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. VoidBoy Says:

    wow ufo’s at Indio… ho boy… I can’t wait.

    @ Sum, great story. Good luck. Relationships are hard work to keep but always a “team effort”. Thanks for a “year’s worth” of sharing.

  2. Robear Says:

    FWIW, I can’t imagine a conversation like today’s taking place too many places online without inciting digital riots, name calling, and overall shenanigans.

    On a positive note. We had a meeting after school re: getting local and organic foods into the school lunch program. Imagine that, feeding healthy foods to the kids. We’re surrounded by small organic farms. The produce should not be difficult. The meat and dairy will be the big challenge.

    Anyone have a kid in public school? Ask the school cook if they’ve had more pork on the menu this year, than in the past.


    See plummeting pork prices due to ‘swine flu’ scare. Government bails out farmers, through massive scale purchase of said pigs. Pass it on to the schools through the lunch program.

    Ask ’em. Our cook confirmed that she had much more this year, but had no idea why.

  3. Leo Weaver Says:

    lycan, welcome home. holdin’ it down for ya…drop in when you can in the a.m., we’ll be there

  4. Lycanthropist Says:

    ill sneak some comments in and hit it up on the weekends for srue 😉

  5. Robear Says:

    Lycan’s. Boss. Hates. Phish.

    Got through Season 2 of ‘Lost’. Need to get my paws on S III. WTF with the ending of 2????

  6. Lycanthropist Says:


    it only gets wilder and wilder! 🙂

  7. Leo Weaver Says:

    @robear…there’s a group here trying to start a program similar to that. a couple of the local private schools do use produce and eggs from local farms. great stuff…these small farmers need more outlets like that

    Oh, and got my tomatoes seeded on sunday. will seed cukes and squash in about 2 weeks. spring’s right around the corner! Then summer tour! WOO HOO!!!

  8. Robear Says:

    come on.

    just don’t tell me that Kate continues to get hotter.

  9. voopa Says:


    Prepare for the cheap chicken glut in the coming months!

  10. lot rat Says:

    Just saw the telluride rumor for august….wow

  11. Robear Says:

    Leo, we’ve got organic farms, orchards and vineyards up the yin-yang. We’ve got grass fed organic beef, organic dairy, organic pork, free range eggs, all in Humboldt County. Organic Rice in central California. Somehow, none of it makes it into the public schools.

  12. SillyWilly Says:


    i think ill head towards the Rock Bottom, then. i was planning on going there for a bite anyway after you suggested it. ill give ya a call when i arrive in milwaukee.

    i think aw is gonna get there as soon as he can, but who knows what the traffic might be on 94 from Chicago. he said he’ll get away about 4, so that gives him 4 solid hrs. he should be ok.


    WW is gonna be sweet. So many things are combining to make this summer look awesome. i feel one of those life defining season’s coming on.

  13. Leo Weaver Says:

    oh yeah, I forgot about that @lot rat. the dates (8/9-10) are on a Monday and Tuesday I think which seems a little strange.

  14. voopa Says:

    Huh. My post about cheap chicken coming soon didn’t get posted…

    Since the US violates international protocol by using bleach in our chicken, China is boycotting it (Russia too, soon). Look for cheap bird in your local school cafeteria soon!

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    You would think, Robear, that that would be an easy sell for a progressive politician.

    On one hand he/she could say look how im supporting organic and local farming and on the other look how im helping education.

    i guess the corporate farms make huge campaign donations, though, and will make bigger ones after the Supreme Court’s latest decision.

  16. VoidBoy Says:

    Hey Robear…. Love the organic school lunch program… can remember the crap they served us and it was shameful. Hope that works out.

  17. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Love the talk today. My best oldest friend was discovering his sexuality while we were on the road together. Tough tense times but now he’s been with the same guy for ten years. Only beef I had at the time is I wanted to be his wing man cause he was a lot better looking than I was/am.

  18. VoidBoy Says:

    You think it would be an easy sell especially up north… there is certainly (in some ways) a more “open” way of looking at things.

  19. sumodie Says:

    phish possibly in telluride?

    shit, my two red rocks friends live there. they go on & on about how freakin amazing the outdoor shows are in that town.

    where’s the tourdate stork? drop those summer tour dates asap!

  20. cal Says:

    Jer–wow, thanks bro! I really appreciate you checking out my stuff. I am exhaustive in my quest for good music.

    Lips are just a band I can’t get into. So far. I know better than to say “never”. I try again every few years, but they’re just not my thing.

    I’m going to have my best-of decade list up soon…it’s done, but my buddy who runs the tech aspect of the site is swamped and there’s an issue with the comments right now. We’re preparing for a move to a redesigned site and things are in a bit of disarray. Check back next week if yer interested.

    I actually have a bunch of Phish reviews on there if you scroll down quite a ways…

  21. Robear Says:

    yup^ silly, if it were just about what’s right, and educating people, we could see change, at a really dense pace.

    Instead, we’re up against a predator mentality. One that knowingly feeds potentially tainted products to kids.

    It won’t be difficult to get organic fruits and vegetables into the school. The hard part will be changing the grain / meat / dairy / egg side of the food pyramid. Huge lobbies that pump $$ into campaigns.

  22. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    I highly suggest giving the 7.30 Stash a relisten

    Organic Lunch Program sounds awesome

    Great conversations today, especially Sumodie’s post/the ‘crime and punishment’ discussion earlier

    On that note, I am out for tonight. Have school for the first time in two weeks tomorrow!


  23. Robear Says:

    2 more reasons to complain about the Olympics:

    Bob Costas and Cris Collinsworth

    Can’t stand those two. Can barely take it when football is on NBC.

  24. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Soft bulletin and ok computer (and yoshimi battles the pink robots) are my top albums of last 15 yrs.

  25. Jer Says:

    @ Robear,

    I think it has a lot to do with the low cost of food perpetuated by the industrial agriculture system. With local government/school districts out of money, they aren’t going to start spending more on school lunches…even though the benefits of such a system would be felt throughout society. Our current state of corn-fed consumption cannot last forever…eventually things will need to become more localized.

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