Low Rider

Originally Performed ByWar
Original AlbumWhy Can't We Be Friends? (1975)
Appears On
Phish Debut1985-09-27
Last Played2003-07-15
Current Gap678
HistorianPhillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update2016-02-26


War's 1975 anthem to Chicano culture is easily recognizable for its opening cow-bell taps and distinct bassline that immediately conjures an image of the cars for which it is named. This classic rock staple was first played by Phish at Slade Hall in Burlington on 9/27/85, opening up the show with a “Low Rider” jam that segued into “Big Leg Emma.” The second appearance of “Low Rider” was in the middle of a 30-minute improvisational adventure at Ian’s Farm on 8/21/87, providing relief from the preceding chaotic “Skin It Back” jam. The jam features Trey singing a falsetto “La Bamba” before sliding into “Back Porch Boogie Blues.” 

The completeness of Phish offerings has varied from minimal hints to substantial, borderline full performances, and each time flowing out of an extended jam: 7/10/94 within “Mike’s Song”; 11/23/97 out of “Down with Disease”; the bridge between “Ghost” and “Makisupa” on 2/26/03; and punctuating the 7/15/03 "Mr. Completely" madness. 

Teases of the song are not uncommon, including (but not limited to) on 10/31/87 before “Whipping Post”; 2/23/90 during “Suzy”; 11/14/95 in “YEM”; 12/31/02 in “Piper”; and in "Bathtub Gin" on both 9/4/11 and 10/24/14.

War, “Low Rider”

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