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. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    I just grabbed that 2-12-10 Furthur Hampton show today, can’t wait to dig into it.

  2. kayatosh Says:

    i feel the love. this is a good place. keep it high and good night. one love


    P.S. PHISH 3.0 AND tab 2010 keepin me ridin high

  3. whole tour! Says:

    bane + olympics = early bedtime

    2 days and 2 nights with my special lady friend visiting (whom i met @ phish in miami 😉 ) = me happy but exhausted.

    when your there i sleep lengthwise and when your gone i sleep diagonal in my bed.

  4. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    This 1998.06.30 (yet another birthday show!) Stash is slaying me. The theme they hit around 9:05 is spell-binding

  5. Halden Says:

    MP3 compatibility is a definite plus.

    I always keep the original FLAC to use on my PC and Stereo, but Work and Car is wher I listen to 80% of my music so getting the best copy I can onto my iPod is key and with a 160 GB Classic File size is not an issue yet.

  6. garretc Says:

    Huh, it’s weird going back to 1990 Phish and seeing that all the songs so short! (relatively…) Come on 1990 Phish, you guys couldn’t spin out a 30 minute Bowie for me?! Llfa, how times change!

    Also, I can’t imagine many of you have this problem, but does anyone else feel like they look at the setlist and song lengths way too much? I always seem to not recognize the first 10 seconds of whatever song is playing, so I look and then ruin the fun of guessing the song and of not knowing how long the jam is gonna be… But I’m on the road to overcoming it!

  7. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    They have 160GB iPod Classics now? I may need to upgrade 🙂

  8. Gratefulcub Says:

    I have the original Classic, the 80 GB made before touches existed, and my model became the Classic. Anyway…… space is already an issue, any way to reduce the size of the flac shows? 2 GB for some of them is just too much.

  9. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    I do that too, I need to stop that. “Oh, only a 6min 32sec jam in this Tweezer. Weak” llfa

  10. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    I’ve had 3 iPods

    4gig Nano
    80gig iPod Video
    120gig iPod Classic

    I have a few gigs left on the classic, but I am sure it will be filled soon

  11. Gratefulcub Says:

    I just ran across a Trey show in Louisville that i was at in 02. I tried to download it, but it was going to take a couple of days. What I noticed about it was the 20 minute Sand, 25 minute Night Speaks, 20 minute something else.

    It looks like 2010 TAB is concentrating on Density as well.

  12. voopa Says:

    VBR mp3s sound just as good as FLAC on most systems. AUDs being the exception.

  13. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    How was the jamming on last night’s TAB show?

  14. VoidBoy Says:

    I think the band themselves saw how few songs they were playing in a set and have shortened them to up the diversity… still a bust out here and there, but no longer do they seem interested in playing 4-5 songs a set.

    I always check the set list and look for “key” tracks I enjoy, and yeah, length can be confounding… but with “musical density” explaining the “compression of time” as compared to relative “disc time”… (which has nothing to do with bit rate or FLAC & AALC formats…) I have still found pure “joy” to be experienced at increasingly high levels whether the song is “long” or…. well, shorter.

    I have found my “Density” (sounds like something from Back to the Future).

  15. cal Says:

    Man, it’s fun catching up on the cool shit that goes down here while I’m not paying attention…no other place like this in cyberspace.

    Will, Albert–looking forward to hangin’ witcha tomorrow night! It looks like I’ll be meeting some people at Rock Bottom for maybe one beer prior to going to the Pabst. Will definitely be in the venue bar in time for a beer, though.

    If you guys need anything–directions, parking/food/drink suggestions, whatever–gimme a call or text, Will has my number. I live five minutes from the theater.

    This weekend is gonna be crazy–two Trey shows and then Wilco on Saturday, woo-hoo!!

  16. Leo Weaver Says:

    Wow…the board’s been great today, wish I’d had more time to participate this afternoon rather than catch up tonight.

    @sumo…you’ve been a true voice of the board for a long time with your thoughtful, insightful, and witty posts…I respect you even more now for sharing your*self* with us (sorry I can’t do the italics). And I’m very glad to hear your ex is still amiable. Best ‘couple’ friends of me and my wife are a gay couple…have been since we moved here and met them 6 years ago. The ex of one hasn’t spoken to him since their split which is a real shame because they’re amazing people. I hope shake your hand again this summer.

    @cub…is that the 10.29.02 TAB show you’re talking about?

    @BK…you ARE a regular, just not quite as often as in the summer due to school. I’m looking forward to your calls on summer tour!

  17. Leo Weaver Says:

    I hope TO shake your hand…

    And like Lycan, I’m very proud to be a part of this community.

    OK…carry on with TAB talk

  18. sumodie Says:

    final story…

    something utterly UNIQUE happened to me during the Love is freedom>simple twist up dave last saturday in CT.

    i often have heady intellectual thoughts going thru my head during intense phish jams (& im able to dance at the same time, imagine that!)

    without intending to, i was thinking about a newly budding yet undecided relationship that only recently started back home in amherst, ma.

    suddenly, i forgot all about the show and was infused with one of the most singularly joyous emotional states id ever experienced: this potential new partner was, in fact, the real deal for me. i was struck dumb at how my heart/intuition was able to melt away my many layers of indecision to see that this guy may be/is the one.

    as the sheer intensity of this unique event overtook every cell in body, suddenly i was overcome with shock & this deep rooted emotional state erupted, causing me to openly burst into joyous tears (duuudes, that never happens to me, especially not in public, nevermind during a freakin trey/phish show -WTF!?!).

    let me step back and admit i was spun. BUT, never has any of my multitude of trips ever produced anything remotely like this experience. im normally a very analytical academic type. i know what usual peaking L moments are about, how one can project too much into an experience, etc. im not into astrology, superstitions, i dont see ufos/spirits, & the like.

    this was so deeply intense that my mere attempt to describe what happened is merely in vain.

    do i live happily ever after? puhlease! though my intuition tell’s me he’s likely the one, i know a lot of hardwork lies ahead, & i could still screw it up.

    meanwhile, my crazy spun composure resumed during the show, i didnt care what others might have thought (everyone around knew i was spun anyway), & i resumed my freaky freak dance breaks. but i remained uber ecstastically happy the whole rest of the nite (just ask type 3). and my heart continues to blaze away today.

    and wouldnt you know, it was the day before valentines, & all during set 2 a woman directly in front of me was waving a sign asking trey to be her valentine. the irony was too funny!

    ok, sumodie has exhausted his storytelling capacities for the next year.

    now back to giving one line show recaps:
    during Black Dog @T5, trey’s guitar whispered to me & me alone that ufos would be sighted at Indio this year. you heard it here first!

  19. halcyon Says:

    @ Sumo…. thanks for sharing

  20. Robear Says:

    best. blog. ever

    sumo, you’re an uber cool and special person. Some people it takes me awhile to figure out, some it’s right off the bat. You’re in the latter group.

    Far more interesting day over here than I had.

    Ambient Lemonwheel Jam / Drawing project was less than a success.
    “What is this?”
    “Can we change it?”
    “You got any hip-hop?”

    I played it for about 25 minutes, then they got 2Pac “Changes”. A little participation in today’s discussion from afar 😉

    jDub convinced me I needed to read back, so I did.

    I feel like I read the inside of my brain for the last umpteen years.

    sillywilly, WW. can’t wait.

    No real online source for info. re: Waterwheel, other than
    We do have a Facebook page.

    36 yrs., last I checked.

  21. voopa Says:

    Awesome. Looking forward to the UFOs!

  22. Jer Says:

    @ Cal,

    I clicked through on the link to your blog and I really enjoyed reading your best of 2009 list. I don’t know if MPP is the best American album since In Utero (I think The Soft Bulletin is right up there), but cannot find much to argue with in your selections. Alas, we share many of the same musical tastes. I don’t know many people who are able to coexist in a state of infatuation with Phish combined with the varied and eclectic knowledge of modern music. Bravo :).

  23. Leo Weaver Says:

    I’ve been waiting on that report robear…kids these days 😉

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    @robear, leo, bk

    what up fellas?

  25. halcyon Says:

    speed skating rocks

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