Music/Lyrics: Mark James
Vocals: Fish (lead), Page, Trey (backing)
Original Artist: Elvis Presley
Original Album: From Memphis to Vegas, From Vegas to Memphis (1970)
Albums: Vegas 96
Historian: Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty)
"Suspicious Minds" was Elvis Presley’s last number one hit and his first since the 1962 release “Good Luck Charm.” The song was written by Mark James and recorded by the king of rock-n-roll at American Studios in Memphis on January 23, 1969. The single was released in August of that year while Big E set up shop at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. A live performance of the song recorded during this “tour” at what is now the Las Vegas Hilton was released on the 1970 album From Memphis to Vegas, From Vegas to Memphis.
Phish debuted “Suspicious Minds” at Shoreline (9/30/95) and the dazzling new jewel in Jon Fishman’s big ol’ gold belt of vocal stylings instantly became a crowd favorite. Each time Trey climbed behind the drum kit, the collective hope of the crowd was that the king of schlock would emerge from the wings of the stage decked out in his sequin-covered and mini-light lined cape. With a few exceptions in the 1995 fall tour that wish came true. After an inspired rendition that sprung from “Ha Ha Ha” at the Spectrum in Philadelphia (12/15/95), the dazzling cape was put back in the closet for almost a year. “Suspicious Minds” returned in all its extravagant glory as part of the “Harpua” encore that closed out the 1996 fall tour at the Aladdin Theater (where Elvis and Cilla had tied the knot!!) in Sin City. This “Harpua” included among others Les Claypool, some yodelers, John McEuen, and four Elvii which Jimmy (Fishman) and Poster met out in the desert.
The Elvii challenged Jimmy to an ‘Elvis-off’ whereupon they began singing “Suspicious Minds.” Fish (as Jimmy) then out Elvises the Elvii and finishes out the song. The grandeur and hilarity of this final performance makes it unlikely that the cape (unlike Elvis) will ever be seen again.