We’re Pregnant and Need To Get Albany!

Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

One of the best things about Phish tour are the inevitable fiascoes that go down on your mission to get from show to show.  The combination of psychedelics, many miles on the road, little sleep, and a constant whirlwind of cities consistently results in absurd tales that survive the test of time.  Whether you’ve escaped a police search with goodies stashed, gotten horribly lost leaving a show while barely thinking about where you were driving, been evacuated from a hotel for a fire alarm, or stumbled upon exactly what you were looking for when it was the furthest thing from possible, everyone has had their own tour adventures and obstacles.  This was one of those hurdles.

Atlantic Beach, NY

Atlantic Beach, NY

We were all set for the Jones Beach run.  One of my friends had hooked up his uncle’s beach house in Atlantic Beach- 20 minutes from the venue- for the entire week.  We didn’t need to worry about city traffic or blocking out a quarter of our day in order to get to the show; we could relax and go about our business.  But after a scathing late-night verbal assault that came through the  bushes separating the neighbor’s property, my friend wanted to flee the scene.  Without any real explanation, we needed to leave, and before we knew it we found ourselves back in New York City.  Fortunately we had a place to stay, but we had to brave outbound traffic for the next two shows- ugh.  For those unfamiliar with the math here, Jones Beach is a 35 mile drive from the city, but can easily take upwards of two or three hours if you leave at the wrong time.  Luckily, my friend and ultimate navigator, Greg, refuses to wait in traffic- but that is a whole ‘nother story.

Times Square, NYC

Times Square, NYC

As we got to the city on the afternoon of June 3rd- a day off- we unloaded the car and Greg went to park it in a garage.  Little did I know that he found a street spot- which doesn’t always turn out so well in New York City.  That night we went out to Mike Gordon’s birthday bash downtown, and upon getting home, Greg went out to smoke a cigarette.  Showing up at least an hour later, he said he got a phone call and had taken a walk.  Fair enough.  After I went to sleep, Greg, unbeknownst to me, snuck out for another “cigarette” which I’m sure he smoked many of, as he walked miles of city blocks looking for our missing mini-van we had rented only days before.  Little did I know, sleeping soundly in bed, Greg searched for quite a while before giving up and calling it a night.

Upper East Side, NYC

Upper East Side, NYC

When I woke up, Greg had already been out in the concrete jungle, pounding the pavement to no avail.  He explained to me, visibly stressed, that the car was missing!  He had looked for hours, and had called the impound- it hadn’t been towed.  Hmmm. What the fuck was he talking about?  He had parked in a garage across the street, or so I thought.  I was sure, given the circumstances, he had drank too much tequila the night before and the car was right where he left it.  No dice.  It was starting to get on in the day; we didn’t exactly get up early.  To make matters more complex, we didn’t have the identifying rental key chain, since we had cut the wire in order to all have keys to the car.  Ok, this is impossible I thought. I was calling Thrifty back.

Impound Lot On the West Side Hwy

Impound Lot On the West Side Hwy

We quickly uncovered the missing link to the mystery.  Early that morning, the agent had misspoke our plate number to Greg, going as far as to say “E as in Edward,” mistaking an “C” for an “E.”  He never had the right license plate to begin with when he had called the city’s tow yard.  Immediately redialing the impound, we found out that our car was towed, and was now located at a lot along the West Side Highway- the opposite of where we needed to go- and it was about 4 pm.  We thought about hopping a train, but that would have sucked after the show, so we decided to just go for it.  Taking a cab to the docks along the water, we hopped out and ran inside, only to find a room full of people sitting patiently, waiting in front of us.  The reality of city bureaucracy slapped us in the face, as we imagined being there forever.  Had we fucked up and made the wrong decision?  I sure thought so.

As we went to the window to give them our information, our paper work was put in line with everyone else’s- a bad omen.  As we were leaving the window to await our fate, Greg- one of the smoothest talkers around- began to speak.  Stressed about getting to the show on time, he channelled his stress into an absurd story.  He politely, but urgently, asked the woman behind the counter- babiesthat archetypal city employee moving slower than molasses- how long it would be before we got our car. He needed to know because his wife had just gone into labor in Albany, and if we weren’t going to get our car in time, we needed to leave and rent one immediately!  I turned with a look that must have come close to blowing his cover, as he has no wife, but I chilled and went with it.  After some back and forth, the woman asked what he was possibly doing three hours from his wife at this point, and without thinking, he responded, “She’s two weeks early!  This wasn’t supposed to happen.”  Balancing his politeness with a desperate tone, the woman was clearly buying Greg’s tale.  She told us she’d do what she could, and to have a seat.

We went to the back of the small room, sitting and laughing covertly at his improvised yarn.  Watching the clock, minutes moved slowly as we kept our hopes alive that things would be fine.  About ten minutes later, ahead of many people who had been there when we arrived, my name was called.  A different woman, with a smile, asked us who the daddy was as she processed our paperwork.  We dove, head first, into a conversation about her son, my son, and Greg’s son-to-be, and the urgency of the situation at hand.  She wished us good luck as she gave us our receipt and claim check, and within ten more minutes we were on our way.  We couldn’t have been there more than a half an hour.  We forced ourselves to keep a straight face on our way out, but, nonetheless, out we went!



Greg’s super-human driving and navigation skills, with the help of “Garmini” (our affectionately named Garmin GPS), made our way through the madness of Queens and onto Long Island back roads, never stopping for a lick of traffic the entire time.  Keeping in touch with our friends on lot- and stuck on the expressway- most sat in hours of highway gridlock.  We realized that we were we were going to make the show, but as we continued, Garmini’s ETA continued to decrease.  By the time all was said and done, we pulled into the lot from the opposite side of traffic, arriving a solid hour before showtime.  What started out as a nightmare, turned into a hilarious adventure- par for the course when navigating the madness of Phish tour; things usually work out.  As we locked the doors, Greg turned to me and confidently said- just as Hannibal proclaimed on Tuesday nights of our youth- “I love it when a plan comes together.”



5.31.09 Fenway Park, Boston, MA < MEGAUPLOAD

5.31.09 Fenway Park, Boston, MA < TORRENT


Official Fenway Poster

Play Ball!  Phish’s summer tour opener was a spectacle as the band stepped onstage in a stadium for the first time in their career.  Stepping to the plate, Phish rapped a solid one, featuring three debuts and a some classic jam vehicles.  “Tweezer > Light” was the improvisational highlight, while the band surprised everyone with Skynyrd’s “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” for the first time since August ’93.  A unique night that will always be remembered in Phish history.

I: Star Spangled Banner^, Sample in a Jar, Moma Dance, Chalk Dust Torture, Ocelot*, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Limb by Limb, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Down with Disease, Destiny Unbound, Character Zero

II: Tweezer > Light*, Bathtub Gin, David Bowie, Time Turns Elastic*, Free, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, You Enjoy Myself

E: Cavern, Good Times Bad Times, Tweezer Reprise

^ from the pitcher’s mound   * debut

Source: Schoeps mk41 > kc5 > cmc6 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Sound Devices 722 (@ 24 bit / 48 kHz) – Taper: Dave Flaschner

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170 Responses to “We’re Pregnant and Need To Get Albany!”

  1. smegma Says:

    nice nonyolker. maybe someone has a smegma related tour story. Anyone?

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    “Miner-I would not have expected a tour vet to leave his ride on the street in NYC-they’ll fuck you 6 ways to sunday on the streets of ny.-every time”

    ^^ It wasn’t me. I was shocked.

  3. Frankie Says:

    Yeah i know! I read it on a bus back to Montreal from Vancouver (74 hrs!) and it just made the long ride worse. I was waiting the whole book for the good part and it just never came… can’t wait for Mr. Miner’s book though as i know it’s gonna be killer! When does the pre-order start? 🙂

    Guess i’ll just put it in the recycle bin where it belongs then…

  4. whole tour! Says:

    smegma dogmatigram phish market stew
    police in the corner gunning for you
    appletoast furblanket bed heated rat
    laugh when they shoot ya
    say please din’t do that!

    i swear in asheville phish played the paranoia 1st set. the songs seemed to enhance my paranoia after 1st the usher lady kept flashlighting our row, then i kid you not like 13 uniformed 5.0 filed in looking pissed on the railing. i thought we were toast, but they left. it left me noided out. not to mention song selection:

    kill devil falls ‘learned my lesson..’
    sample in a jar
    gumbo ‘aint no time to stash the gumbo, or RATTLE AROUND IN A CAGE”

    set 2 was a lot more chill after we moved, but damn i was wiggin during set one.

  5. Little Buddy Says:

    re: Garmin ETA decreasing…

    We were so late getting up to alpine (damn you, Chicago!) and when we hit the traffic on the rural route heading up to the venue we just turned left and kept turning away from traffic and trying to use the little map on the garmin to pick a new route since it was trying to send us back to the traffic. It worked like a charm and we actually saw the ETA decrease after we ended up on a route that brought us in the back way. Outsmarting the GPS is absolutely a new tour skill.

    Great story, Miner! The pregnant wife bit works well. I’ve used it several times. Then when my wife was pregnant we milked it for all it was worth. Best parking spots at all shows!

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    Just got an e-mail that read “Rejoice. They found my keys.” This came from my cousin who committed the ultimate sin Sat. night Alpine by losing said keys at venue. Sat in lot until 4am waiting for tow truck to bring us to hotel. No food, drink, or puff after show. Could have used it while walking up that fucking hill a few times to look for keys at lost and found. Lucky for him my brother was meeting me for Sundays show and brought him the spare set considering Saturn is not open Sundays and no locksmith could help. Sucked while it lasted, but it made that DoubleBrother opener that much sweeter for BingosBrother. Light and Dark do not exist separately from each other. I think I’ll still bury those newly found keys in the yard somewhere later anyway though.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I think I have seen more people wig out during Maze than any other song. Must have something to do with Phish telling you over and over that you’ll never get out of this maze. “Gee, Trey, maybe you’re right. I really will never get out of this maze… aaaargh!!”

  8. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    After many, many heavy experiences at shows, though I have never left one, I have found that the safest place is my seat. Just sit down on your blanket and in your seat, and everything will be OK in a bit. From watching other folks, its when you wander off that things can get a bit scary.

  9. nonoyolker Says:

    ^ I’ve had a couple of serious “MEHHHHHHH….!” moments during Maze. Good call T – III

  10. jamespatrick Says:


  11. SOAM Says:

    “no wife or fiancee-fucking brilliant”

  12. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @Type III – I know people who hate that song for that very reason.

  13. Jay Says:

    hey, worst thing that could happen is your stuck in a maze….while Phish is playing.

  14. T. Leo Says:

    Believe me, I wouldn’t have left if I knew what the hell I was doing. I wasn’t on psychedelics, so i wasn’t wigging out. I was completely blacked out. Don’t even remember leaving. I can’t figure it out as I said I only had a few drinks, so I don’t know how I got that drunk. Anyway, I missed the show, but when (or if) I ever get over that, I got a good tour story out of it.

  15. Leo Weaver Says:

    Good story Miner…I learned the NYC parking shuffle the hard way when I was up there for NYE ’08…had to move my car twice (once while the tow truck guy was prepping to tow me) before getting past my hardheadedness and checking into a garage. Most of my stories are pretty ho-hum…but I did have a cool experience in Barcelona ’98. Me and my showmates had done a Gaudi exploration during the day and stopped at a small restaurant across from our hotel to grab a quick bite before heading over to Zeleste…it was about 4 p.m. We were downing some tapas and beers when in walked Fishman (with a babe on each arm taboot). We recognized him immediately but didn’t say anything…they sat down at the table directly beside us…I was about 2′ away. My buddy (who likes to think he’s a drummer, Fish is his hero) said, “are you Jon Fishman?” Fish’s face went blank and he said “uuuhhhh….nope, sorry.” A little disappointed, me and my buddy decided we’d make a show request before leaving. He wrote on a napkin, “Henrietta, if it is you…and we know it is…would you play Divided Sky? We’d appreciate it…thanks.” (at that time, we both only had a few shows under our belt with no DS) My buddy got up and left while I continued with my beers. So I hear Fish talking…he says, “I feel awful for not talking to them, but I just got up and wasn’t expectiing to run into phans at 4 in the afternoon in Barcelona.” So I chimed in, introduced myself, and we chatted for a couple of minutes over a beer. On my way out to catch up with my peeps, I said, “good meeting you, looking forward to Divided Sky tonight…have a great show.” So we get to Zeleste and are standing outside…a side door opens and out walks Mike, frantic…he looks straight at me and says, “Where’s Fishman?!?!?! Has anybody seen Jon??? We’ve got a soundcheck…where the hell is he?” I said, “well, I left him in a restaurant working on his 3rd or 4th beer with some lady friends.” Mike: “where??? how far away?” I said, “I’m not really sure but can take you there if you need me to.” He said “thanks, don’t go anywhere, I may need you” before ducking back inside while telling someone, “he’s drinking beer…hope he doesn’t come in wasted.” I guess Fish showed up soon thereafter ’cause I didn’t see Mike any more. Anyway, I got my Divided Sky that night even though it went unfinished…damn PA system…Woke up the next morning to the sound of another buddy stumbling into the room going, “you’ll never believe where I’ve been…I just partied with the band”. He ended up in their hotel suite and hung out with Mike, Page, and Jon basically all night. He gave props to their doobage…

  16. Leo Weaver Says:

    Signing off for a few days…heading to the beach…y’all hold down the fort…

  17. sumodie Says:

    Tour stories!

    Hey Colonel Joy, my ex- and our best friend did the first 7 shows of that 1997 European winter tour. To this day it remains the best vacation ever. While I have too many stories from that tour to recount (the Brussels show on Valentine’s Day remains one of our all time best phish shows), the capper is that we were supposed to fly home after the 5th show in Paris. After staying up most of the night exploring, we drove to the airport, dropped off the rental car, and proceeded to head to the terminal. Once inside we looked and looked and looked and couldn’t find our airline. As the expert tour logistician, I began to go into serious panic mode.

    By the time it was obvious we would miss our flight, we finally figured out that we had gone to the wrong airport -there’s two major airports in Paris -LOL! We called our airline and found out we couldn’t get a flight till a day or two later, and then in unison a light bulb went off in our heads: we opted to stay 3 more days, grabbed the rental car back, and drove to the next show in Milan. (Side note: driving into Milan at 3am that night we saw lots of ladies of the night dressed exactly like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman. Also had one of my all time favorite meals in Milan -tiramisu has never tasted the same since.)

    After the Milan show we drove to Florence -probably the worst city I’ve ever had to navigate. The show got out around midnight, we hopped in our car, drove 11 hours through the night all the way back to Paris (and the correct airport), and flew home. We then spent the next 3 weeks being horribly sick, as we had hardly slept a wink in Europe. 7 shows, 6 countries, 9 days = insane bliss……..

  18. sumodie Says:

    “After many, many heavy experiences at shows, though I have never left one, I have found that the safest place is my seat. Just sit down on your blanket and in your seat, and everything will be OK in a bit. From watching other folks, its when you wander off that things can get a bit scary.”

    @GuitarPicker: That’s true, except when you discover you have to have a bathroom break at the wrong time. The notion of a piss-break song at a phish show is anathema to me. In particular, I recall having some very scary moments while spun at Big Cypress and Sugarbush ’95.

    Thankfully I’ve gotten better at laughing at myself over the years…..nowadays I’m the one helping someone else out.

  19. Phish...Yup Says:

    Solid story Miner. That just made me go back and relisten to some Jones Beach action. That Oye Coma Va jam in Twist after the DWD opener in the 2nd set of JB3 put a huge smile on my face. So does the 3 day weekend that my company literally just gave us as of today.

  20. SOAM Says:

    The guitar chords in Twist make me want to misbehave on an epic level.


  21. whole tour! Says:

    high noon

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    hey @Colonel, nice shoutout to Pooh. He had famous Jedi powers…the ability to pass through airport security barefoot with glass jars of nugs, that kind of thing, or so the legends went. Haven’t thought of him in years.

    re: bad trips at shows – unfortunately I saw just about the worst imaginable one (excluding serious injury or death) very early on in my show going career, at the famous Richmond ’85 Dead show, which was already a scene of high drama and massive weirdness. Without graphic detail let’s just say a very overweight fellow had lost his clothing and was performing every possible bodily function simultaneously in the narrow and crowded concourse. The cops were just circling, waiting for him to wind down. Ever since then, no matter how spun I’ve gotten I’ve always been able to say “well at least I didn’t get it as bad as that Richmond guy.” A traumatic thing just to witness to say the least.

    re: show stories – one of my favorites was from Roanoke in the summer of ’87. The little town was really unprepared for the invasion but the locals were very cool about it. Afternoon of the second day my friend Marcus, who was maybe 17, probably 16 – and looked like 14 – decides to go get beer. He takes off walking and we watch him leave the hotel lot and start to cross the street. A cop car pulls up, boom! The cop rolls the window down. Marcus leans in and starts talking. Then the back door pops open and Marcus gets in and the car drives off! WTF! did he just get arrested? He was almost certainly holding. We start trying to think about bail money…and 10 minutes later the cop car pulls up in front of our hotel, and out pops underage Marcus WITH A CASE OF BEER. The cop gave him a ride to the beer store! And back!

    To this day I have no idea how that happened.

    Same weekend also featured naked water-skiing and one of the best shows I ever saw.

    My early Phish shows were all hometown, and a blur; recent ones have been with the wife, and relatively short on comical mishaps.

  23. chitownshanty Says:

    David Bowie will usually do the trick for most amateurs…Freak Out!

    To All Amateurs….be careful…take low dosages…test out the waters and be safe….you are NOT Superman, which LSD will surely remind you of.

    Just BE the Music.

    Anyone hear about a Workingmen’s Dead album on Halloween?

  24. SOAM Says:

    Roanoke-Trucking-bobby stutters-purposefully-sick fucking show


  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I heart Maze for that reason you all mention. It worked that way for me, in a positive sense, at my first shows back after long Phish hiatus. I was admittedly surprised to feel the feeling I forgot and was shocked by how strong it was. I found myself thinking about it way too much, not really in a negative way, but very distracting. The jam in Maze turned into a reflection of that and I was able to just fall into it and use the resolution of the jam as my way out. Hard to describe, but a very peak moment. Before that I only thought that song was OK, now I love it.

    HEavy trips always make me think of this incredible old SNL skit:

    “just remember you’re a living organism on this planet, you’re very safe, you’ve just taken a heavy drug….”

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