The Phish Book

The Phish Book

In these times of internet-readiness I’m not sure why anyone would spend money on a book of photographs. Especially of a band. It seems like you could download any photo you want for free. Photos are promotion, after all, much like how the music itself is evolving into promotion for concerts, an activity that was always more lucrative for the band than for oft-exploitative record companies.

Now a huge exception for this argument is that, if you love Phish the band and you have a coffee table that lacks a coffee table book, then you will probably love Phish the book.

Phish – love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t deny that they have made a huge impact on American music. And especially live music. The Phish Book documents their foray into massive popularity – 1996-1997, the years of their first major radio airplay - “Bouncing Round the Room” from A Live One - and their awe-inspiring 1997 summer tour which culminated in The Great Went, a three day music festival that included a giant nude photo and stellar musicianship.

The year The Phish Book came out was sometime around 2000. That summer I saw Phish’s three night run in Deer Creek, Indiana. The last night was a grand occasion in the history of this vastly experimental band. They reworked one of their signature songs, “Chalkdust Torture,” and frequently teased “Moby Dick” by Led Zeppelin. During the show singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio gave the band a tongue-in-cheek introduction, greatly pleasing those of us in the crowd who still felt a close connection to this now colossal, sensory-overload-inducing kick-ass rock band. “We are the Phish, buy the book, and see the movie.”

If you saw them during those years or wish you had, then you will delight in thumbing through the pages of The Phish Book.