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. kayatosh Says:

    cub: you got mee. yur the bets.

    the doniac was awesome — mike’s corner!

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Slowly putting back the pieces of my brain and trying to formulate a few thoughts about Trey last night. Things still a bit cloudy up top. I was suprisingly more blown away than i anticipated.
    Got to hang w/ neemer, Gavinsdad, mitch and sumodie. Great putting a few faces to screen names.

  3. kayatosh Says:

    “I just had an image of the balloons getting too big and her floating away.”

    hilarious. put that scene in a movie and i’m there.

  4. willowed Says:

    It’s 9:10 a.m. and out conversation has morphed into midget wooks.

    Can’t wait to see where this day takes us!

    Cheers boys

  5. lastwaltzer Says:

    BTW loved that Head>Jiboo that was up here yesterday, killer.

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    forgot how haunting the addition of lyrics is to WTU?. would make a great landing pad out of a seriously heavy 3rd set halloween jam

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    @T3 I was listening to the third set day 2 of the ball yesterday and was thinking how awesome another heavy set like that would be.

    Maybe a: Wilson>Frankenstien>Wilson, Ha Ha Ha, Carini, Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars>Highway To Hell

  8. lastwaltzer Says:

    shit i didn’t even put Whats The Use in the setlist lol

  9. Stupendous Says:

    Morning Y’all

    Ive had the Bearsville Sessions for a while now…lots of wacky slow tunes
    that didnt’t make the cut… I like the Victor Disc better which I think its
    jams from the undermind sessions… although its nice to have a studio version of ha ha ha & tube…makes you wonder what were the boys up to
    recreational chemistry-wise in those days?

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    looks good to me, waltzer. that’d be a fun halloween show to do. everybody dresses up in their best “metal gear” and they do two seriously heavy sets sandwiching an Iron Maiden costume or something. Two sets of it might be tough, but I think they could pull it off, especially if they lead in with a dark Harpua about Jimmy’s teen angst years or something. Might be a bit scary for the spunions though…

  11. Marshall Says:

    ^ I think Victor Disc was around the time Round Room was recorded.

    Considering how superior Undermind is to RR, I wish there were some studio outtakes from that time.

  12. Kenny Powers Says:

    @ Stupendous

    I believe the Victor Disc is from the Round Room sessions. The copy I have has Oct 2002 as the date.

    I also love the VD, or at least the first half. Is it me or is the second half basically a repeat of earlier songs in worse audio quality? At any rate I could listen to the first track “Lazy and Red”. I also heavily dig “Guantanamo Strut”.

  13. Kenny Powers Says:

    @ Marshall

    “Headphones Jam” is from the Undermind sessions. Have you seen that bonus DVD that came w/ Undermind? I think they show some of that jam on there. Good stuff.

  14. Marshall Says:

    Did I hear correctly that Round Room was devised and recorded in just a couple of weeks? If so, that explains a lot.

    Such a recording done during a peak of a tour might produce greatness, but after a hiatus … well, you get the idea.

  15. lastwaltzer Says:

    @T3 I’m all about it. I”m not a heavy rock fan by any means but that would be one hell of a fun set.

  16. Marshall Says:

    ^ No, KP, I have not heard or seen that song, or the DVD. More items for my checklist.

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    @Type III

    probably best to let the lil wookette be. shes probably been photographed plenty in her day.

    by the way, spunion is an excellent word. I’ve never heard it and I hope I can bum it off you.

  18. Stupendous Says:

    Yes sorry, Headphone jam is from Undermind
    and yes RR is nothing more than a close to live record of songs in the studio…
    you can hear trey facing away from mic sometimes, slightly missed notes and such… I thought it was a great album. dont know why it gets so much heat.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    speaking of harder to find items, I never realized until I found it yesterday that all of the “From the Archives” shows are on the spreadsheet. helps it you actually click on things…

    not my word so feel free to use it. there’s no copyright law when it comes to tourspeak as far as I know (but you might know that better than I)! 😉

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    helps if

  21. jdub Says:

    What a treat, thanks Miner for posting this today!

    KP, were you able to remedy your computer melt down?

  22. marcoesq Says:

    Headphones Jam is sick

  23. Kenny Powers Says:

    @ jdub

    Yes, thank God. Finally fixed it last night.

    It was the “Internet Security 2010” virus. Even after going into safe mode, it wouldn’t even allow me to install and run Malwarebytes because it recognized the filename.

    I did more research and found a site that lets you download the Malwarebytes exe file with automatically generated changing file names, so the virus doesn’t recognize it. It worked, I did a couple scans and reboots and all seems right with the world, so far.

  24. Stupendous Says:

    i know im in the minority here, but i really enjoyed most of the ballads from RR. Anything but me, Thunderhead and yes even Friday…my least favorites
    being Mexican Cousin and Mock Song… Love the title track, genius gordon song! I miss these songs, WOTC, meh not so much…

  25. marcoesq Says:

    Anyone have a source for the headphones jam? I would like to partake right now and can’t find it

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