Catching Up With Phish (E29)
Sean Cochran loves Phish so much he was willing to contribute tons of time and energy to make this show simply amazing. I am so grateful that Sean was willing to help this radio host fill in the many gaps in my Phish education. Catching Up with Phish with Sean Cochran.
Over the months and years we will devote a lot more time and energy to this band. Sean is “in it to win it,” as I am. Sean, so glad we have you as out guide on this journey.
Catching Up, With Phish (E29) – this week on Lester the Nightfly.
One quick note: This whole LTNF Phish journey began with my friend, Jeff Tebele and his love for Phish. If you have not yet heard our interview and show, click here. A Phish Primer with Jeff Tebele.
THE SONGS (Doing Them Justice)
Fast Enough for You
Upon its introduction in 1992, it became a regular fixture in setlists for the next year and a half, along with “Horse” > “Silent.” As several new ballads were introduced in early 1994, including “Lifeboy” and “If I Could,” those songs tended to find favor in the down-tempo slots, and by 1997 (on the heels of the ballad-spangled Billy Breathes),
“Fast Enough” had become downright rare. Since Phish’s return to the stage in 2009, “FEFY” has settled into a very light rotation of two times a year, with recent versions to be found in excellent shows including 10/19/10 Augusta and 9/3/11 in Colorado.
In 1985, Mike, Fish, Page and friend Brian “Miles” Long lived in a house on King Street in Burlington, directly across from a regional Hood bottling plant. The plant’s pair of huge milk tanks bore Harry’s smiling face, his grin illuminated at night by streetlight. “Harry Hood” was inspired by its namesake, the signature character of the Hood dairy company’s advertising campaigns.
The little animated milkman in the fridge would proudly rattle on about his company’s dairy products when the “unsuspecting” folks opened their icebox doors. But what happened to Harry when the refrigerator door closed? Brian Long was the first to ask the question that has passed the lips of virtually every Phish fan. “Harry! Harry! Where do you go when the lights go out?”
Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley
Sneaking’ Sally Through the Alley
Written by the late Allen Toussaint, “Sneakin’ Sally” was originally recorded by Lee Dorsey for his Yes We Can album in 1970, produced by Toussaint with The Meters backing Dorsey, and packaged in a funky six-song suite buffered by title tracks.
Robert Palmer’s version is also part of a suite, following “Sailing Shoes” (by Lowell George of Little Feat) and “Hey Julia” in an uninterrupted flow, as if the three are one track. While not the original, Palmer’s version is better known, and closer to what Phish plays.
Run Like an Antelope
“Run Like An Antelope” is one of a collection of songs written by Trey Anastasio that ostensibly predates (but may be roughly coeval with) the birth of Phish. Named after Space Antelope, one of the the two bands (Red Tide being the other) he formed while attending The Taft School; the song first appeared on a Bivouac Jaun demo tape Trey recorded in November/December 1983 with varying levels of assistance from Tom Marshall, Marc Daubert, Dave Abrahams, Peter Cottone, Roger Holloway, and The Dude of Life.
Despite the broad array of talent on the Bivouac Jaun demo – this same version of “Antelope” is on the Phish White Tape – Trey is alleged to have recorded all of the instrumental portions of “Antelope” alone, while Tom and The Dude are credited with the lyrics.
Wading in a Velvet Sea
“Wading in the Velvet Sea” was among the first of the songs subsequently released on The Story of the Ghost to surface during the summer of 1997. In stark contrast to the “funk” sound which proliferated that year, “Wading” is an introspective anthemic tear-jerker in the style of “Slave to the Traffic Light.” The song swirls out of a half-speed “Nitrous Oxide” siren into a delicate piano melody, which gradually swells to an oceanic crescendo of soulful guitar licks.
Lyrically, the song carries the tone of a letter to a lost love, a message of hope for a brighter future. An account of a moment shared during a solitary trip to the coast. A moment which simultaneously captured the joy and sorrow of the past forgotten and the future lost. The title phrase, repeated incessantly throughout the soaring elegy to enduring emotion, captures the spirit of the waves.
This whimsical yarn about a dog who has cleverly managed to split with the narrator’s car, clothes, and money has been a staple of Phish’s repertoire since its 3/28/90 debut. It seems unlikely that there are any hidden or allegorical meanings in the song’s lyrics, which Trey penned with Dave Abrahams while sitting around a fountain at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. The tune then was summarily shelved, and didn’t appear live until years later.
Every version of “Runaway Jim” from its debut through the Wendell Studios sessions recording contained an extra verse in which Jim’s death is explained:
Ran away again on the night he died,
But I knew I’d be with him on the other side.
From our Guest: Sean Cochran
Writer, Fan, Dad, Troop Leader
I’m the type of guy that craves and fosters many friendships and I work pretty hard at it. I have a lot of great dudes that I like to keep in touch with and continue to check in and see how life it going for them. I’m all about friends and I especially enjoy having fun with many many friends of all walks of life. I’ve been fortunate to live in many places, and have cultivated a wide variety of characters to make laugh and laugh at them.
A Phish Concert
There is absolutely no better venue to see people you care about having a great time than at a musical experience, and no better opportunity to do a deep dive into what’s happening in their worlds. A Phish concert is typically two sets and an encore, and more importantly a four-hour bonanza filled with festivities, extracurriculars, characters, incredible music, and more revelry than most people ever experience. Throw in the pre concert planning and the parking lot and it’s a full day of interaction with great friends, which is what really blows my hair back. Throw in a multi show run at a venue with hotels, getting to know a city, or camping? Look out. To wrap that up in a bow, Phish has always been a place to see buds at their best, and deeply reconnect, and bask in meaningful relationships.
Listen Right Here, Right Now
Tracks included in order of appearance.
|Song||Artist / Album||Year|
|Fast Enough for You||Phish / Rift||1983|
|Harry Hood||Phish / A Live One||1995|
|Sneaking’ Sally Through the Alley||Phish / Live Phish||1997|
|Run Like an Antelope||Phish / Run Like an Antelope||2011|
|Wading in a Velvet Sea||Phish / The Story of a Ghost||1998|
|Runaway Jim*||Phish / Star Lake ’98||1998|
LEST-OMETER – 1998
In this episode our music centers around the year 1998 as you can see from our LEST-OMETER below. Yep – that’s how we roll around here… the very latest in music technology!!