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Performances Song History Lyrics Jamming Chart

Weekapaug Groove

Music/Lyrics: Anastasio/Fishman/McConnell/Gordon

Vocals: Mike, Page, Trey

Albums: Slip Stitch and Pass, Hampton Comes Alive, New Year's Eve 1995 - Live at Madison Square Garden, Live in Brooklyn, Colorado '88, Vegas 96, At the Roxy, Live Phish 06, Live Phish 07, Live Phish 10, Live Phish 12, Live Phish 16, Live Phish 19, Live in Vegas, Walnut Creek, Still Phishin', Hampton/Winston-Salem '97, Alpine Valley, Live in Brooklyn DVD, The Clifford Ball, Niagara Falls, Chicago '94, Live Phish Downloads 6-20-1995, Amsterdam

Debut: 1988-07-23

Historian: Charlie Dirksen (icculus)

Last Update: 2016-03-05

“Weekapaug Groove” takes its name from the town of Weekapaug, located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in southwestern Rhode Island. According to Mike, the song’s lyrics (“Trying to make a woman that you move, sharing in a Weekapaug Groove”) are meaningless. As Mike said in a 9/9/97 interview with Parke Puterbaugh: 

“So we came back to Boston [from Weekapaug, after playing a gig there at a yacht club], and I guess we were in the van or the Voyager we used to drive in, and that song “Oh What a Night” came on the radio. You know that one? That awful Four Seasons song? We just constantly listened to songs and changed around the words as to what they might sound like. I always had a particularly hard time hearing lyrics anyway, so I always would sing a song on the radio, sing along with the wrong words. So the bridge of that song goes ‘Oh I-I-I trying to something,’ but I was singing it, ‘Oh I-I-I trying to make a woman that you move,’ which means nothing, 'sharing in a Weekapaug groove.’ So we all just started singing that, as complete nonsense: ‘trying to make a woman that you move.’ It never occurred to any of us that it had any meaning, ever. There was a period of time that we were singing it, and I used to just yell out the lyrics, between singing them I would just yell them out as if I was preaching them, just to sort of make it more ironic that they have no meaning.”



”Weekapaug Groove” – 3/24/92, Richmond, VA

After having played “Weekapaug” on 8/10/04 at Great Woods, Trey told a similar tale about the genesis of the song, providing more details in an effort to “demystify” it, as he put it. Trey explained that after having played at a beach party in Weekapaug at their friend Sean English’s house “probably” in 1987, the band was driving home in Fish's Plymouth Voyager (“which he gave away”), and the song that goes “Oh I, had a funny when she walked into [the room]” came on the radio. (The song is Frankie Valli's "Oh What A Night." Trey said “into” instead of “the room.”) Trey then said that the band started singing “Oh I, trying to make a woman match your move.” Trey concluded the story saying, “So that – Weekapaug Groove? We didn't actually write that. Frankie Valli did. [pause] So now you know.” If you listen closely to the LivePhish soundboard, you can hear Fish say “I forgot about that” during the pause before Trey says "So now you know."

The main riff of “Weekapaug Groove” was born out of the first of three Oh Kee Pa Ceremonies, at which Phish jammed for eleven hours – from 2pm until 1am – in Trey’s riverside bungalow in Plainfield, Vermont. Apparently, even though a neighbor had made some Hungarian mushroom soup for them, they never showed up to eat it because of this eleven-hour jam. At the time, the original kernel of the song was much slower than “Weekapaug” ended up being live. Of course today, “Weekapaug” is sometimes – though not always – slower than it typically was during the 1990s. Compare, for example, 12/30/93 with 6/13/00, 6/25/04, 11/18/09 and 6/29/10. There is even a version after the first two minutes or so of which Trey stops playing, and gets Fish and the band to effectively start the song over, but much slower, 11/24/09



”Weekapaug Groove” – 12/6/96, Las Vegas, NV

In the first five years of its existence, “Weekapaug” typically followed “Mike's Song” and “I Am Hydrogen” in a set. This trio of songs – known collectively as “Mike’s Groove” – was always a fan favorite. But when “I Am Hydrogen” began to be dropped more regularly in favor of other, unique songs in the mid-1990’s, “Mike’s Groove” evolved to be shorthand for all of the musical events that took place in a particular gig from “Mike’s” through “Weekapaug.”

A wide variety of songs have been sandwiched between “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug” over the years, including, for example, “Esther” on 8/1/98, “Frankie Says” on 10/31/98, and “I Am the Walrus” on 6/2/09. There have even been entire sets comprising a “Mike’s Groove,” as on 7/2/97 in Amsterdam, when “Mike’s” opened and “Weekapaug” closed the first set, sandwiching six songs including “Simple,” “Maze,” and “Vultures.” There have even been a few occasions when “Weekapaug” was performed during the show without “Mike’s Song,” namely, 2/22/03 and 12/2/03. But whenever “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug” have appeared in the same show, “Weekapaug” has always followed, and never preceded, “Mike’s.” There has never been a backwards “Mike’s Groove,” in other words.



”Weekapaug Groove” – 1/2/15, Miami, FL. Video © Phish.

Akin to other remarkably improvisational Phish songs, “Weekapaug” continues to this day to sandwich or tease other songs, or otherwise deviate from the norm. For example, check out these versions: 11/16/90 (Andy Griffith theme); 7/23/91 (with the Giant Country Horns); 11/8/91 ("Slice of Pizza and a Bucket of Lard!"); 12/31/91 (“Lion Sleeps Tonight”); 4/21/92 (“Happy Birthday”); 11/19/92 (vocal jam); 11/23/92 (reggae and “Big Ball” jams); 2/20/93 (“Have Mercy” and “Rock and Roll All Nite”); 3/19/93 (vocal jam ending); 3/22/93 ("Sundown" tease from Mike); 3/25/93 (BeatlesOb-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and Anastasio/Popper’s “Don’t Get Me Wrong”); 3/30/93 (“Psycho Killer”); 4/29/93 ("Makisupa Policeman" and Bonanza theme tease); 5/8/93 (“Amazing Grace” jam); 8/16/93 (Santana’s “Gypsy Queen,” Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish,” and “Possum”); 7/2/94 (“Antelope” and “2001”); 12/28/94 (“Little Drummer Boy” jam); 10/29/96 (Karl Perazzo on percussion); 11/15/96 (John Popper on harp); 3/1/97 (Slip Stitch and Pass), 8/9/97 (“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”); 12/13/97 (“Catapult”); 7/10/98 (“On Broadway”); 11/27/98 (“Wipe Out”); 12/31/98 (“1999”); 7/9/99 (“Macarena”); 9/22/99 (“2001”); 12/18/99 (“Buffalo Bill”); 7/21/03 ("Shock the Monkey"); 7/31/03 ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"); 12/31/03 ("Jungle Boogie" lyrics and "Auld Lang Syne" and "Divided Sky" teases from Trey); 1/2/15 (Trey on Marimba Lumina and Mike on guitar); 12/30/15 (“What’s the Use?”).

It is also a tune in which individual band members’ performances have brilliantly shined. For example, do not miss: 3/1/90 (Trey); 8/17/92 (Mike); 12/29/92 (Trey); 7/24/93 (Trey); 4/29/94 (Mike, Trey); 7/10/94 (Mike); 10/25/94 (Fish); 6/20/95 (Fish); 10/25/95 (Page); 11/25/95 (Page); 11/6/96 (Trey); 12/28/96 (Page); 8/7/98 (Page); 8/12/98 (Page); 7/21/99 (Mike); 12/30/99 (Fish).

It’s thus no surprise that “Sharin’ in the Groove” is among the most popular expressions used by fans.



”Crosseyed and Painless” -> ”Weekapaug Groove” – 8/4/15, Nashville, TN. Video by LazyLightning55a.

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