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. Gratefulcub Says:

    I knew I checked back for a reason.

    Thanks for sharing Sumo. Glad to meet you, hope to really meet you one day.

    Parroting Selector, the best part is that when I read Sumo’s post, I knew exactly what the response was going to be. Very glad I wasn’t disappointed.

    And yes Mr. C, I tolerate the flu, I love people.

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    Right on, AW!

    thats cool that you’ve got a girl thats jealous…My girl would ask “Who’s Trey again?”

  3. Marshall Says:

    The quality of digital music is going to be an interesting thing to watch over the next few years. When everything was optical disc, it was all about what could fit and what machines will play what. That’s part of why DVD-A and SACD failed completely. Blu-Ray audio discs are being discussed but they’ll get no traction either.

    FLAC-HD on the other hand. I think that’s got a future. Everyone has got plenty of drive space, so they can just keep upping the bit depth and sampling rates without people having to invest in a new medium.

    It took Phish to bring about the convergence of my computer and my audio system.

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    I hope I can afford enough gigs to keep up with Miner’s DOTD.

  5. albert walker Says:

    I’ll be leaving work at 4:00 and jumping on 94

    don’t know how long it will take but I’m pretty comfortable with 4 hours till start time

    have some cookies to bake tonight also

  6. jdub Says:

    I’m glued to blackboard for a week straight. I pull myself away for an afternoon and miss peak BB. Sumodie, you rock. What makes this place so addictive is the fact that there are real people here. People aren’t hiding behind there obnoxiously created interweb persona.

    This has become the Internet version of Cheers. I love it.

    Re Drug related crime, drug abuse is a public health problem, not a criminal justice problem. Until country truly realizes this there will be truly tragic punishments for people who just need help.

    Since you brought it up Sumodie, The thought crossed my mind when I met you. The reason was because you are so damn comfortable with yourself. This is a very unique place people.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    Sweet. Once you get close just hit me up. I think I might wander around the area for a little bit just to check it out. Ive never been in downtown Milwaukee.

  8. SillyWilly Says:


    that trey interview for drug court is pretty powerful.

  9. albert walker Says:

    yeah I’ll send you an email later with my contact info.

    give you a ring when I get on the road with my ETA

    should be a hot one

    last time I saw TAB in Wisco was the 3 piece in 99 but I believe it was in Madison

    great show

  10. jdub Says:

    Voidboy, brilliant post.

    Silly, that High as F$&@k vid you posted has had me and everyone in my address book cracking up

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    Im pretty excited. Ive got to sit through 4 classes tomorrow beforehand, but im starting to get that pre-show feeling.

  12. SillyWilly Says:

    jon lajoie is pretty funny.

    the battleships and chickens with human arms is what always gets me.

    he has some other stuff on youtube. some of its good. some of its not.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Rumor alert- Phish in Telluride!

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    evenin everyone

    so.. I got a talking to at work today about internet use..
    can only peek in once or twice during the day.
    looks like im gonna be a second setter only during the weeks for a while.

    and you guys fly in the morning.. its gonna be hard to keep up.

    Oh well, I plan to keep it real with the night crew 😉

    So 2-13 Trey is fire for sure.

  15. flarrdogg Says:

    In and out. Great stuff here this afternoon, fellas. Agian reaffirming why I am proud to a part of THIS online community.

    I have been listening to summer and fall ’99 almost exclusively over the past couple of weeks and love the transformation the band undergoes during this period. 180 degrees from summer ’98. Completely reinventing themselves. While I’ve never considered this to to be a peek era per se, I am now having to reconsider that notion. I did see many shows in ’99, so perhaps that plays a part in my reluctance to revisit often. Also, things were pretty rough in my personal life.

    The music has stayed the same, but my ears have undergone a significant shift in terms of what appeals over the course of these past couple of years. Strange. I love this band- and I love the REdiscovery that always takes place when I listen.

  16. SillyWilly Says:

    That sucks, Lycan…hope you didn’t get in too much trouble.

    If Phish is playin’ Telluride in August that probably means West Coast swing 2nd leg, huh?

  17. Mr. Completely Says:


    Saw the Dead in Telluride in ’87. There was a banner hung over the road into town that said, in like rainbow letters, “WELCOME DEADHEADS”

    not exactly the reception we were used to at the time! An of course an amazing town. Got overshadowed on tour by Red Rocks, of course, but I’m super glad I went.

    pretty hip shows taboot. Feel Like a Franklin’s, Scarlet Fire, post-space Bertha, Dew the first night…don’t remember the second night very well

    For convoluted and somewhat cryptic reasons I can’t get into, that Phish date might not be as unlikely as it seems at face value. Not saying I quite believe it, but….

  18. halcyon Says:

    Just jumped back on now that the day crew is gone for the day, and wow, what a place this is! What a flurry of thoughtful, heartfelt posts! Great community here.

  19. halcyon Says:

    In Telluride for WPanic a few years ago. Me and a bunch of friends have a condo on the mountain. I can only stay the first night as my then roomate and I needed to return the next day for work. It is show time, in such an amazing venue, and a once in a 75 year storm rolls through ending the show after 3 songs. Streets were in 6 inches of water, over 3000 lightning strikes that night. Made it back to the condo 3 hours later, and we were locked out until other friends returned. Cell phone ruined, soaked to the bone, and had to leave at 9am the next day to make it to work on time. The next day the band made up for it and played a 6 hour show.

    Be Prepared.

  20. voopa Says:

    What a great day of reading on the BB! Great stuff, everyone.

  21. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeah just skimming back through…

    great stuff today.


    made my heart swell with pride and love for this board. 🙂

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    that sucks, man. as for why we fly in the morning, I think part of it is the coffee (wish I could say it is the HSB during the week, but it’s not…) and part is knowing we get to set the tone after miner lays down the topic. he provides the launching pad and we take off from there. at least that’s how I look at it…

  23. VoidBoy Says:

    @ halcyon

    made up for it with 6 hour show…

    Got to love it.

  24. VoidBoy Says:

    @ lycan

    I feel the same pain. too busy in the morning especially to do little more then post a quip now and then. hard to keep up… it sucks. love this board, though.

  25. Marshall Says:

    Hmm…. Maybe Miner needs to resuscitate the long lost “afternoon edition” of the paper so the night crew can have fresh meat to chew on.

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