|Originally Performed By||Smokey Robinson & The Miracles|
|Original Album||Make it Happen (1967)|
|Vocals||Trey; unidentified female vocalist|
"Tears of a Clown" is a contradiction – with lyrics describing "some sad things known to man," the accompanying music is surprisingly upbeat, complete with a circus-like riff in the chorus that successfully attempts to "camouflage [the singer's] sadness." Two versions of the song are in the general consciousness – Smokey Robinson's original Motown version, or The Beat's skanked-out cover from the second wave of ska in the late 1970s.
On 8/11/04 at Great Woods, a ska-flavored version entered the band's consciousness at some point during a second set "Scent of a Mule," and while the band dropped into the melody out of "Scent's" piano breakdown, Trey quickly lost track of the lyrics. Fishman passed on singing. And while Page mimicked the lyrics, he quickly asked for help from the crowd. So they picked a member of the audience to come onstage and sing, prompting the band to switch to the Motown version. Following her solid effort, Trey proclaimed “She saved our asses” before dropping back into "Scent."
As a side note, Phish has covered The Beat (a.k.a. The English Beat) once before, playing "Mirror in the Bathroom" in the middle of "Chalk Dust" on 11/27/98.
Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $1,000,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.