What is it with women? May be a silly question, but I don't understand why some people try harder to make things more difficult than they'd EVER have to try to make things good - and this seems especially true with the best of the good things there are. It's been a rough week here in the 'Boro. Rough enough for me to write, basically to myself, in the misnomered Weekly. Maybe it's better to say it's been a rough two years, instead.
Advice for anyone who cares: being selfish is, maybe, the worst thing you can do to the people that care about you. I'm guilty, we're all guilty, but most of us at least try as best we can and work to move forward. Being selfish only keeps you where you are, or worse - pushes you back.
Ambiguous enough? Good...
So - turns out I'm a bad trader...
I got a b&p from this guy Evan - I sat on it.
it's been like, EIGHTEEN MONTHS.
Normally I'm a good guy, I can get things turned around.. etc -
but I've been going through some shit in my home life, and I can coast by on sleep and alcohol (not in that order), and I just can't get my priorities straight.
I email Evan about once a week - I'm sorry, I'm on it, I'll get it out homorrow - but I can't seem to get it done.
So - Sorry to Evan, who's the most patient person I've never met. The discs will get done this weekend. I'll burn 50. I'm tatooing your name on my stomach.
I wish I could get those little things that seemeed so vital in the "old" days together again...
I first saw Phish at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC in 1992.
I remember a dog running around.
I remember a few tapers there.
I remember my girlfriend (at the time) having this friend I was jealous as shit of because he lived in the same city as her and he had lots of tapes of Phish shows and he got to talk to her more personally about the show.
I remember making a little fun of Phish because there WERE tapers there, and I thought these people were Grateful Dead wannabe fans and that the band was pretty good technically but not the Dead, PUHLEEZE.
Three years later I heard Live One and shit my pants.
In retrospect, I'm glad I got into Phish the way I did. I'd seen Dave Matthews a few times with less than 30 people in the audience. I'd seen Widespread a few times with about the same. Growing up in North Carolina seemed to be a good place for live music (Chapel Hill had a "sound" that was very successful in the late eighties and nineties). I DJed at WXDU, the college station for Duke, for three years while I was still in high school. There was a lot of music around me. It was a great way, the BEST way, to grow up.
What hit me with Phish was two things. First, there was Live One. THANK YOU PHISH. Stash was the first thing that grabbed me. They seemed to crayon all outside the lines, and then, like the fingers of a hand moving seperately from each other, they, connected by the palm, came together almost seamlessly when the time was right. Then there's the Simple. Then there's the YEM. Then there's the Chalkdust. The Chalkdust. The Chalkdust.
Chalkdust is a song that will happily haunt me for the days that I was lucky enough to see Phish live and in person. It's my ZZYZX stat that stands proudly above and beyond the other songs in frequency. Seemed every show I went to, whether it was one, four, or eight a tour: Phish nailed me a Chalkdust.
Lots of people interpret songs Phish do differently. Chalkdust is a song for the students - the college kids that see their lives being almost wasted by the seemingly mundane routine of classes and learning that is designed to filter in one ear and stay present in the mind before drooling out the other after the exam.
My next show after Chapel Hill was Raleigh 1997. Most of you who trade will know this show as the one where lightning hit the field and the band jammed with God; and they started a second set with a DWD that cascaded perfectly into a Mike's Set.
First set of that show was me in the lawn - DRENCHED. First time I was ever HAPPY to be in a porta-potty. Not knowing why I was clapping instinctively with the Stash. Half trying to see twenty something hippie chicks with see thru wet shirts and half trying to guess the next song.
Calling sets became my show hobby. I was TERRIBLE at it, for the record. I'm not the guy that comes to you two years after hearing a tape and says "I was there and I CALLED that friggin Spocks> Dog Log> Fluff> Spocks> BBFCFM!!!" Fuck that asshole. That shit for brains guy is the same one in the Lot without a ticket and with a thirsty dog who's begging you for a taste of your Molly, which you don't even have because you came for the MUSIC. If you're that guy and you're reading this - FUCK YOU.
But call the sets I would. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
That Raleigh show - I scored second set/encore second row center tix from a chick that wanted to go to the Lawn to hang with friends. We traded - I didn't stub down. When they went from DWD to Mike's I FREAKED. Took off my shirt and danced like the Asselope. In the middle of the Mike's jam, I noticed Fishman looking at me from the right side of the stage (stage left). He was smiling and nodding and playing and grooving. I was having a religious experience. Half naked and drenched, I put my hands together and mimed my best "THANK YOU." He laughed as he played, and nodded and smiled. I was hooked forever.
The second thing about Phish that changed me, and it seems stupid to say this - was a car wreck I had heading North to see a buddy in Jersey (to make the 1997 NYE run). Someone had given me a tape of the Clifford Ball. It was raining Clifford Balls on my way up, and I had a light ass Toyota which lost control in Maryland and didn't stop hydroplaning until I crossed into Pennsylvania. I rolled it and managed somehow to end up on the side of the car. I was ok, my shit wasn't too fucked up. After a passerby helped me push my car back over and I cranked the engine to see if it would start, the tape I was listening to when the accident happened began to play.... "The tires are the things on the car that make contact with the road." I warned you - sounds stupid.
But ANY Phish phan - a REAL one, at least - has a story EXACTLY like this. It's fucking SUPPOSED to happen for us - it's magic. It's wonder. It's the destiny that is the truest phan.
Years later, as Phish was preparing for a hiatus and I sat in the covered section at Merriweather, I stood before the show started to get some beers for two friends I took to the show to see their one, and now only, Phish show ever. As I climbed the stairs to the lawn to get the suds, a guy and a chick came walking down towards me that struck me as deeply famliiar. Someone I could have SWORN was Phirst Phan Amy Skelton and Trey. This couldn't be TREY though. This guy had short hair, a reddish beard trimmed close, and a little blue tee shirt and jeans - I'd JUST SEEN TREY a few weeks earlier in Raleigh looking like a long haired shaggy hippie. I almost made fun of the OBVIOUS Trey wannabe as I passed him, but instead allowed my Phishy mood to command my hand to reach out, take his hand, and simply say, "thanks." I felt like an idiot at the time, but I never wanted to be negative at a show, and I guess the guilt of even thinking those things made me do it. About twenty minutes later, the lights dimmed, and Trey, sporting a blue tee shirt and a new haircut took the stage. I'll never forget how I remember his eyes meeting mine through his glasses as we passed so casually. It's the closest i ever got to meeting the band, and it was close enough. Thanks for shaking my hand Trey, and for even walking by us in the seats.
After seven consecutive New Years runs, many local shows, finding etree and bringing Phish into my house whenever and whereever I wanted to be there with them, and even making the first Mockingbird book (simply credited with a title suggestion, though I threw them a correction for a tease Mike did at that Chapel Hill show for a 'Fetchin' Bones' song during Weekapaug (never mentioned)), you'd think I'd be hooked, and I guess I was. But I hit a rough spot in my personal life and decided to sell my tickets one day before the last New Year's run in Miami and not go (thanks Jeff and Tim). I caught Phish in Charlotte and Raleigh (my last show) but opted out of Hampton and Coventry. I'm still in a weird place, and Phish can't pull me out of it. Sad.
So I decided to work during Hampton and Coventry. I work in a live music club in Greensboro, NC. I get to see live music seven days a week. I can run a good soundboard, man the door, or bartend, I'm very happy doing my job.
Tonight, the bar played nothing but Phish on the system for me. We had a live band doing jazz fusion, but during set breaks and after I played Phish. I think I got to listen to them as they walked off stage tonight.
When I finally got done tonight, I read up on some Internet chatter between a few of my etree Server Team buddies. One got shut out at the gate (WITH a ticket) at Coventry due to mud, One didn't bother going. a few decided to leave the conversation to reflect on their time with the band and the music and the scene. I got to read over what they wrote and see their responses to the XM simulcast. They both were of the opinion that the band was having trouble playing and singing (particularly) because they were crying...
We cry too. Crocodile tears of painful joy for the dance that never seemed like it could end.
I haven't seen a setlist from Coventry yet. I'll get it when Rosemary or Benji or Dan or whomever is running the lists now emails it to me. But I guess I get to make one more prediction. I get to make one more call. You can call me predictable, lame, or whatever, but these words will say it all:
"Waiting for the time when I can finally say...
'...this has all been wonderful, but now I'm on my way..."
Peace, love, respect - for everybody...
PS - I could also see them ending with a "Circus Comes to Town."
PPS - I know he's not doing security for them any more, but I'd like to just post a thank you to Bart Butler. He was a big scary guy when he rescued my buddy from being thrown out of a show for having a laser pointer, and he got his point across about the dangers of the thing - but he gave us fourth row center to apologize for the venue security roughing up my friend, and it'll never be forgotten, THANKS BART.