The Bearsville Sessions

Bearsville Studios - Bearville, NY

Over the span of two years, Phish spent three different chunks of time at Bearsville Studios, in Bearsville, NY, recording music that would eventually be used for The Story of the Ghost. After The Island Run, Phish’s surprise four-night extravaganza in the spring of ’98, the band returned to Bearsville to record on their forthcoming album with the daunting task of whittling down a list upwards of 40 songs. A particularly creative period in the band’s history, The Bearsville Sessions finally resulted in two albums. Not only did Phish release The Story of the Ghost in the Fall of ’98, but later Page went through the tapes, selecting his favorite instrumental outtakes for what would become the ’99 release, The Siket Disc.

Famous for their improvisational nature, the band went into the studio and jammed, later selecting their favorite segments and creating songs out of them. Much like “The Blob” process used to create Billy Breathes, Phish was left with much more music than they could use at the time. Below are the complete studio outtakes from the band’s Story of the Ghost sessions from April – June 1998. Some songs emerged later, some not until 2009, and some haven’t. So enjoy this portrait of an experimental era in Phish history.

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The Bearsville Sessions, Spring ’98- The Complete Outtakes < Torrent

The Bearsville Sessions, Spring ’98 – The Complete Outtakes < Mega

Disc #1  1. Fishman Tune (possibly Tooth and Nail or Knock You From Your Shrine), 2. Gordon Tune/bass riff, 3. Unknown (possibly Turbo Kicking In), 4. Roggae, 5. What’s The Use? (with lyrics), 6. In A Misty Glade, 7. Meatstick (On A String), 8. Unknown Fishman tune (possibly Say The Same For Me), 9. The Cataract Song, 10. My Left Toe, 11. The Happy Whip And Dung Song, 12. Black Eyed Katy/Moma Dance, 13. Rebirth, 14. End Of Session, 15. Never

Disc #2  1. Sleep, 2. Farmhouse, 3. Bittersweet Motel, 4. What’s the Use?, 5. Limb by Limb, 6. NICU (no lyrics), 7. Water In The Sky, 8. Wading In A Velvet Sea, 9. Brian And Robert, 10. Somanatin, 11. Vultures, 12. I Saw It Again, 13. Ha Ha Ha, 14. Tube, 15. Guyute, 16. Dirt, 17. NICU (with lyrics), 18. Limb By Limb

Disc #3  1. Ghost, 2. Samson Variation, 3. Frankie Says, 4. Roggae, 5. Shafty, 6. What’s The Use?, 7. Fikus, 8. In A Misty Glade, 9. Meat, 10. Meatstick (On A String)

Source:  DSBD, (5.7.98)

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Jam of the Day:

Stash > Cities” 6.30 I

Just getting warmed up in Christiana’s first set of Summer ’98.

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748 Responses to “The Bearsville Sessions”

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  1. ChefBradford Says:

    Cool, I love these outtakes. Def looking forward to that Stash>Cities

    Yesterday’s write-up was a masterpiece, Mr Miner!

    You said what many of us had thought, but hadn’t put in to words

    Good work, as ever!

  2. garretc Says:

    Wow! This sounds amazing! Thanks Miner, this is definitely going to number one priority for next listen…

  3. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    yea i wish they finished some of these songs. couldnt hurt to have a studio NICU or vultures… but i love going back to these demos

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    Cheers Chef!

  5. ChefBradford Says:

    Ah, and cheers to you, sir! As soon as you posted today’s write-up last night, I went to write a response, but experienced, shall we say, technical difficulty, and after all the posts today, it seemed redundant. Truly excellent work, though. I’d never have thought of “musical density”, but you nailed it!

    Phish 3,0 is as far from a nostalgia act as can be, and I’ve loved every second of it. I still dip into my pre-hiatus and 2.0 catalog all the time, but I make sure to insert 3.0 frequently, and always without regret or double-takes.

    What a rich world…

  6. Myers Says:

    I remember getting one of the maxell xl2s of this at the local record store

    the good ole days

  7. garretc Says:

    Hot damn! YEM vocal jam 5/16/94 is the most face melting vocal jam I’ve ever heard! Nice!

  8. Matso Says:

    Wow! Unless this has been made available elsewhere, these sessions are a huge scoop for Miner and this site! Well done Mr Miner and thank you very much taboot taboot!

  9. Foul_Domain Says:

    ^ Great scoop is right!!

    Thanks Miner. I cant wait to dig into these later.

    Morning everyone.

  10. Foul_Domain Says:

    Interesting….The 1st track from these Bearsville sessions is “Shrine”, which is on Party Time – and its the same recording.

  11. Willowed Says:

    Morning boys!
    Lindsey Jacobellis I am so ashamed of you. It’s all your fault that we are now behind in the medal count! You are a jack ass!

  12. Willowed Says:

    I forgot to say thanks Miner. This is great!
    I hope you boys enjoyed the show last night. I hope you all got home safe!

  13. Little Buddy Says:

    Thanks for these sessions, Miner. I know they’ve been in circulation, but I’ve never heard them so this will be a nice treat.

    TAB played Magilla in NYC=Nice!

    I haven’t listened to the TAB NYC show – I wonder if it was a short second set, or a jammed out second set. I can’t tell from the setlist length.

    Willowed – I actually felt really bad for Jacobellis last night. She just took that first jump a little too high and just couldn’t control it. She’ll never live her Olympic failures down. I can’t help but feel for her. If anyone was ever in need of a big Robear hug, it was her after that fail last night.

  14. SquirmingCoil Says:

    Once again, you’ve came through for all of us. I don’t know how you do it, but it works every time. Thanks again man!

  15. lastwaltzer Says:

    I wonder if these acoustic tunes will become a fixture. I think it would be cool if he came out alone and did a few acoustic tunes first, rather then to close the set.

  16. HarryHood Says:

    Wow, mini acoustic set??? Where is everyone that went to last night’s show!? I need a review!

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    wait. they played Black Dog last night? As in Zeppelin’s Black Dog? Dang…

  18. HarryHood Says:

    I think Black Dog was in TAB’s regular rotation in ’03. I saw them do that as an encore I believe for one of the Burlington Jazz Fest shows.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I guess last night was kind of the end of the east coast tour before they hit the midwest. can’t wait to hear that one!

    thanks for the bearsville tapes, miner. haven’t heard this in a long time. should be a good soundtrack for the day!

  20. HarryHood Says:

    Re: Lindsey Jacobellis

    I’m thinking that she needs to keep that board on the snow and stay out of the air with it…… Every time she takes flight with that thing, it ends in disaster.

  21. HarryHood Says:

    I’m a little jealous that they save the acoustic Phish tunes for the NYC show. I would have loved to have seen a couple in Boston.

  22. HarryHood Says:

    @ Type III

    Just wanted to say that it was nice to meet you and your girl at the HOB show. Jen was surprised about how “normal” you all were! llfa. I would have really liked to have hung out with you guys more, but having a seat for her was key. If she would have had to stand the whole time, I don’t think she would have made it through the second set.

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @hood
    yeah, I guess I forgot about that. mini review on hidden track says it was a 2 hour 1st followed by a 70 min. 2nd. great way to end the east coast

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @hood
    great meeting you and Jen as well! the next time we’ll have more time to hang out I’m sure… sumodie and I are talking about hitting the Mike show in Northampton March 13th if you are interested.

  25. gratefulcub Says:

    I don’t know, but I’ve been told,
    Skinny little redheads ain’t got no soul

    ~Jen

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