Our National Pastimes

4198_1152308280374_1007653377_30464754_3849393_n-21We now sit on the brink of Summer Tour, with just over three days left until we congregate in Boston, and interestingly enough, this will be the second consecutive summer tour that is starting at a baseball stadium.  Phish has been called up from Keyspan to Fenway this year, due to their super agent, Coran Capshaw, and they are primed to make their major league debut.  Forging two subcultures of America- Phish and baseball – the Fenway opener may be more appropriate than meets the eye.  While Phish’s psychedelic scene and baseball’s mainstream crowd may seem on different ends of the spectrum, the two cultures are far more similar than they appear.

fenway_park_home_plate_and_green_monsterA striking connection between the Phish fans and baseball fans are their love of statistics.  What songs were played; how long since the last version; how long was the jam; how many shows have you been to; what songs have you seen and how many times?  The list of numbers goes on and on, not so different than the national pastime’s fanatic following of home runs, RBIs, ERA, batting average, on-base percentage, strikeouts,WHIP, and what not.  Yet it’s not just how these numbers accumulate, but how each group obsesses over them like fiends.  Fantasy baseball leagues thrive on people’s desire to follow the numbers over the internet, and, ironically, this was the same original premise of Phantasy Tour.  In each scene, fans will both glorify or criticize their heroes, depending on their performance on a given day, and they’ll make damn sure their voices are heard by someone.  Grateful Dead aficionado, David Gans, once made a coherent analogy “Why Grateful Dead Shows Are Like Baseball Games,” and I’ve always thought the comparison to be spot on.

Phish @ Keyspan Park - 2004 (MSJ)

Phish @ Keyspan Park - 2004 (MSJ)

Both cultures come from rich traditions whose participants value and honor their past.  The Boys of Summer, speaking of either Phish or baseball players, come from a lineage who forged a path for them to follow.  Whether referencing former heroes of the diamond or the stage, the best became cultural icons of their era.  Jerry Garcia, Joe DiMaggio, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Mays, John Lennon, Jackie Robinson, Miles Davis, Babe Ruth- these people were larger than life, transcending their sport or art and defining a place in time.  With a certain charisma and flair for the dramatic, sectors of society gravitated around these symbolic figures who pushed their art forward.

phishfenwayThe season of summer is a centerpiece for both Phish and baseball.  Tours and games, reassuring fixtures of every year’s middle season, are always there to provide us with that fountain of youth; that magic reminding us of how life used to be.  A double-header in the sun or a psychedelic adventure under the stars- both are spiritual endeavors that remind us of an innocent place inside of us; that kid who just wants to have fun all day.  And so we go- to shows and to games- to feel that idyllic innocence and to discover what will happen, again and again, for a lifetime.

Stage at Fenway

Stage at Fenway

Both Phish and baseball are ways of life with their own rites, ceremonies, and innate, underlying credos.  Steeped in history, fans of each like to sit around and talk shop all night, while time stands still.  Debates, arguments, and smack talk are the fabric of both conversations; but in the end it is the process that is remembered rather than the results.  Eternal bonds that could never be broken are formed within each culture-friendships- companions on this ride.

And the funny thing with both Phish and baseball is that some just don’t get it.  What’s the big deal?  Why the obsession?   If people aren’t into them, they couldn’t care less, and sometimes, therein lies the beauty.  Often thought of as mere concerts and games- nothing but recreation- the magic in both Phish and baseball lies within the hearts of those who believe in their ethos.

These timeless entities will converge in only three days, when we migrate to Fenway to see Phish battle The Green Monster in a showdown that is guaranteed to be an instant classic!



6.22.95 Finger Lakes PAC, Canandaigua, NY < TORRRENT LINK


Summer Tour '95

Often referred to as simply the “Fleezer” show, this second set is downright nasty.  In a summer of experimental jams, this “Tweezer” ranks right up there.  Dominating the entire second set aside from an opening “Theme,”  this “Tweezer” winds through many stages of improv, including a section of  The Who’s “My Generation.”  A true beast in every sense of the word, this one holds a special place in Summer ‘956 history.

I: Sample in a Jar, Scent of a Mule, Ha Ha Ha, The Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, It’s Ice, Strange Design, Maze, Cavern, Sweet Adeline

II: Theme From the Bottom > Tweezer > My Generation* >Tweezer > Tweezer Reprise

E: Acoustic Army, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

*The Who- first time played

Source: DAUD/OTS Schoeps CMC5/mk4 > Aerco > Casio DA-R100 @ 48k

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240 Responses to “Our National Pastimes”

  1. HarryHood Says:

    So I’m sitting here at work trying to drown out the Muzak by cranking up TTE…….. Fish’s drumming sounds phreaking wonderful with Huey Lewis fighting Page for backing piano!

  2. RobAins Says:

    Camman: Do it. You never know. And if it’s that close to your house, why not?

  3. SOAM Says:

    easy Mike Ditka

  4. camman Says:

    thanks for the advice cottle and Robains. i’ll check it out

  5. msbjivein Says:

    SOAM, Good question. No word from Miner all day………………………..
    I’m out. Off to Walmart.
    @Hood, Sorry show was moved from isle 15 to Lawn and garden area. They had a clean up in isle 15.

  6. SOAM Says:

    Jugs man aka Cansman aka Ferris Bueller

    My suggestion to you is to go to Alpine-weekend gigs-lots of tix-The fox will be a bitch-maybe even worse than fri.sat Hampton

  7. camman Says:

    i will say this, the guys, (and gals) on here are a hell of a lot funnier then the people on PT

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    re: chicks at shows and online – I met my wife by being friends with some phunky bitches – I was tagging along to a gathering at hampton 99 – My wife was in to the PB boards for a while and now still talks to a bunch of peeps on the “jam girls” board that is a splinter off the PB thing. They definitely have a thriving bunch, there was a pretty large meetup at Hampton – fun, cool people all, and you get to party with zzyzx 😉

    and old dude, mookie had that ball beat regardless of what buckner did with it!

    and camman – just go – two hours is nothing, you need to just go.

  9. camman Says:

    i can’t make it alpine, until august, the only show i can get to would be the fox

  10. RobAins Says:

    Are there any ladies on here???

  11. whole tour! Says:

    the house from ferris buhler is for sale…cammeron’s house where they killed the car

  12. whole tour! Says:

    2.1 million dollars

  13. RobAins Says:

    Camman: Why? Are you out of the country? I bailed on my English final junior year of HS and failed the class for the year, so I could go see the Dead. Last show I saw. Summer School was well worth it……

  14. camman Says:

    yep, i crashed the car and had to put my house for sale to pay for it 😛

  15. camman Says:

    i gotta work to pay for school in the fall. work now and party later

  16. whole tour! Says:

    have extra knoxville tickets and a hotel for knoxville cam….my friend pussed out on me. come on down to knoxvegas.

  17. camman Says:

    besides i wont actually have a car until after the 1st leg has ended. i can make it to STL on the good graces of people i know, but not rally any further then that

  18. camman Says:

    whole tour, you dont know how tempting that is. i have so close ken going to knoxvegas

  19. SOAM Says:

    no news from house of blues -but the bangles played there last night and I still want to do their leadsinger-ho double motherfucking tt

  20. HarryHood Says:


    Sorry, I forgot that it was moved to lawn and garden because Old Dude’s face melted in aisle 15. My bad. I probably walked out on a great show.

  21. old dude Says:

    don’t step on my face on the way out

  22. HarryHood Says:

    I certainly won’t Old Dude. Whatever I do, I take care of my shoes.

  23. old dude Says:

    teh “secret show” moved from HOB to Tammany Hall per PT.

  24. SOAM Says:

    miner is not talking about house of blues cause he don’t want us phreaks crowding his pavillion.

  25. old dude Says:

    Miner’s already in line

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