Baez, and many, many more. Mike digs deep into his childhood next to the music industry behemoth, discussing what attracted him to the bass, and how the vibrations of the instrument resonated with him—It all goes back to a family vacation in the Bahamas where Mike was enthralled with a poolside Calypso band’s bassist. As Mike notes, he went on to tell his father, “If I’m ever gonna be in a band, I wanna do that thing.”Mike also gives his thoughts on what truly makes a band click. He explains that it takes “hundreds of thousands of hours,” from his experience, to find that perfect connection. He also emphasizes a certain sort of “surrender” thats necessary to realize that goal. But as he continues to reflect on the idea of what makes a band “click,” he admits that after 1800 + shows and more than three decades with Phish, he still feels he hasn’t quite figured it out.As the conversation continues, Putnam gets noticeably more and more enthralled with Mike’s take. The feeling appears to be mutual. Putnam knows nothing about being in a high-profile touring band. Gordon is unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations of a seasoned studio warrior. They’re both speaking to a master of a section of the music industry they’ve only ever known from afar, attempting to soak up everything they can in the process.Beyond that mutual respect, it sure does feel good to hear Mike discuss how close he is with his bandmates of 35 years. Mike explains that, to him, the most important elements of Phish’s longevity have been the band’s ability to communicate openly and the lasting friendships he’s maintained with Trey (Anastasio), Jon (Fishman), and Page (McConnell). As Mike confides to Putnam, during Phish’s 13-night Baker’s Dozen run, the band’s goal was not to make everything perfect, but to make it “passable.” Because of the deep connection they’ve shared for so long—both as a band and as people—”passable” turned out to be “outstanding.”Watch Saint Michael’s College’s “Bass Summit” panel discussion with Mike Gordon to learn more about Mike’s earliest memories of the bass, Mike’s longstanding practice of journaling throughout his life, and more.Bass Summit With Mike Gordon & Norbert Putnam (2017)[Video: Connor Vandagriff]We’ll be back tomorrow to open the sixth panel on our Phishmas 2018 Advent calendar. What other Phishmas surprises are in store? You’ll just have to wait and see…In the meantime, you can go back through the previous Phishmas surprises:On the first day of Phishmas… The Big Daddy ShowOn the second day of Phishmas… David Byrne Interviews PhishOn the third day of Phishmas… Trey Anastasio Interview At New Yorker Festival On the fourth day of Phishmas… A Look Inside The Hoist Sessions From Cactus FilmsOn the fifth day of Phishmas… Mike Gordon Fascinates A Muscle Shoals Legendlast_img read more