Phish calls it quits

· Music

I’m not a huge Phish head but I really like some of their material and I love their whole approach to making live improvised rock ‘n’ roll together.
They also share some contemporaneous New Jersey-in-the-mid-’80s experiences with me in their origin stories (the Rhombus, the miniature guitars, the strange period in 1985 where the Dead head scene in Princeton was awash with acid).
Also, I represent The Mockingbird Foundation as their literary agent for their Phish Companion series with Backbeat Books.
We are shipping the second edition to the printer any day now, so this news of the band’s breakup caught us short. With touring bands there is always the temptation to hold off a little longer to add the next run of shows, especially if it’s about to be the finale (supposedly), but the truth is it probably makes more sense to come out on time and immediately start work on a retrospective third edition to come out in 2006 or so and be “Phish complete.”
It’s not my decision, of course. I’m just a consigliere on this deal, but I like all the people involved (and the band), so I care how it works out.
Here’s the text of the announcement:


Last Friday night, I got together with Mike, Page and Fish to talk openly about the strong feelings I’ve been having that Phish has run its course and that we should end it now while it’s still on a high note. Once we started talking, it quickly became apparent that the other guys’ feelings, while not all the same as mine, were similar in many ways – most importantly, that we all love and respect Phish and the Phish audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don’t want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act. By the end of the meeting, we realized that after almost twenty-one years together we were faced with the opportunity to graciously step away in unison, as a group, united in our friendship and our feelings of gratitude.

So Coventry will be the final Phish show. We are proud and thrilled that it will be in our home state of Vermont. We’re also excited for the June and August shows, our last tour together. For the sake of clarity, I should say that this is not like the hiatus, which was our last attempt to revitalize ourselves. We’re done. It’s been an amazing and incredible journey. We thank you all for the love and support that you’ve shown us.

–Trey Anastasio