Rock stars with addictions are not exactly new news.

But Mike Gordon’s battle might be one you haven’t heard of yet.

“I’m addicted to organizing. I spend hours every day at a tea house with a laptop just organizing e-mails and notes and whatever,” said Gordon, 45, bassist and founding member of the legendary jam band Phish.

“Being organized is good, but I need to transcend it, and stop recording and archiving and documenting and listing every project I’m working on. If I did that, I could be a little more prolific — not that I’m not prolific — but I have so many ideas, I probably have 10 albums’ worth of stuff to get to.”

What Gordon might do if he was less organized and more prolific is hard to imagine. He still plays and tours with Phish, records and tours in support of his own records, tinkers with film and has made two albums with guitar great Leo Kottke.

On Friday, he’ll play a show at Port City Music Hall in Portland in support of his most recent solo album, “Moss.”

Fellow Phishmates Jon Fishman and Page McConnell played on Gordon’s album. Which begs the question: What makes it different than a Phish album?

“Huge differences. I get to write all the material and make all the decisions, and in Phish, I do neither,” said Gordon. “For example, I like to leave space between the notes. To me, that’s what makes music funky. On some Phish songs, there’s been an inclination to layer up the textures. Some songs have five tracks of guitar; not all, though. I like it when things have a little more open space.”

That said, Gordon has no plans to just do his own thing. He loves the “amazing chemistry” with his Phishmates, so he’ll just continue to do both the group and his solo projects.

Phish has been together since 1983, when Gordon and the other original members met while students at the University of Vermont. Although he plays bass, Gordon also sings on Phish songs and has written his share of lyrics.

In the early days, when the band was building a loyal fan base without benefit of a hit record, Gordon did much of the public relations and fan outreach. Phish became a powerhouse by the 1990s, playing major festivals and selling out arenas. Yet still, it has never had what can be called a pop hit.

Because of the band’s network of fans, the Internet was helping Phish and being used by Phish as a marketing tool before a lot of other bands had even heard of it.

“Early on, there were newsgroups for Bob Dylan and us and just a few other bands, so that was a strong part of our growth,” said Gordon. “The technology changes in the music industry make it a lot easier for bands to get stuff out there, but the other side is that there’s so much stuff out there, you can’t really get a buzz going unless you’re playing live a lot.”

Gordon grew up in Sudbury, Mass., a rural town within commuting distance of Boston. He doesn’t remember his parents playing instruments, but they had lots of classic rock and pop albums by artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Moody Blues.

“I think I wore out the grooves on ‘Abbey Road’ when I was about 5,” said Gordon.

Gordon’s mother still lives in Massachusetts. He plans to have his 2-year-old daughter stay with her when he plays Portland. That way, he can bring his wife to Portland for a “date night.”

Before going on this solo tour, Gordon had spent a good chunk of time learning all the songs from the classic Little Feat 1978 double album, “Waiting for Columbus.” It’s something of a Phish tradition to learn someone else’s album and play it on Halloween.

“It’s not just learning it, it’s bringing something of your own to it,” said Gordon. “This one was harder than most we’ve done. So it’s been a crazy time, touring with Phish, learning that album, having three days of practice for these 10 gigs, then more Phish shows coming up. But I’m having a great time.”

Amazing what too much organization can do for you.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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