The Phish is fried. Just as the fervor of internet-Phish-dorkdom reached its frenzied peak of reunion show madness, Phish keyboardist Page McConnell layeth down the smack. To paraphrase the open letter he posted recently on the band’s official website, the hypothetical reunion, “Ain’t happening, bitches.”
To be fair, there’s a lot left up to interpretation in his little four paragraph statement. He definitely doesn’t close the door on the possibility of a Phish reunion, and goes so far as to say that if it weren’t for Mike’s stupid new album about bird watching, they would have already made arrangements. Ok, that’s not exactly what he said. File that under ‘creative interpretation’. But he does say that Phish reuniting is “something I consider very seriously, and I think about it a lot.” Somewhere in America, a glowstick and an Uno card just read this and wet themselves.
As exciting as this all sounds, I’m not entirely sure I’m sold on a Phish reunion. I mean, what’s the point? They had their time and place, right? And let’s be honest, things aren’t exactly like they were at the peak of the Clinton ’90s when Phish was at their most culturally relevant. There’s two wars going on now, the world is melting, there’s nothing good on TV, dogs and cats living together- mass hysteria! Not to mention the fact that most of Phish’s core audience has all moved on to things like ‘lives’ and ‘families’, ‘mini-vans’ and ‘brunch’ and all that adult crap. Is there really room in this fucked up day and age of war and diaper changes for Phish tour? Maybe so, maybe not. READ ON for Neeko’s list of Phishy suggestions…
But honestly, who cares? It’s all speculation and doesn’t amount to anything more than my own cynical opinion. I’m the guy who bitches about every big band reunion announcement, citing some imaginary rules of conduct for former rock n’ roll legends, and then gets up early on a Saturday to score the $190 tickets from ticketbastard. So what the fuck do I know? But in the spirit of all the hypotheticals flying around the internet, I’d like to contribute my own little bit of bullshit and conjecture to the larger pile of bullshit and conjecture known simply as “The How-What-When-and-Why of the Big-Phish-Reunion: A Guide for the Band by the Phans”.
So, should the band choose to return to the stage in any shape or form as Phish here are my own personal suggestions to make the experience more positive for all. To be taken with a grain of salt, shaken, not stirred, and followed up with two lot burritos.
1) Don’t Record a New Album. Seriously. Unless its another Junta or Lawnboy, don’t bother. Just go practice YEM so the poor man can keep his damn left testicle!
2) Lose the Dress. Seriously. Fishman, we know you’re wacky. We’ve all seen your ass on stage. You play a vacuum cleaner. We know you is loco, esse! But that fahkin moo-moo has got to go. The sight of that unwashed sweat rag makes me want to retch. You probably smell like Phys-ed.
3) Record a New Album. Definitely. Or don’t. It’s already been leaked on like ten different p2p sites. whatevs…
4) Publish Your Setlists the Day Before a Show. This will benefit no one; I just think it would be funny to see the reaction online.
5) Two words- The Dude of Life. Everyone loves him, and he always injects that much needed, oft-missing ingredient into the show: sequins.
6) Play Several Short Sets. Like, four or five 25 minute sets a night. Your audience is old now. They’ll need to take more breaks to pee and call the babysitter to check up on the kids.
7) Show tunes!
8) More shows in Camden. The E-Center? More like the “Best-Most-Safest-Place-on-Earth-to-See-a-Show Center”! I hope, if they do reunite, they play all of their shows in beautiful Camden, NJ!
9) Loosen Up. I think the band should play some fun songs, like that Page’s New Shirt song. Their other stuff is so gloomy. Velvet Sea?! Even Page can’t keep it together for that one. If they’re going to come back, they should try not to be so sullen. Maybe smile once in a while up there, guys?
10) Don’t Shine That Thing in My Face, Man. I’m serious… I’m serious. Turn it off. “Oooh! Look how the lights go along with the jams! It’s as if the lights are playing the band!” Shut up, hippy. I’m trying to hang on every movement of Trey’s eyebrows, and those lights are distracting!
11) Less Drama. For instance, the unnecessary pause in The Divided Sky or that long sustained note in that You Enjoy Myself tune. I think we would all rather you get on with it and sing the lyrics already.
and finally, from the Home office in Sioux City, Iowa …
12) Fluffhead. This one is for real. Just play it. Mike, this isn’t really up to you anymore. How would you feel if you went to Disney World with your family, and they refused to let you ride Space Mountain? It’s kind of like that.
Our four favorite geeks from VT may very well never play under the Phish moniker again; that all remains to be seen. But if they do, I’ll be very disappointed if they don’t follow at least a few of these pointers. These suggestions are pure gold, and they know it. And I know the band will see this list because my old roommate is good friends with a guy who used to work at the Green Leafe Café down in VA, and he used to date this girl who’s brother got pot from the same guy as a girl who used to date a friend of Fishman’s, and he said he’ll forward this on to Fishman and Fishman will definitely read it because he reads, like, all of his emails. So, anyway… see you on tour!