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.



Tags: ,

748 Responses to “The Bearsville Sessions”

  1. Robear Says:

    peace out artist formerly known as BK.

    One question remains unanswered:

    Who will be taking afkaBK to his first show?

  2. VoidBoy Says:

    Start with fruits and veggies… “politics are local”… even in the big picture… but awareness is not. Starting anywhere with healthy foods is promising…. especially considering obesity among teens… I’m surprised that “good eating” isn’t a part of the Phys Ed programs in schools…

  3. SillyWilly Says:

    **Law School Nerd Silly** talking:

    I really want to read that Supreme Court decision to see how they got around the campaign ceilings.

    The Supreme Court really can do what it wants, but the decision could be reversed if Kennedy steps down and Obama can put a more liberal judge in.

    OR, Congress could just pass over the top of the SC

    sorry. everyonce in awhile i have to geek out a bit

  4. Robear Says:

    Jer, you’re summary of the current situation is spot on.

    We need a paradigm shift.

    Parents need to get involved.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    I don’t know whos taking ol’ BK to his first show, but I want to be there just to hear him call the setlist.

    The kid is fire.

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I too have been blasting my way through the back catalog of lost. I’m in the midst of season four right now and I hate to ruin it for you but, yes, kate does indeed continue to get hotter. every. single. episode.

    gotta tell you something. after our conversation/experience saturday, every time even a little bit of Love is Freedom pops in my head (it’s been happening a lot since then) it brings a smile of remembrance. a truly great memory.

    “Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect…”
    –E.M. Forster

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    @Sumo : Congrats!

    Also “trey’s guitar whispered to me & me alone that ufos would be sighted at Indio this year. you heard it here first!”

    Can’t wait. I got down with a few aliens at Clifford Ball. That base is one strange place. For real.

  8. Leo Weaver Says:

    @robear…really a shame to have the resources to make it happen go to waste. We’re in about the same shape here…everything but the vineyards and orchards within 50 miles, and even have those within about 100 miles. yet we ship in stuff from halfway around the globe. Something I’ve seen more of here is teachers incorporating gardens into classes, having the kids plant, maintain, and harvest gardens on school grounds. I think this is great for the kids, it teaches a great lesson…folks have to understand and respect the dirt and the plants that feed us and know what it takes to make it all happen on a sustainable basis. That loaf of bread doesn’t come from the grocery store!

  9. Jer Says:

    @ Cal,

    Wow, you really can’t get into Clouds Taste Metallic? I don’t think it’s as brilliant sonically/artistically/lyrically as Soft Bulletin, but I probably enjoy the music on there more than any other Lips album…though I do prefer Transmissions from time to time. Nevertheless, sometimes I need to put down the proverbial Phish pipe and I usually head for pretentious snobby-ass-indie hipster shit first and foremost ;).

  10. halcyon Says:

    Just watched the Future of Food which Deborah Koons Garcia made. Did you know that Clarence Thomas was the Chief counsel for Monsanto? ::shudders:: at Monsanto.

  11. VoidBoy Says:


    yeah, that would be an awesome show… have to announce it…

  12. SillyWilly Says:


    If BK announced the show he was going to would see a weird spike in ticket sales.

    do you remember what BK was doing during Fall Tour? he had a 5 song run one night. unbelievable.

  13. cal Says:

    Sumodie–frikkin awesome story, dude. The combination of great music and a personal emotional connection (with or without the extracurriculars) is about as powerful an experience as I know of.

    I may be a big weenie, but I’ve been reduced to tears many times in situations like that. Gotta say, U2 does it to me damn near every time I see ’em.

    Will–cool! I’m hoping to get to RB by 7. Meeting my buddy there who’s celebrating his birthday tomorrow (birthday Trey show–hell yes).

  14. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    And for unsung album. Neutral milk hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Brilliance that came completely out of nowhere, and went right back there.

    Hi Robear, we met briefly at F8. Trying to delurk somewhat.

  15. VoidBoy Says:

    Flaming Lips is amazing… Love Clouds…

  16. gus Says:

    Mr. Palmer, if you’re out there, thanks for the furthur sbd’s!!!!!

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    the organic and local foods in school lunch program thing is happening some here in pdx

    slowly but with momentum now

    we are fortunate that a regional “healthier fast food” chain started buying all natural beef and dairy from local cooperatives, it really bumped up the volume in terms of the meat/dairy sides of the equation

    lot of social pressure in this town to buy local and sustainable, across the board

    it’s starting to become the expected default, the dominant view

    interesting social shift in the last few years

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    @Robear, Leo, and everyone

    how do you guys see the problem?

    one argument says if you force farmers to go organic poorer people won’t have a cheaper non-organic option, but my question is why can’t you subsidize organic farmers to keep the prices low?

  19. sumodie Says:

    @type3: i felt compelled to storytell just so you alone wouldnt feel i was crazy after sat nite. now everyone knows im whacked, something ive long known even before i started seeing phish.

    after all these shows, now i know im just a normal run-of-the-mill whack job fan

  20. VoidBoy Says:

    that’s cool.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    1987 Trey just destroyed the halfpipe on his “conservative” first run

  22. garretc Says:

    Hey Silly, I don’t know the legalese, but I believe the answer to your Supreme Court question above is that corporations can’t donate as much as they want to a candidates campaign, but they can spend as much money as they want on their own advertisments in favor of candidates… That was the impression I got from following the reactions to the ruling…

  23. halcyon Says:

    Support your local farmer and join a CSA, or if you can’t afford a CSA, shop at farmers markets. We joined our CSA 3 years ago and love it, the farmers are some of the nicest people I have met. We work there a few times a summer, have potlucks when we are there, love the quality of produce that we get.

    Last year we joined our community garden as well. For a 8 x 10 plot we harvested so much produce, and herbs. Our potato garden that we grew for our garden fundraiser yielded 50lbs from a 5lb seed bag.

  24. Jer Says:

    Mr. C, I too live in Portland, and we are at the leading edge of trying to be more local…but even here, the issue is still nearly overwhelming. From what I can see, the primary problem is that demand far outweighs supply in regard to locally grown/produced food. I think that people here would love to eat as locally as possible, but with so few options, that makes it difficult. There are a lot of lawns in this (and every) town that could theoretically be used to grow food. There is a large number of customers close by and the water supply is plentiful. Some people have started to capitalize on this by creating ‘urban farm’ co-ops/CSA’s…it will be interesting to see where that leads.

  25. VoidBoy Says:

    makes sense

Leave a Reply