Jamming With The Aquarium

12.28.93 (C. Taylor Crothers)

12.28.93 (C. Taylor Crothers)

If you have been reading this site for a while, you’ve probably come to know how I feel about guests stepping onstage with Phish- more often than not it doesn’t really work.  Most of the time the improv is diluted by the band trying to cater to their guest by laying back musically; and other times they just don’t gel.  Yet there have been those special times when guests have not only fit in with Phish, but have pushed them and made the music better.  On this date sixteen years ago at The Palace Theatre in Albany, NY, long-time friends and touring cohorts, The Aquarium Rescue Unit, stepped on stage with Phish during “You Enjoy Myself,” resulting in the craziest, and one of the best, guest sit-ins of Phish’s career.

Aquarium Rescue Unit

The Aquarium Rescue Unit

A large part of the reason that these two bands gelled so well on stage, tapping into the same wacky psychedelic energy, was that they had a close friendship.  In the early ’90s, as both bands were trying to extend their fanbase into each other’s region of the country, Phish would open for ARU in the South, while they would return the favor and invite ARU to open for them in the Northeast.  As the two bands shared bills around the country, they developed a friendship and an affinity for each other, sharing an eccentric sense of humor.  In addition, the two bands were founding members of the H.O.R.D.E. Tour in 1992, an acronym for Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere.  Inspired by Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza the year before, they sought to put a foot forward for the second wave of the “jam” scene.

Oteil Burbridge

Oteil Burbridge

Another reason why this guest spot worked out so well was the sheer musicianship of Col. Bruce Hampton’s crew.  Combine Phish with Oteil Burbridge, Jimmy Herring, and Jeff Sipe, and you had some serious chops on stage.  Subtract sixteen years from today, and you had a youthful, zany energy behind the collaboration, driving it at a breakneck pace in very exploratory directions.  This is the Phish of old, with like-minded friends, absolutely tearing shit apart.


May 1993 (A.Dines)

With several added layers to the jam, members of both bands took liberty to improvise vocally, as well as musically, lending a bizarre psychedelia to much of the jam.  All the musicians onstage, while having a blast, were simultaneously taking their improvisation incredibly seriously, creating some insane music.  Page absolutely slaughtered it as the lone piano player on stage, leading some of the early parts of the jam.  Gordon and Oteil, two of the best bass players on the planet, were crushing it, while there was incredibly dynamic interplay between Trey and Jimmy Herring.  Jeff Sipe added some tight percussive tabla rhythms to Fish’s beat, and took over the drums as Fish moved to vacuum for a bit.  Following the Electrolux-centric section, the groove resurfaced as a quasi-ska beat, but almost immediately moved out of it as Fish hopped back onto the kit and Trey began to get loose.  If the madness of all these virtuoso musicians wasn’t enough, this jam also featured The Dude of Life carrying on with his antics and “singing” some nonsensical lyrics.

MAy 1993 (A.Dines)

MAy 1993 (A.Dines)

Before coming to an end, the improv turned the way of jazzy textures with some straight up scatting over top.  Touching on so many different musical feels, all with incredible coherency, this was one guest spot that certainly did not disappoint, and goes down in history as one of the most outrageous “YEMs” ever played.


LISTEN to the 5.5.93 “YEM” NOW! ^ LINK (Roll over, click play)




5.5.93 The Palace Theatre, Albany, NY SBD < LINK

5.5.93 The Palace Theatre, Albany, NY SBD < TORRENT LINK

The Palace, Albany, NY

The Palace, Albany, NY

Although this is a repost from months ago, I figured it would be appropriate given today’s sixteen year anniversary of the show.  Beyond the absurd “YEM,” this show is filled with oddities, including “My Friend > Manteca > My Friend,” and “Cavern > Take the ‘A’ Train > Cavern.”  If you didn’t grab it last time it was posted, grab this SBD recording of a great show.

I: Rift, Guelah Papyrus, Foam, Sparkle, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice, Glide, Maze, Golgi Apparatus

II: Runaway Jim, My Friend My Friend > Manteca > My Friend My Friend, Poor Heart, Weigh, Big Ball Jam, Ya Mar, You Enjoy Myself*

E: Amazing Grace, Cavern > Take the A-Train > Cavern

*25 min jam with Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Dude of Life.

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120 Responses to “Jamming With The Aquarium”

  1. Twiggy Says:

    Vale’s worked for me. I think I used the grape flavor. Was a long time ago, but I just told this girl at work and she used it with success just three weeks ago. Good luck!

  2. whole tour! Says:

    @soam…..either stop and drink gallons of water each day. or buy the wizzinator…the company got in trouble, so now it’s marketed as a sex toy. it comes with a fake strap on penis that fills up with fake sterile powdered urine with water activated heat crystals.

  3. whole tour! Says:


  4. voopa Says:

    Golden Seal helps, plenty of water, and there’s a tea that GNC might still sell (you have to ask for it). You have to drink a HALF GALLON of the tea within 3 HOURS of the test. That’s a quart every 45 minutes. Not impossible, but difficult, and it works.

  5. guyforget Says:

    whole tour – my constitutions doesn’t allow me to buy fake strap on penises. if i had a to fail a drug test or buy a strap on, i’d have to fail the test!!!!

  6. whole tour! Says:

    http://www.alsshop.com the wizzinator

  7. whole tour! Says:

    some tests they watch you the whole time. i never used one, but i know someone that did.

  8. wanderin Says:

    @ SOAM..
    Drink as much water as you can…buy yogi tea detox tea and do not stop drinking it…drink cranberry juice….goldenseal, cranberry tablets ….drink fluids morning noon and night…do not drink alcohol or smoke ciggy’s and jsut over flow on liquids…

  9. whole tour! Says:

    lol @ guy…..expand your horizions…lol…j/k

  10. old dude Says:

    my buddy got an employment call with the bong in his hand – literally. he passed a test the next morning. some detox product with “double your money back guarantee” plus chugging water all night. it had a gimmicky name … eliminator something or other? go to the head shop and ask them. the stoners will hook you up.

  11. guyforget Says:

    i love this board. pretty soon we’ll all be offering online therapy to one another.

    Old dude – great call with the head shop, they will definitely steer you in hte right directions…

  12. Manny Phresh Says:

    Stop smoking weed, excerise a lot, drink a lot of water. And try to postpone your test for one week, and you’ll be 100% ok, if you can’t to be on the safe side buy some sort of drink. Depending on the quality of the test, the levels are different for positive results, the more expensive tests have much lower levels for positive results.

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    “if i had a to fail a drug test or buy a strap on, i’d have to fail the test!!!!”

    ^^ line of the day thus far!

  14. SOAM Says:

    I love this board too-and either way it goes-they can’t take my summer tour tix-so fuck em.

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    just tell em the strapon is “for a friend”

  16. RobAins Says:

    Definitly stop smoking right away. I wouldn’t go to GNC. I did a few years ago and whatever it was they sold me didn’t work at all. When the lab called me to tell me IO tested positive, I played dum and said I had been exposed to second hand smoke very recently. She laughed, and said “sir, the level of THC in your system suggests otherwise.” We then shared a laugh together, it was pretty funny.
    The only stuff I’ve ever heard of that works, is some kind of drink you order of the internet. I think I saw it mentioned by someone else up above…. Only hope for a chronic long time daily smoker is to stop smoking, drink shit loads of water, and pray you get a full month before the test.

    Good luck!

  17. R1 Says:

    yo Miner – can you tell us how many tracks on your quiz compilation? just want to be sure. or is that part of the challenge?

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    12 tracks

  19. old dude Says:

    five tracks
    six tracks
    a-seven tracks

  20. Read Icculus Says:

    ….dude, that quiz is insane.

  21. Frankie Says:

    DAVEY is the man!! Hooked me up with GORGE extras and just got them in the mail today! Cheers man! Needless to say, I love this community also, just great f***ing people! See you there!

    @Mr. Completely – Thanks also for the GD picks, just at the 73-74 right now but i’m really blown away! Great music!

    @Mr. Miner – That quizz is tough but what a cool mix! I’ve listened to it non stop in a loop… i’m sure i heard some of this music before but i can’t place the dates! Oh well! Thanks man!

    That 5.5.93 YEM is NUTS for sure!!!

    GO Boston!!

  22. R1 Says:

    12? Uh-oh, I seem to be missing one.

  23. guyforget Says:

    frankie, are they TM/LN tix? nobody has received late summer tix from phish tix, correct??

  24. Frankie Says:

    I don’t believe they sent the phish tix yet… they are the ticketmaster ones…

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    73-74 is the heat, Frankie – I’ll put up comp #3 from that era later this week as well

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