Archive for May, 2004

A Letter From Page

Friday, May 28th, 2004

Dear friends,

As we wind down the Phish career, it is done with both great joy and great sadness. The joy comes from remembering the incredibly good times we’ve experienced, the successes we’ve enjoyed, and knowing that even in our closing we are honoring the band. The sadness is obviously driven by the fact that something I love will not be a part of my life anymore. To me, we have been the greatest band in the world and have had the greatest fans ever.

I still love the music we make but the situation feels different to me now. I guess in my heart I’ve known for a while that something had to change, but it wasn’t until this last weekend that my feelings really began to coalesce. I’m old enough now that I am able to look to the future without feeling that I need to balance it with my past. I find it ironic that half of my life has to go by before I am able to focus solely on the future. As a member of a successful rock band,
it seems that every aspect of my profession encourages me to extend my youth as long as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I like feeling young, but more importantly I need to be honest with myself.

The pressures and schedule of this work can take its toll personally as well as creatively. As someone who has recently been through a divorce, I know how traumatic change can be. But, I also know that if you are able to let go of things and embrace change there is the potential for incredible personal (and creative) growth.

If I sound unusually candid in this statement, I am able to do so because in my mind I’ve already moved on to the next phase of my life. This is a feeling I believe I share with Trey. I have a four-year-old daughter and there is nothing more important to me than being with her. Come August, I’m not going to have to tell her how many days ’til daddy comes back from tour. Combine that with my perception that the band’s vitality is not what it once was, and it’s easy to see how my mind quickly begins to move in one direction instead of a hundred directions all at the same time.

I will miss it incredibly, but I have no regrets. The pride that I feel for the band, our fans, the organization, and all of our collective accomplishments is overwhelming. I love you all and know that we wouldn’t be here without you.

Thanks again.


Page McConnell


Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

An Announcement from Trey:

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

National Homebrew Competition – Update

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004

Well, it’s confirmed – I didn’t win anything at National’s. That’s OK, I honestly didn’t think that I would. National level, best of the best to start out with, plus there were between 3,500-4,000 entries! Here are a few of the comments about the beers, just so you get an idea of what they were saying:

  • MacRae Scottish Export Ale – “Cabbage overwelms everything else.”
  • Dry Stout – “Roasted grains out of balance with sweetness.”
  • Licorice Stout – “Whole lotta licorice! licorice should be more balanced.”
  • Califonia Common – “A nice quaffable refreshing beer, but not a good example of a CA Common.”

So basically I paid good money to get my beers ripped, that’s OK, that’s what I enter for – constructive criticism. Plus, most of the people that do enter brew “to style”, I more brew to brew . . . whatever that means!?