a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History

Green Onions

Music: Jones, Cropper, Steinberg, Jackson, Jr.

Vocals: Instrumental

Original Artist: Booker T. & the M.G.'s

Original Album: Green Onions (1962)

Debut: 1989-03-01

Historian: lumpblockclod

“Green Onions,” a 12-bar organ-driven blues instrumental by Booker T. & the M.G.’s, is one of the more recognizable songs of all time. Even if you don’t know you know it, you probably do. 

Phish performed the song on one known occasion, during the so-called “Little Equipment Gig” at Gallagher’s. The story goes that during Phish’s many previous visits to theWaitsfield, VT venue, the owner would chide them for the fact that the ambition of their stage setup seemed to outpace their less-than-rock-god standing. Returning the joke, Phish showed up for what would prove to be their final Gallagher’s gig on 3/1/89 with vastly scaled down “toy” instruments. No doubt inspired by their unique surroundings, Phish played perhaps the most unique encore of their career that night, which included this blues standard. Because the show does not circulate, Phish’s version (along with precisely which boards the Chairman of the Boards played), remains a mystery.

Booker T. and the M.G.’s, “Green Onions”

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