Few music fans will argue that Les Claypool is one of the most talented bassists in the world. Imagine the delight of Phish fans at the Laguna Seca Daze festival on 5/28/94, when Les and Mike Gordon participated in a bass duel during Phish’s set! The duel arose from an inspiring “You Enjoy Myself,” which also featured Claypool, whose band Primus was also on the bill for the day. On 12/6/96 in Las Vegas, Claypool again joined Phish. This time, he brought band mate Larry LaLonde with him for a bizarre “Harpua” encore that included a long story and other songs sandwiched inside. He later sat in with Trey’s solo band on 5/25/02.
Claypool is, of course, best known for his work with Primus, and invited Trey to sit in with that band on 2/21/00 and 11/20/03. However, many Phish fans are more likely to recognize him from the power trio Oysterhead, which he formed with Trey and ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland at JazzFest in May 2000, subsequently releasing an album, The Grand Pecking Order, in 2001 and following it up with a fall tour. He has also achieved recognition with the Primus side project Sausage, and his solo projects including the Frog Brigade (who were joined by Trey on 9/30/00 and 5/25/02 and Mike on 5/4/03), Bucket of Bernie Brains and Holy Mackerel. He also collaborated on the theme to the television show South Park. Another Trey-Claypool collaboration occurred when both sat in for the third set of the Alan Hertz Project gig on 5/20/01.