Music Article

In a Jam

Phish bassist is arrested for child endangerment. He's caught during a Dead show alone with a 9-year-old girl, taking pictures

Mike Gordon | ILLEGAL ALIEN A friend says Gordon ''doesn't live on planet Earth''
Image credit: Mike Gordon: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images/NewsCom
ILLEGAL ALIEN A friend says Gordon ''doesn't live on planet Earth''

It's not always all peace and love at the Dead's concerts. At a Dead show last week at Jones Beach on New York's Long Island, when a 9-year-old girl went missing, her parents found her backstage, in a deserted boathouse, with Phish bassist Mike Gordon, the Associated Press and Reuters report. Gordon was arrested and charged with child endangerment and trespassing, the wire services report. Before the police came [to arrest Gordon for child endangerment], the girl's father, reportedly a leader of the local Hell's Angels chapter, reportedly had some fellow bikers administer some rough justice, New York's WNBC-TV reports. The bikers were not ''gentle with sensitive areas of the rock star's body.'' However, sources close to Phish tell MTV News that Gordon was not seriously injured.

What was Gordon, 38, doing with the girl at 1 a.m.? ''The defendant stated he wanted to take 'art photos' of the victim,'' according to the police report obtained by WNBC. He reportedly told officers, ''I may have shown bad judgment, but I am not a pedophile.'' Police said the girl was found fully clothed, according to MTV News.

''If you knew Mike at all, you'd know he doesn't live on planet Earth,'' Ropeadope Records President Andy Hurwitz told the New York Post. ''He's been making movies since he was a kid, and he's always taking photographs. He's an artist. This whole thing's a misunderstanding,'' said Hurwitz, who released ''Inside In,'' Gordon's solo debut, this week. Another source close to Phish told the Post, ''There's absolutely nothing inappropriate in any of the photographs.''

In fact, the girl's parents seem to agree, and they seem unlikely to press charges. Along with Gordon, they issued a joint statement reading, ''It is now clear to all involved that this was an unfortunate misunderstanding, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us.'' Nonetheless, the Nassau County District Attorney's office told the Associated Press it is still investigating the case. Gordon is due in court on Sept. 29, and he could face a year behind bars, the office says.

Originally posted Aug 20, 2003
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