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. SOAM Says:

    Tammany HALL RULES


  2. c0wfunk Says:

    it’s hilarious to me how we’re always trying to get camman to skip out on his job or school or whatever to go to shows 😉 What you need to do is call in sick buddy!

  3. whole tour! Says:

    say you have a family reunion to attend.

  4. camman Says:

    haha now C0wfunk, theres some advice i think i could phinally follow

  5. Chalkdustin Says:

    Just make sure you’re not gushing about the show the next day at work.

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    family reunion has always been my go-to .. it’s half true anyway!

    But seriously, you should just call in sick, go to the show, you’ll be worn out the next day so it’ll be easy to fake a little sickness, and just go go go! you won’t even remember this job in 10 years but you’ll remember that show I guarantee!~

  7. camman Says:

    well, if ya’ll will help me find a ticket to the fox, then i’ll do so 😉

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    heheh – I meant knoxville 😉 But if you’re only 2 hours away, you should at least go check out the scene ..

  9. camman Says:

    Chalkdustin and C0wfunk,

    you two guys have always been very cool chaps to me, and for that i salute you. i can’t wait to party with ya’ll on NYE cause i KNOW ya’ll will be there

  10. lot rat Says:

    fuckin tour is coming.

    sack up and lets get this show on the road.

  11. camman Says:

    Knoxville is like 7 hours away, and theres the trouble of actually getting, plus having he money to do so. i’m broke until the middle of June

  12. Bwana Sun Says:

    @ cOwfunk i’ve been seeing phish since ’95 and haven’t come across the Phunky Bitches board or the Jam Girls board… I have some lady phriends that are interested. Can you send me links or invites to these list-serves/boards to pass along?? mandersonbwana@gmail.com

  13. voopa Says:

    Yep, “family reunion” is my tried and true excuse, when I need one.

  14. Chalkdustin Says:

    Cam, I can’t wait to boogie with you too man, hopefully at some point this summer but if not, NYE sounds rad. I’d give you an extra Alpine if you could make it up. Just go to the Fox show and see what happens. What’s 2 hours? Do it, do it, do it!!

    I’m out for a meeting for a bit. Later.

  15. bhizzle Says:

    I leave for an hour or so and all I see is this Walmart hysterics and faces being melted. you all are retarded!

  16. c0wfunk Says:



    jamgirls is a subset of people who’ve been there for a while, so the PB boards would be the place to start..

  17. RobAins Says:

    Camman: Need money? Set up a pay pal account and ask for donations! I’d give you $25 or $50 to help with your cause. BTW, this better be you and not someone who is using your info to post. Didn’t that happen right after Hampton?

  18. Billy Breathes Says:

    Rumor has it they are playing their new album tonight…………from an insider source.

    Believe it, 3.0!

  19. old dude Says:

    bhizzle – face melt-inducing jams also tend to brain the damage, leading to mild, though temporary, retardation.

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    bb you got real info? The pt threads regarding a wooster show tonight look look like bs to me..

  21. old dude Says:

    BB, first the Bouncin hate, now the lies. DAMN LIES! 😉

  22. old dude Says:

    this is again not the real camman. unless his grammar and typing skilz somehow madly improved upon his graduation from high school.

  23. WhosOnFirst Says:

    I need to be discreet this weekend (long story, don’t ask…), but still want to get down. I’ve never eaten raw herb before, and have heard conflicting results about whether it’ll function or not… any thoughts from the crowd?

  24. lot rat Says:

    House of Blues tonight? I read they were rehearsing a few nights at Scumtrum in Wooota….anyone else.

    Minors tix are cool cause their PBTM, and highly fuckin doubt he will be anywhere near the stands. Of all the summer tickets stubs he has scanned in i have only seen 1 lawn.

    “a little off topic but for those of you that listen to Howard Stern on channel 101 there is a sports guy Farrel and shoots the shit and someone phoned in yesterday and asked him if he knew about Phish playing Fenway, and he was like yeah man I know all about phish. theres gonna be a lot of tripin, shrooming, and ex’in going on. and hung up on the dude.”

    Scotty ferrell is insane, he’s seen like 15 g-dead shows. Talked about binging his tree off at sam boyd diggin jerry. Jim Dowd (NHL) big head as well, funny interview.

    Canman-get a credit card and let it ride, the guy who flunkned english to catch the fat man is correct. Who knows if phish will around next summer? I would like to think so but shit can happen. Only YOU can make tour happen.

    keep the faith

  25. fromthetub Says:

    ^ “you won’t even remember this job in 10 years but you’ll remember that show I guarantee!~”

    This is so, so true indeed.

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