Then and Now: Phish – Fly Like An Eagle & Iron Man

As part of Phish’s outstanding New Year’s Eve performance at Madison Square Garden this past Monday night, the band performed two covers in their entirety that they had played portions of in the past. For this edition of “Then and Now” we’ll look at the first time Phish tackled bits of Steve Miller Band’s Fly Like An Eagle and Iron Man by Black Sabbath and then show you the versions that took place on New Year’s Eve at The Garden.

On October 7th, 1989 Phish performed at a Bates College dining hall in Lewiston, Maine. Towards the end of the second set Jon Fishman started the David Bowie cymbal intro. A few seconds in you hear guitarist Trey Anastasio say the words “Fly Like An Eagle” in falsetto. Right away bassist Mike Gordon played the bass line for the main section of Fly Like An Eagle and his band mates seized on the opportunity to jam a bit on the Steve Miller Band classic.

Here’s the minute-long Fly Like An Eagle jam from 10/07/89…

And here’s how Fly Like An Eagle sounded/looked on New Year’s Eve…

As for Iron Man, Phish jammed the Black Sabbath tune “by request” at Nectar’s on June 19th, 1988:

Gordon quickly teased Iron Man during a version of Wilson at Phish’s famed February 20th, 1993 show at The Roxy in Atlanta, but we want to point your attention towards the quartet’s New Year’s Eve performance in Miami on December 31, 2003. The “gag” that year involved a marching band and cheerleading squad from a local high school. Following the countdown and Auld Lang Syne on that night Trey, Mike and Jon offered a 90-second romp through Iron Man…

And here’s how the full version of Iron Man sounded/looked on Monday night…

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4 thoughts on “Then and Now: Phish – Fly Like An Eagle & Iron Man

  1. goff_party Reply

    a) The lyrics to “Fly Like an Eagle” are a great pairing for phish. (just noticed on NYE) and is kind of like of Golden Age w/ its lyrical appro’ po for phish. Hope it comes back again soon. it sounded great!

    b) Love the extended Iron Man. The latter portions are just great Rock n Roll and they were played masterfully by great rock n roll musicians. You can tell they practiced it well.

    c) Thanks Scotty for The Skinny every day of phish NYEMSG.

  2. RC Reply

    Wow, very cool. I was seeing the band a lot between 1987 and 1992 and I love hearing these old recordings.

  3. @coffeewithian Reply

    And no mention of any time they’ve ever played Harpua. The “Me and Harpua” line is the exact same tune as “Fly Like an Eagle”.

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