Tripe Face Boogie
Music/Lyrics: B. Payne, R. Hayward
Original Artist: Little Feat
Original Album: Sailin' Shoes (1972)
The worlds of offal and popular music rarely intersect. There’s Charlie Parker’s “Scrapple from the Apple,” Kenny Burrells’s “Chitlins con Carne” (popularized by Stevie Ray Vaughan) and the Rolling Stones album Goats Head Soup. And who knows what was in Zappa’s Lumpy Gravy. Yet, among this relative paucity of organ meat music, it’s perhaps a little surprising that two songs about tripe rise above the level of the truly obscure. The reggae trio The Heptones recorded the vengeful “Tripe Girl” in the 1965 (“Girls of your type / Should be selling tripe”), and seven years later, Little Feat would record the decidedly more upbeat “Tripe Face Boogie” on their 1972 album Sailin’ Shoes.
Little Feat, ”Tripe Face Boogie” – Paris, France, 1975
Written by keyboardist Billy Payne and drummer Richie Hayward, the studio version of “Tripe Face” is considerably slower (almost a shuffle, really) than the live version on Waiting for Columbus. The live version is also several minutes longer featuring an extended keyboard breakdown that dissolves into near silence before being resurrected with the help of Lowell George’s fiery slide guitar. Lyrically there doesn’t seem to be much of a message to “Tripe Face,” other than a general invitation to boogie the night away. Rather, like many early Tom Marshall offerings, the words seem chosen more for their sounds than any deeper meaning.
When Phish – with some help from percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo – covered “Tripe Face Boogie” as part of their Halloween set at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on 10/31/10, they remained true to the live version, as they did for most of the songs on Waiting for Columbus that differ from their studio counterparts (right down to the segue out of “Dixie Chicken”). Because of its infectious groove and open-ended nature that allows both Page and Trey plenty of room to show off their chops, it’s easy to envision additional helpings of tripe at future Phish shows.
Phish, ”Tripe Face Boogie” – 10/31/10, Atlantic City, NJ