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. SillyWilly Says:


    that sounds right. thanks!

    it’s weird. during the semester i spend hardly anytime actually reading the news. im reading so much everyday, i hardly want to look at the news.

  2. cal Says:

    Hmmm, I don’t think I’ve ever given CLOUDS a full-on listen…I absolutely hate TRANSMISSIONS and nobody has ever recommended much to me prior to SOFT BULLETIN.

    I vow to check out that album. My biggest hangup is Wayne Coyne. I don’t believe he means a single thing he sings. I don’t hate their music; it just strikes me as disingenuous. But I’ll keep trying.

  3. sumodie Says:

    @silly: politics, big business protectionist policies, & the spread of missinformation among consumers all serve to smack down organics.

    as usual, raising local community awareness of organic food is very beneficial.

    perhaps most importantly, having a locally informed organics ‘champion’ is crucial to spearhead change.

  4. Jer Says:

    The cost of a CSA does seem a bit outrageous, but then you figure in how much you end up spending every week on produce at the grocery store and it’s probably far cheaper to pay the CSA lump sum. In addition, you are given vegetables that you might normally not try and you are helping to subsidize a local farmer…it’s pretty much a win/win.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    im a complete city kid. grew up in Salt Lake City on .24 acre plot of land.

    when i was in college my parents moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa. the middle of the heartland.

    my mom and dad put in 100 square ft. raised garden and every summer they grow so much stuff we have to give 3/4 of it away.

    My point: Gardening is fun.

    when you’re eating a salsa or chili or banana bread made completely by the fruits of your own labor.

    that is living, man. such a cool feeling.

  6. halcyon Says:

    In the winter it makes economic sense for us (I am just speaking for me and my lady) to purchase our produce at Costco, but as soon as spring arrives, to pay 15% more to know our porduce is coming from a farm 60 miles away, and to know that other farms they work with are being supported, that they do not have to sell out to developers is win win.

  7. VoidBoy Says:

    jedi mind tricks on big business… that’s what’s needed. Crazy thought? I hope not.

  8. halcyon Says:

    has anyone seen Food Inc. yet?

  9. Jer Says:

    @ Cal,

    Along with Stephen Malkmus and Jerry Garcia, Wayne Coyne is one of my musical/artistic heroes. His (Wayne’s) dad died during the making of Soft Bulletin, which I think led him to explore a lot of the death/mortality/love themes found throughout that album. Have you watched Fearless Freaks? Even though you don’t care for the Lips, you might gain more respect for Wayne as an artist afterward as (IMO) he is an artist in the truest sense of the word.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    sure @Jer

    there are huge problems still but my point is just that it has become a key part of social reality here and that pressure is always on to go more local and organic

    that’s the kind of thing that leads to systemic change over time, the accretion of public opinion towards a tipping point

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    @sumodie and the Portlanders

    Madison is very supportive of local and organics. Theres a co-op literally on every corner…and the Madison farmer’s market sits directly on the capitol square.

    i love how easy it is to get local and organic. you seriously have to try not to get it.

    i wish more cities were like this.

  12. VoidBoy Says:

    yeah, i heard about food inc. but haven’t watch it… probably out of fear…

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    can’t give any money to the widow even if the movie is great, unfortunately

    wife wouldn’t hear of it

  14. Jer Says:

    I’ve seen Food Inc…and read Omnivore’s Dilemma. The latter was absolutely a turning point in my life. For anyone who cares about food, or hell, our society in general, I HIGHLY recommend both of these.

  15. sumodie Says:

    been meaning to see Food Inc.

    also love author Michael Pollen’s writings on the subject.

  16. Leo Weaver Says:

    @jer…good post re: food.

    @Mr. C…PDX really is on the front edge of all things sustainable. I have to admire it from afar. I would love nothing more than working on 2-3 years worth of projects there. There’s been a real push for the local/organic foods here as well, which I’m proud of. And yes, very intersting social shift…I think (and hope) it’s a small part of a broader shift to smaller scales in general, almost across the board and in everything that shapes our lives. LeCorbusier’s machine is rusting.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    can’t wait for farmers market season to start back up

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    all this food talk is makin’ me hungry….

    locally prepared pesto on organic wheat bread with organic cheese.

    silly’s local and organic grilled cheese is in order.

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    I just gotta tell everyone this:

    i’ve burned multiple meals while posting on the black board while making breakfast or dinner.

    this morning i totally ruined my eggs. major bummer.

  20. halcyon Says:

    Food Inc is on our queue after we finished through LOST. Michael Pollans writing is great. Omnivore’s Dilemma was a great read. I would also recommend his Botany of Desire book. The PBS special on Botany of Desire was a cool watch.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Watched Food, Inc. the other night, actually. Good perspective without being preachy or overly righteous.

  22. Jer Says:

    @ Mr. C

    I totally agree. The change has started…it will be interesting to see what happens.

  23. VoidBoy Says:

    Getting into salads these days… (more than just lettuce)… anyone got a good book or website to help would be appreciated.

    from the void…

  24. halcyon Says:

    recipe zaar is a good site. We have 2 books that we use often that we picked up at 10K villages. Both were published by the CMC (Central Mennonite Committee) one is Less is More, and the other one is Simply in Season which guides you with using seasonal vegetables as opposed to buying tropical citrus in the middle of winter. l

  25. Leo Weaver Says:

    @hal…I just paid for this year’s CSA, our second year doing. I’ve also bought my Thanksgiving bird from the same farmer the past two years. I like knowing that I’m helping pay for Levi and Ellie’s gloves…they’re Dean’s (the farmer) kids, he plays baseball and she plays softball.

    I’ve also dedicated 1/3 of my lot (<10k SF) to a garden where my wife and I maintain a year round garden, which we enjoy immensely…and when we have kids, it'll be a big part of their lives. I pick something every month…just had collards from the garden last weekend. And I shop at our farmers markets, which are active 12 months a year. Haven't seen Food Inc, but have been encouraged to watch it, not really sure I want to. I'd love to move off the grid and farm 50 acres.

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