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.


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)


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”

  1. Marshall Says:

    Speaking of cars on tour, I used to real kick out of seeing tour-kids driving their mom’s hand-me-down diesel volvos or mercedes, with the completely black rear-bumper from all the pollution that spewed out of it, but with the Greenpeace and EarthDay stickers stuck to it nonetheless.

    The bitter irony.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    re: Olympics

    here’s a question for you: Do you root for the athletes based on who they are or based on what country they are from? That is, do you root for someone from the US because you are an American or because you feel that person is a good person to support?

    the puff pieces always highlight the struggle for each athlete to get to where they are but rarely — if ever — point out how they may have cheated, lied, etc. to get there as well (not saying everybody cheats, etc. just proving a point). I can think of at least a few athletes who garnered our support during the games and later turned out to be complete assholes who shat on everybody else in order to fulfill their self-serving goals.

  3. garretc Says:

    Right on sumodie, nice post. Hetero myself, but with a gay older brother, so I’ve always taken homophobia on a very personal level. It’s always good seeing people out and comfortable with themselves, cause I know how much my brother was able to relax and be himself more once he came out!

  4. albert walker Says:


    great post man

    I know that was a joke (the gay for trey line)

    but given we try so hard to be keep things on the up and up here I did think it was slightly out of place

    one of the best parts of phish thoughts is how straight (bad choice of words) we play it over here

    there seems to be a homophobic post every other minute on the green board

    thats not how we roll

  5. Marshall Says:

    I pull for the hot blond chicks. Not gonna deny it. That means I’m pulling for Norway or Sweden a lot in the winter games.

  6. garretc Says:

    I generally root for the US…

    But really I pretty much root for everybody, cause it crushes my soul to see people lose at something that consists of their entire life’s dreams…

  7. albert walker Says:

    kp if you dig more organic reggae

    check out Max Romeo, Dillinger, and Culture on my mediafire

    probably heard them but if not they are $$

  8. Kenny Powers Says:

    right on Sumodie. Variety is the spice of life.

  9. albert walker Says:

    All you hosers
    We are gonna kick your ass on Sunday

    Can’t wait for some Canada vs USA hockey

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    Wow. just got back from class and it looks like I missed a debate where I actually had some expertise.

    re: crime and socioeconomic reasons for committing crimes

    don’t want to re-spark the debate, but i did want to add that i’ve worked with some “convict” and “criminals” and am dedicating my life to these folks and one thing that i learned early on is that if someone never told me that they were a convict i would never know.

    even murderers. i worked with a man who killed two police who killed his brother. he was a man who made an extremely bad decision based off emotion. excusable? perhaps not. understandable? absolutely. and thats what all of us need. understanding and compassion towards everyone.

    ok. sorry. it just strikes home for me.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    right on, man! I was curious when you’d broach the subject after our conversations. I’ll be right there getting jibboo’ed with ya.

  12. Kenny Powers Says:


    nice, thanks man. Totally forgot about Culture, I’ve only heard one album (One Stone), which I love and is a good example of latter-day reggae that keeps it pure. Saw them once in RI summer of ’97, at this bar right on the ocean with a bar overhanging the water’s edge. And it wasn’t far from Kingston!!! RI, that is.

  13. Chuck D Says:

    w00ks on PCP are the preferred scapegoat round this here blackboard.

  14. VoidBoy Says:

    Re: Olympics – root for who?

    Personally, I look for that vibe in the moment – who’s putting the best “face” on what that competition stands for or the out and out “best” performance. In sports in general, I tend to lean towards the underdog because the forgone conclusion would pass them over as secondary. But with the Olympics (or individual competition) I tend to look for the one who exemplifies that moment/performance we all participate in.

  15. albert walker Says:

    You will dig two sevens clash KP

    Came out in 1977
    Very roots sounding reggae
    IMO one of the most natural sounding reggae recordings of all time

    Joe Gibbs at the helm
    Great stuff

    If you liked there later stuff, which I did also
    You will love it

  16. garretc Says:

    Yeah aw, I went through and listened to all the reggae stuff you posted, loved it! I’ve never really been a reggae guy, I didn’t oppose it by any means, but never really listened to much, or owned much, besides some Bob Marley (of course), and some Toots and the Maytals (probably also of course…) But I really dig all the Upsetters stuff you put up! Never thought I’d be diggin on instrumental reggae….

  17. Kenny Powers Says:

    awesome albert, i am psyched to get back into the rocksteady, it has been out of the rotation for far too long.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    gay for trey was my line and i regret posting it. why?

    a) it’s old and not that funny and b) I am pro-people regardless of sexual orientation, body type, color, creed, opinions, religion etc.

    I was trying to express that my feelings for trey go beyond the superficial. I’ve been seeing and listening to big red since 92 and he and his band have major significance for me.

    sumodie thanks for helping us all take the high road.


  19. Marshall Says:

    w()()ks on PCP. Criminal activity or not?

  20. garretc Says:

    Depends Marshall, are they parking their cars in living rooms?

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    so i typed up like a 3 paragraph thought about my feelings re: crime and criminals (its one of the few things on the board that i have some expertise in)

    and it looks like the post didnt make it….hmmmm

    anyway, right on, sumodie! and everyone else for voicing their support. its great to see the compassion here!

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    my condensed thought on crime.

    ive worked with many convicts and criminals and i am dedicating my life to these folk.

    many of these people you would never know were criminals.

    i worked with a man who murdered 2 police officers after they murdered his little brother. excusable? no. understandable? absolutely.

    IMO we all struggling to make meaning out of life and are therefore connected. The problems of one of us, are, in reality, the problem of all of us. So, compassion first.

    ok. sorry. it just hits close to home.

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    oh hey, glad I hit a lull and came back

    @sumodie, you know that Miner has your back, he has made his stand on being cool to all people totally clear, and I’d like to say that I take that same line – anyone who is not cool with you for that reason is not cool with me, period.

    glad you are comfortable enough with us here to tell us who you are.

    FWIW, my least favorite word in this context: “tolerance.” You tolerate things that are bad but you have to put up with them.

    It’s about love.

  24. lastwaltzer Says:

    if they’re on pcp its totally not their fault

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    word, Mr. C.

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