Born Michael Eliot Gordon on June 3rd, 1965.
Family: Mike was born in Boston, MA. He moved to Sudbury, MA, a suburb outside of Boston, in 1968. His father Robert Gordon founded the Store 24 convenience chain. His mother Marjorie Minkin is a painter (featured in the song “Minkin”), and is responsible for the creation of the "Minkin backdrops" that were used on stage in 1994. Marjorie also collaborated with Mike in 2003, creating custom pieces of art related to his 2003 solo album. Mike has one brother, David, who is an Environmental Lawyer. Mike married Priscilla Foster (illustrator for Mike's Corner) on 6/20/98, divorced several years later, and is now remarried with a daughter (and a parrot named Angel) and living in Vermont.
Education: Attended Solomon Schecter, a Jewish Day School in Newton, MA, and Sudbury High School. He entered the University of Vermont in the fall 1982 (through spring 1987), originally studying electrical engineering. He later switched his major to Film and Communications, at which time he produced his senior project film TVF. He holds a bachelor's degree in Arts from the University of Vermont.
Nicknames: Cactus (possibly since the last 1980s, leading to the line "swim with the Cactus"), Michael “Soft G” Gordon, Gacht, Gactin, Toidler and Ta-a.
Previous Bands: Tombstone Blues Band (1960s blues and rock) and The Edge (new wave, with some originals) both in high school, and Dangerous Grapes (loud and hard, with Fishman) in early 1984 at UVM (while Trey was suspended).
Instruments: electric bass; banjo (esp. 11/19/94, 10/17/98, and 10/18/98 and extensively outside of Phish); upright acoustic bass, accordion (3/13/92 “Contact”), electric drill (6/15/95 “I Didn’t Know” and 7/1/95 “It’s Ice”); acoustic guitar (in the acoustic setup of 1997, and in “Acoustic Army”); electric guitar (during “Walfredo” and “Rock A William” and many times outside of Phish;, Fish’s vacuum (4/21/92); Cymbals (1/3/03); and foot bell (mostly in ’96 & ‘97).
Wrote: “BBFCFM,” “Catapult,” "Clone,” “Contact,” “Destiny Unbound,” “Fuck Your Face,” “Mike’s Song,” "Mock Song.” “Mound,” “NO2,” “Poor Heart,” "Round Room,” “Scent of a Mule,” “Simple,” “Train Song,” “Weekly Time,” and “Weigh”; co-wrote “He Ent to the Bog” and “Minkin,” and others attributed to the full band.
Key Side Projects: Drop Caps, 1/25/97; long time and common guest with Max Creek; Grappa Boom, (with Gordon Stone and Doug Perkins), name formalized in 2003 but performing as a trio since mid-90s; Glen Schweitzer's Jalapeno Brothers, 3/99; with Gary Gazaway’s “El Buho” project 2001; Duo paired with Leo Kottke, Fall 2002 and beyond; Frequent sit-ins with bluegrass bands Big Apple'achia (mostly Summer ’02) and Citigrass (’03). First “solo” tour billed as “Mike Gordon and ZYDN” fall 2003, in support of Inside In. Frequently sits in with a wide variety of other bands.
Key Side Albums: Gordon Stone’s Touch and Go, 1995; Fiji Mariner’s self-titled debut, 1998; w/The Meters on Get You A Healin’, 2000; Gov't Mule's The Deep End Vol. 1, 2001; with Leo Kottke, Clone, 2002; his solo project Inside In, 2003; The Chieftains' Further Down The Old Plank Road, 2003; Gov't Mule's The Deepest End, 2003.
Other Projects: A filmmaker, Mike directed and produced Phish's one and only music video for “Down with Disease”; Tracking, a documentary of the production process behind Hoist; Goodwood, a short film about Phish at Great Woods; Stewart, with Page in the title role and Fishman’s critique as a coda; Outside Out (2001); and Rising Low (2002). Mike also composed two independent film scores for his mentor, Ted Lyman, a UVM art professor. He wrote the book Mike’s Corner, and dabbled in acting by played a “deluded rock star” in John O’Brien’s Nosey Parker (he also acts in Outside Out).
Attire: frequently flourescent green pants; also....
See also, Mike in Phishtory.
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