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Big Black Furry Creature from Mars

Also Known As: BBFCFM

Big Black Furry Creature from Mars has not been seen in 2 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2017-08-04.
It was played at 7.07% of live shows.
It has been performed live 125 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Gordon

Vocals: Mike (lead), Fish, Page, Trey (backing)

Debut: 1987-08-21

Historian: Ellis Godard (lemuria)

Just barely more complex than the one-word, one-chord “Anarchy,"  “BBFCFM” opens with a three-note, death-metal rage followed by Mike asking, “Why are you running (away)?” After a brief pause, the band responds with a raging attack of noise and the repeated refrain,“’Cause you’re a big black furry creature from Mars.” After a second pause, Fishman typically counts out “1-2-3-4” (sometimes rather quickly) just before a renewed attack phase. In a final section of the song, the attack/refrain segment is repeated four times, sliding up a scale, leading to a final abrupt ending.



Through 1996, versions included an overabundance of dry-ice fog and strobe lights, typically with Trey running around swinging his guitar or a megaphone. (Trey and Mike dove back and forth on 4/24/92, and Trey stood on his stacks during 5/2/92). The 5/11/91 version is uncharacteristic for having a Trey solo (and an aggressive one, as if he were the monster), as are versions with horns on 3/9/90 (Dave Grippo) and 7/19/91 (Giant Country Horns). The count was done by Cameron McKinney on 4/18/92 and Mimi Fishman on 4/8/94.



Watch Big Black Furry Creature from Mars on YouTube "Big Black Furry Creature from Mars" – 7/19/91, Somerville, MA



The Creature has at times been frivolous, such as the 5/14/88 dedication to Steely Dan, the 4/6/92 audience making guacamole during the jam, and Trey using a beer bottle as a guitar slide on 6/6/96. Popular variations include the 3/13/92 “Run like a Big Black Furry Antelope”; 11/19/92, which contained lyrics from “I Walk the Line” and "Ring of Fire" as well as a "Ring of Fire" tease; and 7/13/94, which was to the music of “Scent of a Mule.”



More common than lyrical changes, "BBFCFM" frequently includes teases of a television theme, including: Flintstones 8/6/88; Popeye 11/3/88; Brady Bunch 4/3/90 and 7/24/91; I Love Lucy 7/19/91, 7/24/91, and 9/28/91; and Leave it to Beaver 3/28/93. Other teases in “Creature” have included “Simple Gifts” by Trey on 3/29/91, “St. Thomas” by Grippo and Fishman on 11/23/91, “Divided Sky” by Trey on 8/8/93, and “Electric Funeral” by Mike on 12/11/97.



Several shows have featured multiple Creatures, including 5/16/94 (when it was dispersed through the second set), 6/21/94 (when it segued into a "Ginseng Sullivan"), and 7/15/03 (when it emerged from “Low Rider” and was followed by transitions to and from “Buried Alive,” “Ha Ha Ha,” and “Mr. Completely.”)



Other prominent segues include 12/29/93 out of “Contact” and into “Walk Away”; 6/14/94 into “Purple Rain”; 11/22/94, providing a transition from electric to acoustic setups; 12/1/94 out of “Tweezer” and into “Makisupa”; 11/18/95 into “Acoustic Army”; 12/29/95 into the classic Mike-Jim Stinnett Bass Duet; and 12/11/97 out of “Roses are Free."



“BBFCFM” still poses the eternal questions of life and death in the modern era, though they’ve let the creature out with far less frequency than earlier eras. Check out 8/15/10 on the Alpine Valley DVD, 7/3/11 Watkins Glen with Twighlight Zone and Leave It To Beaver theme teases, or during the Halloween gambles on 10/31/10 Atlantic City and 10/31/14 Las Vegas.



Watch Big Black Furry Creature from Mars on YouTube "Big Black Furry Creature from Mars" – 10/31/10, Atlantic City, NJ


Albums: At the Roxy, Hampton Comes Alive, Colorado '88, Alpine Valley

Lyrics:

(Gordon)
© Who Is She? Music, BMI

When I get home from work, what do I do?
I try to kill you
When I get home from work, what do I do?
I try to kill you

And why would I try to kill you?

Because you're a
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars

When we go out to eat, what do I do?
I try to kill you
When we go out to eat, what do I do?
Oh, I am killing you

Now why would I go and do that?

Because you're a
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars

I'm runnin', I'm runnin' from you
I'm runnin', I'm runnin'

And what causes me to run?

'Cause you're a
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars

Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars

Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars
Big black furry creature from Mars

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