The Phish Book

Front Cover
Villard Books, 1998 - Music - 188 pages
7 Reviews
Having played more than a thousand shows and recorded nine albums during their fifteen years together, Phish now brings us a different kind of performance--a written one. The first and only authorized book about the band, The Phish Book is an extraordinary verbal and visual chronicle of a year in the life of Phish, featuring extensive interviews with the four band members--Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Page McConnell--conducted by writer Richard Gehr, who also serves as guide to the history, mythology, musical context, and unique audience-band relationship in which the Vermont quartet flourishes. While it contains many of the trappings of other lavish rock monuments--including more than two hundred pieces of previously unpublished art and photography from the band's private archive--The Phish Book raises the form to a higher level by means of an innovative roundtable-style discussion format. Richard Gehr and Phish use the events of 1997 as a jumping-off point from which the band members free-associate about themselves, their music, and the dedicated and colorful community that springs up wherever they perform. Beginning with the backstage scene at Boston's Fleet Center on New Year's Eve, 1996, The Phish Book explores the band's earliest days in Burlington, Vermont; their musical influences, which include James Brown, Frank Zappa, and the Grateful Dead; their legendary Halloween shows; the two European and two American tours the group undertook in 1997; the stories behind their 1996 studio album Billy Breathes and the following year's live Slip Stitch and Pass; life onstage and off; the sixty-thousand-fan Maine campout and art project known as the Great Went; and the experimental recording and performing techniques that informed the band's most recent studio album, The Story of the Ghost. More than a journal of the group's evolution over the course of a single year, The Phish Book is a glorious snapshot of a band much bigger than its parts and at the height of its collective power.

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Review: The Phish Book

User Review  - Todd Janko - Goodreads

Having been introduced to Phish in 1993 in college, this bad took me into a whole musical direction. Growing up in the Midwest during the 80's, my experiences with music ranged from Whitesnake to ... Read full review

Review: The Phish Book

User Review  - Goodreads

This is by far, the most well written, informative book that exists to date about the greatest band touring today. A must have for any Phan. No where will you find better Phish photos. Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Richard Gehr is an Oregon writer who lives in Brooklyn. He has written about popular (and other) culture for The Village Voice, Spin, Rolling Stone, Mirabella, Salon, and New York Newsday.

Phish is an internationally renowned musical group based in Burlington, Vermont.
Since forming in 1983, they have garnered a reputation as one of the world's most exciting and successful touring acts. They have released nine albums on Elektra Records, including three gold records and one platinum record.

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