"Billie Jean" is of course the famous Michael Jackson song, from his album Thriller
On the Midnite Vultures tour, during the bridge in the middle of "Nicotine & Gravy
," Justin Meldal-Johnsen would drop that strutting bassline in there. Most of the time, Beck did not sing any of the song, but I have heard a few shows where Beck did sing a little of the song.
Also, many have noted the similarity between the bassline on Jackson's song and that of "Scarecrow
UPDATE: In 2013, Beck started to play it much more fully live (though still part of a medley). (See below.)
Played live 48 times:
April 26, 2000April 28, 2000May 31, 2000August 22, 2000June 26, 2001June 29, 2001July 1, 2001July 2, 2013July 6, 2013July 7, 2013
...and 38 more
Earliest known live version: April 26, 2000
Latest known live version: July 2, 2016
Not really sure when this first popped up into "Nicotine & Gravy
," but probably sometime around May 2000 and it would continue throughout the Midnite Vultures tour.
Then, 13 years later, in 2013, Beck started playing "Billie Jean" as a fairly regular part of his set! It was often done as a medley with "Sissyneck." "Sissyneck" would start it off, then the riff would slowly groove into "Billie Jean." (A few times, some other songs were included too.) These jams were pretty fun, and very well-received. Beck moonwalked and sang, he let Roger or Jason sing the bridge, the bassline getting everyone moving.