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. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Well you say you want an evolution,
    well you know…we all want to change the world”

  2. Lycanthropist Says:

    nicely done Miner


    The Beatles Love Cirque show is flat out amazing.

    This was my second time seeing it, but I was in the front row for this show.

    -First off, the music is awesome:
    For those that don’t know, they got George Martin involved in the show to remix and remaster the Beatles catalog for their show. What results is one of the most unique mash ups of Beatles tunes. One of the main highlights is the blending of Tomorrow Never Knows’ drumbeat with the lyrics of Within You Without You. Absolutely mind melting. Another highlight is the reworked While My Guitar Gently Weeps. This version features an acoustic guitar and a 4-piece string section. The soundtrack can probably listened to on and if you are a Beatles fan I urge you to check it out.

    -Second, the actual show:
    What an amazing display of human ability the show was. Just pure beauty of the human physique on display. The directors of the show did such a good job with representing the great characters from the Beatles “mythology”. Sgt. Pepper, Dr. Robert, Eleanor Rigby, The Fool on the Hill, etc all had significant roles through out each song of the show.

    Anyways I have rambled enough, and I apologize for the hijack. But if you are ever in Vegas do yourself a favor and don’t miss that show.

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Gotta try and get my Lost on tonight @ Lycan- Miss the discussion board over there.

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    yes I got back late from my journey into the heart of boredom, I’ll be watching Lost tonight as well

  5. albert walker Says:

    I hate the olympics

    but Curling is bad ass

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    AW- you heading to TAB tomorrow? If so, enjoy man. Shit was fuckin tight as shit last night. I hadn’t listened to any of the pulls before going and was really blown away.

  7. VoidBoy Says:


    Yeah, got the “Love” in Vegas… wife is now a huge Beatles fan… mythology is a good way to put it. Beatles symbolsim has been studied to quite interesting effect.

    Not to compare on any level, but the “Across the Universe” (though hacked to death by critics) was actually fun, musically (I really appreciated the Secret Machines and the couple of tunes they contributed to the score)

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    Both Mistah’s

    Miss you guys over there too.. there is a lot to discuss on this one.. I am definitely having to rewatch.. haven’t really said too much over there yet…

  9. Lycanthropist Says:

    Yeah I enjoyed Across the Universe as well..

    I liked the more abstract symbolism of the Cirque show a little better, only because it dives completely into the heart of imagination.

  10. VoidBoy Says:

    “only because it dives completely into the heart of imagination.”

    We had front row seats for this one as well… though thought it wouldn’t have mattered… but you’re right… it was a very thoughtful and imaginative journey. The whole show felt like it complimented rather than exploited the Beatles and what their music did for a generation(s).

  11. sumodie Says:

    gay for trey was my line and i regret posting it

    @kayatosh: i only used your line as a convenient pretext for saying sth that has been building up inside.

    fwiw, i find the phrase ‘im gay for trey’ completely endearing & heartfelt (just dont spell ‘gay’ ‘geigh’ -lame, imo). if i thought it was negative, i would have phrased my post differently, or would have been too shy to say anything.

    on the ride back from the ct tab show, i had an awesome rap w/ type3.

    our convo made me realize that phish 3.0 has provided me with a wealth of awesome new friendships, both from here and elsewhere. every since i split w/ my wife (we saw over 100 shows together), ive mostly traveled solo to shows. btw, i LOVE seeing shows solo too. i always feel so much at home in the phish community, traveling solo or not -did summer leg 1 solo & had a blast!

    this summer @ RedRocks, i hooked up a casual acquaintance i knew from burning man with my other 4pack pass (guess the ptbm gods had additional intentions for me beyond simply seeing the shows). thru him i met his cool buddy, Jim (whom robear met in miami). the 3 of us had a phenomenal blast at those shows (rr2 was all around one of best days ive had in ages, both on & off the rocks). those two guys, both straight btw, & i resonated so well together that i realized i had to share that minor tidbit about myself as i respected them too much not to be open. while i dont have much previous history with those guys, i now consider them very dear friends (plus jim & i went on to Indio & Miami together), something i dont casually say about every new friendship.

    thus im applying my summer redrocks experience to the blkbrd, as im deeply appreciative of the many top shelf folks i continue to meet here, be you a hip wookie or otherwise. thus far phish 3.0 has srsly opened my eyes on many levels (its not all about catching the next sick jam).

    i dont need you to keep me company at shows. rather, i enjoy meeting you & getting our faces melted at shows.

    a recent fav highlight that illustrates this occurred w/ neemor @ TAB CT. during Sand as i was getting my super freaky freak on, i look over @ neemor, who’s getting his groove on just as deeply as me, but in wholly different chill blissd out way. i busted out in hysterics, not @ him, but in the way we were both feeling IT through different methods (note: i usually always laugh at my own super freaky freak).

    fwiw, assuming Indio 2010 is on, im damned determined to get my ex-, Odie, and her husband down there. she’d easily fit in with the blkbrders ive met. and it’d be her husband’s first phish experience (though she’ll make swiss cheese of robear’s theory that im some cool level headed jedi 8)

    im on a roll, so ill tell my last related story in a bit…

  12. jdub Says:

    Lycan- didn’t realize there was mash of the Beattles and Cirque du soleil sp. That sounds like an interesting experiment. Bono as ken Kesey was a bit of a stretch, it is hard to make Beatles songs sound bad.

    Palmer, sounds like Trey and everyone there had a good night. I can’t wait to listen through.

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    we say it over and over again, but how freakin’ cool is it that the black board is a REAL community?!

    by the end of this summer most everyone will actually know everyone. another reason why ’10 will be the heat.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    p.s 105 days til tour (if it does begin on June 3 at deer creek)

  15. VoidBoy Says:

    @ sumodie

    Wanted to say earlier how cool it was for you to share. I have had similar 3.0 exp’s, especially through this board and Indio (my first Phish show(s). The community as a whole has been amazing and the very vibe felt here online was expanded to include the world at large. It takes a great deal of comfort and confidence to open up on that level. I’m glad you have found a place here to share this feeling as well.

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    If anyone has any interest in Furthur sbds let me know. Got a bunch sent my way.

  17. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    I know that I am not a regular here, but I definitely hope to meet a few of you guys at a show sometime this summer. You all are really solid people and very welcoming and I respect that.

  18. jdub Says:

    This board and Phish 3.0 have helped me confront my obssesive desires by introducing me to like minded folks. I haven’t seen a bunch of shows this year but everyone has been an emotional event. Culminating on Saturday when I mind and heart were throttled by many things, most significantly an experience with my wife I won’t soon forget, but as importantly the comfort of this board to share it with.

  19. jdub Says:

    BK, your more of a regular than you think. You are young, wise, and brave.

  20. VoidBoy Says:

    …and call out more tunes than a coach calls plays.

  21. garretc Says:

    “A man can work up a mean, mean thirst / after a hard day of nothin’ much at all…”

    The mention of “regular” brought to mind the above Replacements song, sorry to hijack…

  22. Henry Says:

    @Mr. Palmer

    I’d love some Furthur sbds.

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    henry- shoot me your email

  24. Henry Says:

    henryilnicky at gmail

  25. gus Says:

    @Mr. Palmer – gus_perkins at me dot com

    much appreciated

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