Reader’s Picks: Chris “Topher” Mont

Junta Promo

Junta Promo

All selections and text by Chris “Topher” Mont

The 80’s Like Totally Didn’t Suck…

Hello. I feel I should preface this by saying that in no way am I actually qualified to speak facts about Phish in the 80’s. While I was alive and well during that decade, I did not even discover Phish until ’97. I don’t want to give anybody the wrong idea. That being said, I do love to study up and do lots of research on the band. So, I hope this can help to expose people to an era of the band that I feel is very underappreciated. I tried to choose songs based more on historical interest as opposed to “best versions.” Hopefully it will be enjoyable regardless. A quick shout out to all the ATLiens. I look forward to another great summer this year. Be excellent to each other, and party on dude!


Whipping Post” 5.3.85 II, UVM, Burlington, VT

No better place to start than the beginning, and for me this show is it. This was Page’s first time playing live with the boys…boys being the operative word there. It is very interesting to listen to the band at such an early stage. It is quite unpolished, but you get to hear the potential that was eventually fully realized. Plus, it’s interesting to hear two guitars.



Run Like An Antelope” 10.15.86 III, Hunt’s, Burlington, VT

In the next year, Phish made some changes and entered a new phase. Jeff Holdsworth left the band in the summer, and they added Paul Languedoc into the mix. This was his first show as the band’s sound engineer. Perhaps he was partially responsible for bringing some new effects to Trey, which help to put some fire on this otherwise very humorous, early version.



Peaches En Regalia > David Bowie” 10.31.86 II, Goddard, Plainfield, VT

It seemed like a tradition for a while to play “Bowie” on Halloween, which I would assume is because this concert was its official debut. I wish they actually would play some Bowie for a musical costume, or in my wildest dreams some Zappa. But, I guess this is as close as it gets.  There is some different treatment in the composed section that makes it especially fun to hear. Also, “Peaches” was played a little differently, albeit not really as good as the later versions in my opinion.



Punch Me In The Eye” 4.24.87 UVM, Burlington, VT

That’s right! It’s not a typo. No, not those few times Trey called “PYITE” by this name. There was one time when Phish had an entirely different version of this song. Can you call this the same song? It definitely somehow brought about “PYITE,” and also some sections from other future Phish classics. It was just too interesting to resist putting on this playlist.



 “Melt the Guns -> Dave’s Energy Guide” 4.29.87 II, Nectar’s, Burlington, VT

First off, this entire show from Nectar’s is quite enjoyable. It is simply an awesome setlist, plus there are pretty decent recordings as far as audio is concerned. I chose “Melt the Guns” because it is absolutely my number one, single most desired bustout. I friggin love this song! Speaking of bustouts, I felt very lucky to be at the Charlotte show for the bustout of “Fuck Your Face,” which debuted at this show. Shout out to the Queen City.



Skin It Back -> Low Rider -> Back Porch Boogie Blues -> The Sloth” 8.21.87 II, Ian’s Farm, Hebron, NY

One, two, buckle my shoe…Rock on Marley, and rock on Ian, wherever you are!



Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” 2.24.88 II, Gallagher’s, Wattsfield, VT

This certainly is not the best version of this song, but, I thought it was interesting to hear since some other dude named John Carlton sat in on the drums allowing Fishman to really let loose on the trombone!



The Curtain (With)“5.24.88 I, Nectar’s, Burlington, VT

This is another one of those old school classic shows, and this song opened up the first set of three. This is probably my favorite version of “The Curtain.”



Jesus Just Left Chicago” 5.24.88 II, Burlington, VT

This song opened up the second set, which was a rare example of a three-song set from concerts pre-97. Don’t think Phish didn’t jam back in the day. Much thanks to Fish and Mike for playing along with the drunk dude in the audience who was yelling “slower…”



Reba” 10.26.89 II, Wetlands, NYC, NY

I went in chronological order for this playlist since I figured it is worth noting how much growth the band made in the three years from May ’85 to May ’88. But, as far as saving the best for last goes, I’m so glad that this works out to have the final spot because this is really what I was most excited about. This is what really started my idea for an all old school playlist. I really wish they kept in the “Don’t Get Me Wrong” segment. I absolutely love it! For those of you who have not heard how Reba once was…

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392 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Chris “Topher” Mont”

  1. phishm Says:

    I hear you voopa. I think if I did acid again I would think myself to death. That would suck. Fairly sure I already did the last few times I tripped, but I’m still here for some reason. Maybe you just can’t think yourself to death. Don’t want to try it however cuz I’m fairly sure you can. Then again I also may have fun and realize that all that I’ve learned up to this point was to prepare me for the realization that doing L again would bring. Either way, I’m not sure what I’m talking about. My bad. Phishm’d.

  2. phishm Says:

    One last thing. It’s very easy to tap into BTW. Drugs really aren’t even necessary. Music however seems to be a necessity. Thus my new drug of choice is music. Peace.

  3. voopa Says:

    We’ll, all I’ve learned is always wrong, apparently. I did discuss possibly doing like a 3/4 dose or something at one of Tahoe shows, but this round of shows is, for physical reasons impossible for that.

    Oh good, Hood just began.

  4. voopa Says:

    Lol @ “we’ll”

  5. voopa Says:

    Looking forward to the BSGS set, BCNB. Now annoying the neighbors w/Ventura ’98 soundcheck.

    “It’s you’re desire.”

  6. kayatosh Says:

    shook hands w/ the sarge (gary mathews) tonight at a local restaurant. childhood hero.

    learned today that orthodox jews are virgins when they get married, both the dudes and the chicks. Before their wedding night they have never so much as touched the opposite sex and they have never seen (not even in a picture) the opposite sex’s genitalia. A lot of the dudes get married so they can get laid.

    I asked what happens in the case of microphallus. The answer is that the woman has no point of reference, so it’s all good.

  7. phishm Says:

    That would be like eating the same food everyday for the rest of your life.
    I like to try different things on the menu. I mean good for you happily married folks out there, but I am not convinced that men are meant to spend the rest of their lives with one woman. Sounds more like hell to me, but what do I know. Then again all I’ve learned up to this point has also been wrong.

  8. voopa Says:

    There’s good points, and some bad points. But it all works out.

    This Greensky stream is great.

  9. phishm Says:

    So, I just finished the game. It was on tape delay in my house. This is why I love the 2-2-1-1-1 format vs. what the NBA does with the 2-3-2. Take it back to Boston for a crucial game 6. Hope Boston can keep their end of the bargain and push a game 7. Could care less who wins. I just love a game 7 Stanley Cup Finals.
    Listening to DC 8.10.97. Crazy show that I was at and tripping incredibly hard. Great show all around. Great 1st set and that Cities is amazing.

  10. phishm Says:

    And they played bye bye foot. Just love that song for some reason. Sing it Fish. OK. Night all. Nuff from me. laterz.

  11. IrieWalton Says:

    I learned today that pineapple kush in the vape is an essential oil.

  12. phishm Says:

    It is weird listening to a show that I was tripping very hard at. Each note brings back exact memories of what I was feeling at the time. I remember once the Hood started at the end of the 1st set that it basically sucked me out of a vortex that was created by the one’s that were now rescuing me from. Weird night for sure. I could definately feel good about hood. Thank you Mr. Miner. Most other people would get confused with this type of post. Not these guys. They are golden. OK, now laterz. KYS comrades. Peace.

  13. sumodie Says:

    Our powdery sexy babe, Molly, gets her star turn in the nytimes:

  14. sumodie Says:

    Wilco crushed it, Wilco style, on the main stage tonight. Awesome flow. Musically a far superior show than last night’s uneven but very entertaining covers show

    MassMOCA is an amazing small scale festi site ( today was sold out, maybe 8-9,000 max..?)

    The brick building industrial setting surrounded by the lushly verdant Berkshires is simply gorgeous

    Jeff Tweedy (jokingly?) mentioned that Foxygen got kicked out of Solid Sound. Trying to find out if that’s true or not

    (Neko Case is not for me. She’s not terrible, just not that interesting)

  15. RoosterPizza Says:

    Kids’ sumo party= I drink with the fathers and coaches.

  16. gavinsdad Says:

    Sorry for the oversharing over the past 4 years. Feel like I should have just written a memoir for my desk drawer instead 🙂

    Off to NYC. W fam. Meeting my brother and his family, who are in from LA, for brunch/picnic in Central Park. And then at some point hand pulled noodles in Chinatown.

  17. BNCB Says:

    No apology required^. This is our FB

  18. joe Says:

    been enjoying the run through the 80’s tunes. I never listen to them and probably won’t go back to them either but these have been fun to travel back in time to the beginning.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Coffee will wake you up, sure, so will uppers of several varieties. But if you really want that wake-me-up-now jolt I recommend getting stung by a wasp in a portapotty.

    Feels like the mood has just been set for this day of teaching mtn biking

  20. Joe Says:

    Ouch. T3, was thinking of you the other day when I saw the new indoor rock climbing facility that opened a block down from me

  21. BNCB Says:

    T3…..takes one for the team.

  22. voopa Says:

    The local morning show wants “your pictures of the super moon”.

    I’d like to send them pictures of MY “super” moon.


    Overcast today, chance of rain later. Beats the hell out of the 90+ temps the last few days…

  23. voopa Says:

    Just learned that my father’s ancestors are from a region that, at the time, was part of Prussia.

  24. DavidSilver Says:

    Right on the taint, huh t3?

  25. MiA Says:

    Love bees, hate wasps. Nature’s Serial Rapist.

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