Vocals: Trey (lead) Les Claypool and Stuart Copeland (backing)
Original Artist: Oysterhead
Original Album: The Grand Pecking Order (2001)
Albums: The Grand Pecking Order
Historian: Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty)
"Birthday Boys" was written while somewhere in the void within the space-time continuum between the birthdays of Les (September 29th) and Trey (September 30) during Phish's pair of Las Vegas shows at the Thomas & Mack Arena in 2000. Clickity-Clack Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade had played a late night show at the House of Blues and were joined in their encore by Trey and Stewart for an Oysterhead performance of "Owner of the World." What treasures were found deep within their drawers at the after the after show birthday party where the song was inspired only Gina really knows. But this acoustic guitar driven gem is certainly one of them.
Oysterhead, released "Birthday Boys" on their 2001 release The Grand Pecking Order and after its debut in Seattle (10/21/01) peformed it throughout their 2001 fall tour. Phish recorded their own version of "Birthday Boys", featuring a sparser vaguely ragtime arrangement, during their Round Room sessions. Unfortunately the song did not make the cut for the album release. Trey subsequently peformed the song solo acoustic during his 2005 summer tour stop at the Lakefront Pavilion (8/10/05). The most recent performance of "Birthday Boys" was during Oysterhead's "reunion" show at Bonnaroo (6/16/06). Considering the circumstances of the song's birth and the events that have transpired since, the likelihood of seeing Phish play "Birthday Boys" any time soon seems remote. Long gone are the days when you can come around, you can drink up all my wine, but don't you talk to me. Let's just talk with our hands.
Oysterhead "Birthday Boys" 6/16/06 Manchester, TN