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. HarryHood Says:

    Since I’m new at my job here, I didn’t think that I would test the water right away and blast any music on my computer until the other guys in the office got to know me a little better. Last night, I ended up here alone for a while so I decided to go for it……. No sound. Dammit. I check the volume on both the media player and the main volume control. No issues with either. At this point I’m scratching my head. I investigate further and find that the speaker has been taken completely out of the computer!

    Boss 1, Hood 0.

  2. jdub Says:

    That video must’ve been written by a phish fan. If not he probably has one about Phish as well. Funny shit.

    Who has time this morning to write a review for last night?

  3. neemor Says:

    Trey is the man, indeed.
    Found myself watching the interplay with the girls and Big Red and getting lost.
    The vocals from the ladies are so smoking hot that it adds to Trey’s huge grin.
    I think I’m in love with Jen, but, I’m a sucker for curvy women.
    She just has such a hot swagger.
    And them girls can blow.
    Which is hot.
    The grooves being laid last night had the place rocking, from funk to flare, had us bouncing off the walls of that unique little venue.
    Reminded me of the modernized Bowery Ballroom.
    Weird place, good time. There was certainly a few places where the darkness was lurking in that venue, glad I had you guys to keep me in the light.
    I have a great bathroom story line for one of these slow board days!

    Later, kids…gotta put in some hours today.

  4. marcoesq Says:

    El Dude

    I’m with you. If I’m going to see trey I’d much rather see him playing his tunes that doing his solo-acoustic phish stuff

    exceptions, seeing gordo come out at great woods and do a Mikes>Paug electric, that was sick
    Any other time phish members come out, I’m for it. Just not solo acoustic

    Last night sounds great though, killler setlist besides that stuff

  5. neemor Says:

    Dude, yes I said jrugs.
    For me, the cool thing about the acoustic was the Strange Design.
    He talked about how Page sings it, but the lyrics to Design, when sung by the Lieutenant, took on a whole new meaning for me.
    I cried a tear. Just one, though.

  6. SillyWilly Says:


    youve got mail

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Quite a few highlights for me last night. There is already a good amount of youtube vids up. here’s jibboo

  8. Mitch Says:

    el dude,
    I dont care about acoustic songs either but they felt like bonus. the show went til midnight so it was a cherry on top

  9. HarryHood Says:

    I’m a huge fan of Strange Design. Loved it ever since the Clifford Ball. The lyrics to that song just stir up emotions in me that I don’t even realize are there. Every time that I’ve seen it live, I end up looking around at the crowd as Page sings the “companions on this ride” line and it amazes me how many people love this band. The song makes me want to hug everyone around me.

  10. Leo Weaver Says:

    ^You took the words right outta my mouth @HH.

    Glad to hear positive reports from the show last night…can’t wait to get home and download.

  11. gratefulcub Says:

    But the solo acoustic were in lieu of additional setbreak time, right? can’t complain about that.

  12. lastwaltzer Says:

    Any of you going to the Riv show?

  13. gratefulcub Says:

    @Hood, Cincy Strange Design, we DID hug everyone around us. The only time of the night I wished we were sitting over Page’s shoulder instead of Fishman’s.

  14. Robear Says:

    I like how the ‘Halley’s’ from 11/22/97 goes from Dance to Trance in seamless fashion. Then the ‘BEK’ teases that started in the ‘Mike’s’ opener, and continued in ‘Tweezer’.

    Mothership dance party, indeed.

    They peaked so high in the ‘Hood’, 4th song in, that it must have been disorienting for a while after.

    RE: TAB, what did the rest of the band do whilst Trey played solo acoustic?

  15. gratefulcub Says:

    “TAB, what did the rest of the band do whilst Trey played solo acoustic?”

    I choose to believe the girls had a backstage pillow fight with the girls on the front row. We like the girls on the front row…..

  16. Leo Weaver Says:

    @HH…my little bro is one of those redheads-not-a-redhead too. He also has had a lifetime struggle admitting he’s a ginger…but he’s a ginger. I’m secretly hoping for a little redhead when my wife and I finally have kiddos.

  17. Robear Says:

    Neemoah, you better still be lurking.

    I’m taking your educational advice.

    I’m bringing the Lemonwheel Ambient jam to school today. I’m subbing for 6-8 grade.

    They’re going to do an art project whilst listening to some crazy a$$ music, that I’m quite positive none of them, or their parents, have ever heard 🙂

  18. neemor Says:

    Plus no matter what, you can’t help but be enthralled and have a smile plastered on your face at these shows, he’s having such a blast.

    He’s doing the sheepish grin and head shake when a sour note is played, the jumping in First Tube is infectious, the side to side step dance he does for funk as always followed by a smile.
    The man is happy.
    I thought to myself a few times last night, remember this moment.
    We almost lost him.

  19. Robear Says:

    el dude, or others

    FLAC related question

    When I open the FlAC file for the 7/8/78 show, (or any other for that matter) there are three little files at the beginning.

    one is a .txt
    one is a .ffp
    one is a .md5

    Do I drag those three little files into xACT, to convert to WAV/AIFF or just the music files?

  20. halcyon Says:

    robear … just the music files, the text is a track listing,

  21. neemor Says:

    Robear, that’s awesome.
    Huh…who would’ve thought my advice might someday be helpful to someone??
    Have fun with it! They will. 🙂

  22. neemor Says:

    Hopefully, some kid doesn’t make some snide remark like, “My mom says I don’t have to do art projects, hippy. So blow off.”

    If this occurs, make the child sit in a corner and put a pointed cap on his head that simply says , “WILSON.”

  23. Kenny Powers Says:

    Hey y’all

    just posted my remaster of 9.21.99 Tucson AZ to the blog. Great show i you’re not familiar. Pretty much every song is a solid version, topped off by one of the most jammed out Vultures I’ve heard. Great SOAM – Drowned segment early in the first set too.

  24. Robear Says:

    thx. halcy.

    That’s what I’ve been doing, but thought I might be missing something.

    Yeah, Neemor, these are small town, mountain kids. Should be a fun activity. They’ll be stoked just to do an art project. As long as I get the ‘I’m too cool for my shirt’ boys on board. The kids seem to like me as a sub. All the teachers, and most of the subs are woman at the school. I’m like a novelty, I guess.

  25. Phamily Berzerker Says:


    Jrugs, of course lead to jrug ajjictions and the phonemes are practically the same at a root level. There is no “j” in the ruso-slavic branch of language. In order to accomplish the “j” you need to combine the phonemes D and ZH.

    I am a cunning lynguist at times.

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