Dear Phish: Words from Coventry

Coventry 2004

This weekend I received an email from George Pratt, a stagehand and musican that was part of the crew hired to work Coventry. While breaking down the stage long after the band had left the mud-filled site, he found a notebook that a bunch of fans had filled with letters to the band and thrown onstage. With their band crashing and burning, none of the guys saw it or cared to pick it up. George has kept it through all these years and has recently made arrangements with a moderator to send the book to the official Phish archives. However, he also scanned the entire thing to share with fans, and he has already done so on Phantasy Tour and

When I began to read this, I was fascinated. All of these people, none whom I know, were telling Phish what they’d always wanted to tell them—deep emotions from the heart. Laced with clever comedy, these letters provided an emotional throwback for me, and halfway through I found myself in tears. But these weren’t tears of sadness—for Phish is alive and kicking, but tears of awe at the power of band. So many strangers shared my powerful emotions, and to see these notes that were written down as Phish was bowing out felt nothing short of magical. A predominant theme throughout of the letters is how Phish changed lives and provided people with unmatched happiness and the experiences of a lifetime. Take ten minutes of your day to read through the notebook yourself. You won’t regret it.


We also have a way we can show George appreciation for this priceless piece of Phish history. Here’s an anecdote from his email that explains how.

In 2003, one of the companies I worked for was hired to provide all the labor for “Coventry” so off we went. We spent nearly a month in that town on that land both before and after the show building the venue, setting up the site, building the stage, and setting up all the lights, sound and video, and eventually all the band gear. The community of stagehands backstage was a show all on its own. We had various types of lodging. I was housed in a ski lodge nearly 45 minutes away but it was very nice. Since we are all crazy and were used to getting little sleep, each night turned into a party. Our house being the largest often played host. One particular night when all the stagehands were there, I grabbed my guitar— as I always do—and started playing some songs that I had written along the way. One of the guys there had a 4-track recorder and he quickly set it up. One of the songs I played that night was titled “Piss Wall.” It’s all about the giant wall we built that surrounded the entire corn field-turned-venue and enclosed the performance area.

I have had this song and book for years, and recently pulled this all out as part of my plan to win a contest for free studio time. I have made it to the finals in large part from the help I received from a lot of Phish fans on various forums. But I have fallen back to 3rd place and could use more help. Voting goes until Tuesday, so I still have a chance. I thought that since your blog is all about Phish, perhaps you might be interested in this book and song. People are really loving it and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Here is a link to vote for George in the contest. Hook it up!


Jam of the Day:

Scents and Subtle Sounds” 7.23.03 I, Noblesville, IN

The opener of night three of three at Deer Creek.


Tags: , ,

128 Responses to “Dear Phish: Words from Coventry”

  1. George Pratt Says:

    I have uploaded to my Facebook account the entire book

    come friend me and tag people you know in the book (don’t forget to vote)

    facebook dot com/unclejorge1225

  2. Gavinsdad Says:

    Not @treasurereprise.

  3. xpun Says:

    still haven’t had a chance to read yet, busy at work, but i did find -as im sure most of you figured out- that the voting is pretty low tech so you can cast from your lap tops, phones, work pc, etc.

    george is still down by ……….

    okay just clicked to find out how many he was down by, and got

    “The vote is already over! It ended on Monday, 14.May 2012.”

    It clearly said we had until the 15th what the fuck??

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    Day one of a new workout program, just finished, feeling good. My buddy at work is a former football guy and a Marine and he designed the circuit for us. Feeling good about this. Gotta look sexy for tour.

  5. Gavinsdad Says:

    Flower power on tap at the hideaway. One eye on Phils the other on Sixers.

  6. George Pratt Says:

    I am looking into why this vote ended early I will post here when I can find out more. I have contacted the radio station and am waiting to hear back

  7. Gavinsdad Says:

    Need exercise…biked 5 mi yesterday but that’s not much.

  8. sumodie Says:

    Mmm…flower power

    steve kimock show in Cambridge is sparsely attended. about to start shortly, first time seeing him. bernie worell strolled right by me -red hot mama has been appearing in setlists. i can only hope. likely my last pre woosta throwdown…

  9. plord Says:

    Red Hot Mama? WHAT.

    Oh man. If he plays it in Cambridge, I hope they have so much fun they play it again tomorrow night in Burlington.

  10. George Pratt Says:

    Voting is back up!! I wasn’t given an explanation why it went down but it is fixed now!!


  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Congrats to Gdad and Kaya on your Sixers win. Big Time win for a young team on the road against those grizzled Celt veterans.

  12. Gavinsdad Says:

    Pretty sick ending there…foul shots and threes. Good amount of hunger on display.

  13. boghog2001 Says:

    Why is DCU not sold out? it makes no sense to me?

    I have 2 tickets to friday DCU (200 level) and 2 to saturday SPAC (lawn). I want to unload them for something reasonable. Anyone need some cheap tix?

    email me at

    Kenny Powers is a goat.

  14. stapes Says:

    Wow. The right headspace and listening to, after earlier Gin talk, the Riverport Gin (the first Phish song I ever witnessed live. Mind = blown) while reading these letters and I’m getting all nostalgic and a bit choked up.

    Thank you indeed.

    Hope the guys see this. Thinking Woostah is gonna go off right now.

  15. William H. Bonney Says:

    Woosta not sold out….is a great sign….the less hype the better…

    Flight booked summer tour opener’s ready for lift off…..

  16. William H. Bonney Says:

    My first return trip to the Centrum since fall 98’….always one of my top indoor venues on the east coast The Centrum, The mothership, and the since departed MSG….would be my top 3 of the top of my head,,

  17. MiA Says:

    Sold out phish = bad.

    Phish playing hard to win us back = good.

    Voted for George (again)

  18. MiA Says:

    TPS = Montreal Reba was a few days back. 7-6-94.

  19. George Pratt Says:

    This article and the folks at Phantasytour and have moved me from 7th to 2nd place in 1 day!! I am only 61 votes behind the leader and we have until midnight tonight to push me to first place please help me and thanks for all the support.


  20. kenny powers Says:

    heron chicks. endless entertainment. yesterday i watched the mama regurgitate a big-ass fish for the kidz.

  21. kenny powers Says:

    oh yeah,

  22. kenny powers Says:

    mom just showed up on the hawk cam

  23. Kaveh Says:

    Speaking of Worcester: I’m wondering if anyone is driving out on Thursday from the Boston area; that might have room?

    Let me know, otherwise, I’ll do the bus from the airport to the train, but just wondering if anyone wants some gas money. 🙂

    Let me know here or kjrahimi at yahoo dot com.


  24. George Pratt Says:

    only 1/2 a day and still trailing by 30 votes or so please help
    and Vote for George Pratt

  25. ThePigSong Says:

    Almost first place George!

Leave a Reply