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"They're not Phish, are they?"

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That's what the guy said. He was standing a few feet away from me on the bus, and he had a Phil and Friends t-shirt on. I had a Phish t-shirt on, and we made eye/t-shirt contact, recognizing the common ground we had both tread on.

The "they" he was referring to was the Dave Matthews Band, and we were on our way back from seeing them at the Corel Centre.

"No, they're not," I replied.

"Well, if you like Phish, you have to check out 'nero'," he said.

That was the second time I'd heard that band's name that day; earlier, I'd had a reply from a guy I had e-mailed, who was looking for people to fill out a jamband he was forming. He didn't need a guitar player, but told me to check out 'nero' if I liked jammy guitar stuff.

"They're playing downtown tonight. You should come out," my bus-buddy said.

OK, I took the twice-hearing-of-a-band-I-didn't-know-in-one-day as a Sign, and went along.

It was a tiny, upstairs bar, and the decor was more like a biker hangout than a Nice Place. There was a stage over in the corner, with a trio of musicians' gear on.

The band started playing, and I was hooked. Walls of emotion-filled music wafted over me, wrapped around me, and then went through me. I don't think I'd ever been that close to something like that.

Time passed, and the band finished. Being a guitar player and a gearhead, I noticed something unusual: the guitarist's amp.

"Hi, I'm Brad," I introduced myself.

"Hi, I'm Dave," he replied.

"What model of Dr. Z is that?" I asked.

"Wow...most people don't know it's not a Zenith..."

Can you say "fast friends"? I thought you could...

Can you remember where you were or what you doing three years ago? I can: all of the all of the above happened on Tuesday, August 7, 2001, three years ago, today.

I walked away from the bar, The Whipping Post, with a couple of things: knowledge of a new (to me) band I liked a lot, a website to go to (then called The Phish Sanctuary), and a couple of new friends, including the guy I talked to him on the bus: Davey Boy.

I had spent most of the '90s living a quiet life. I might go to a show or two, but hardly ever a club; I didn't know many bands, and had a pretty small circle of friends. Some of my "hibernation" was due to a hangover from a pretty tough few years at school, but a lot of it was, I think, shyness, and the paralysis induced by a feeling of safety.

Since then, well, words almost fail me. I've made more friends, seen more shows (125 days with shows in 2003, alone), and done more in the past three years than I'd done in the ten years before. I don't amalgate well (there's a certain bit of loner in my psyche), but this community has, without thinking, I believe, it's just the way it works, welcomed me, and allowed me to grow and do what I can and be what I am (and have become). It's given me so much, and allowed me to give back so much, that, I can't (and don't want to) imagine what my life would be (and would have been) without all of it.

Bring on the next three years! (Well, after I get through celebrating the anniversary at GTB tonight. ::)

{{{{{{{{{all of you}}}}}}}}}


BRAD (Been Reminiscing About Daves)

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Guest Low Roller

Great story Bradm. That's the kind of memory that one remembers the best because it marked a turning point in their lives. I've always said that time is analog, but life is digital. Time never stops to blink, but life is made up of great moments, so make sure that everything you do is a moment and you'll have a great life! Rock on.

However since we're digging into the psyche of Bradm, how about a story about how you came to like Phish?

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great story Brad. I have a similar story, only it invloves Grand Theft Bus. They are the first band to really get me out of my shell and allow me to let myself explore all different kinds of music and also gave me a chance to meet tons of new people.

It happened to me in on April 14, 2002 @ the student union bulding/cellar in Fredericton NB.

The night started out with a good dose of zoomers. Then GTB opened the show and blew me away with their tunes and constant grooves. This was followed by BNB who put on one hell of a show! Frankenstein, Tricky, Lovin Cup and their own stuff as well were solid and I was peaking at the perfect time to enjoy this to the fullest!!

Just when I thought it was over, I heard GTB was going to play and after set @ the cellar downstairs.. This is were the boys solidified themsleves as one of my favourite bands. the energy in the room and the music was going right through me, I loved every minute of it and have been chasing that high ever since!

Looking forward to seeing them here in Kingston on Aug 12th!!

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However since we're digging into the psyche of Bradm, how about a story about how you came to like Phish?

A friend of mine in university was a huge music junkie, and pretty much ripped the top of my head off and started pouring stuff in: Robert Cray, David Lindley, Steve Vai, and, in particular, Frank Zappa, and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones.

While reading the Frank Zappa and Bela Fleck newsgroups in the early-to-mid '90s, I'd occasionally hear about this band called "Phish". It turned out they were doing a show in Ottawa (I can't remember how I heard about the show; it may have been an ad in XPress or something) in July, 1994 at the Congress Centre, so I decided to give them a try. If fans of Zappa and Fleck liked Phish, I figured there was a good chance I would, too.

The ticket said 8:00pm, and I think they hit the stage at 8:05pm, which impressed the heck out of me. Then they started playing. Until the "Rift" opener, I hadn't heard any of their music, but four bars in, I was hooked. The hook sank deeper as the night progressed: "Esther" warped my mind, "You Enjoy Myself" was a blast ("What's the roadie bringing on stage? Trampolines?"), "The Great Gig In The Sky" ("What the heck's that vacuum cleaner for?"), and the "Good Times, Bad Times" encore all solidified my incredible like of this band and thier music. I went and bought "Rift" later in the week, and I think it's still my favourite Phish studio album. I wish I had bought a t-shirt, but I wasn't as sophisticated or supportive of concert nostalgia then as I am now...


07-05-94 The Congress Center, Ottawa, ON, Canada

1: Rift, Sample in a Jar, The Curtain-> Letter to Jimmy Page-> If I Could, Uncle Pen, Stash, Esther, Down With Disease, Sweet Adeline*

2: Punch You in the Eye-> Sparkle, Bathtub Gin-> Lifeboy, Cities-> You Enjoy Myself, Great Gig in the Sky, Ginseng Sullivan*, My Sweet One*, Amazing Grace**, Golgi Apparatus

E: Good Times Bad Times

*Acoustic and without mics. **A cappela and without mics.



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  • 6 years later...

Here's my Slip intro, even though I'm loathe to talk about them on this website....

In the summer of '98 the dude I met Scottie King through or maybe the other way around (initials MT - a Phish trader who I gave a few shows to when he found out I was a 45 minute drive away and had a good collection) invited me to his cottage for an afternoon. He burned me a few CDs in return for the Phish shows, From The Gecko was one of them. He had seen them earlier that summer I think and raved about them. That CD was pretty killer for me back then, and for years after. I saw them probably 10 or 13 times over their career, 3 states, 3 provinces, all kinds of different venues. good times.

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  • 7 years later...

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