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Published: 2006/12/29

Alumni Blues for Trey Anastasio

At Bostons Orpheum Theatre last night , Trey Anastasio dipped into Phishs archives and pulled out one of his groups rarest numbers, Alumni Blues. The song, which appears on Phishs early recording The White Tape, doubled as a commentary on Anastasios recent arrest:

Woke up this morning and I had those Walking Blues
I wasn’t walkin’ nowhere ‘cause I didn’t have no floor!
Staring over the edge of the bed
My old lady lying next to me, I started to cry
She said ‘I’m gonna take this diploma,
I’m gonna slice you in the eye!’
Well I’m alright (he’s alright)
‘cause I got a degree!
Escaping through my window
There’s a policeman on the lawn outside my home
I opened my mouth to scream but my throat was full of foam
So I’m sittin’ in this cell
My fortune dwindled to a thimble full of filth
I may spend the rest of my life in jail but at least it’s got a floor!
One of Phishs most popular songs throughout the 1980s, Alumni Blues slipped out of rotation in 1991. The song resurfaced at the Beacon Theater on April 14, 1994 and at Alpine Valley on July 24, 1999. Anastasio also offered an acoustic version of Alumni Blues in Madison, WI on May 8, 1999.
Last night Anastasio also paid tribute to James Brown, performing Sex Machine during his second set. The song eventually segued into a percussion parade through the crowd, before Anastasio returned to the stage for Money Love and Change. The guitarist will perform at Albanys Palace Theatre, near the site of his recent arrest, tonight. All bets are off whether Anastasio will bust into Makisupa Policeman’ during his second set.

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