KEVIN SHAPIRO INTERVIEW

All of us here at JamBase want to take a moment to thank Kevin Shapiro for his taking time over the last 2 months to engage the community and answer some questions that have been on people's minds. Kevin took a good deal of time out of his busy schedule to provide some truly thoughtful and insightful answers to the overwhelming amount of questions asked. Unfortunately, it's time for "Archivist & Attorney Shapiro" to get back to work. With Page hitting the road this Holiday season and with more Live Phish soon to be on the way; there is surely a good deal of work for our favorite Archivist to attend to.

We hope to have Kevin back for more in the future; until then, you can see what he had to say by reading the threads below.

Thanks again to Kevin and happy holidays to all!


Your Questions
Kevin's Answers
12/13/01
Farm Aid 98. Is that the only time you know of (excluding the lemonwheel sabotage and the Tweeter Center Tuesdays Gone) when two Languedoc guitars were onstage, being played simultaneously?
Lawrence Pinkham -LCPINK25@AOL.COM
There were the times you mentioned and at least one other off the top of my head. The Roxy Theater show on 2/19/93 had smoking twin-Languedoc versions of Funky Bitch, My Sweet One and Llama with Jimmy Herring playing Trey's extra guitar. The entire three-night run at The Roxy was amazing ground-breaking Phish. I heard the place is a dance club now. I won't try to compare anything to Neil's first appearance with Phish (at Farm Aid), but check out the Roxy shows.

Kevin, Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Being an accountant, I was wondering what your favorite aspect of the business side was? Thanks so much!!
Mike Sobolewski -colforbin96@yahoo.com
Mike: Your question was one of the most thought-provoking for me so it seems a natural way to wrap up. My experience working with Phish has been a natural reflection of the music and community that spawned my interest in the first place. I most enjoy working with creative, progressive individuals who are following their heart and spirit and sharing that journey with other active participants. It is the people who make up my microcosm of the industry and the fast pace that comes along with that sort of creativity that I enjoy the most. Thus far in my career, there is never a shortage of new ideas and the challenges in every area tend to push the technological and intellectual boundaries. There's a unique experience every day and much to learn from each experience. I consider myself lucky to have the chance to help in the process of creating and sharing improvisational music as I think it is among the purest methods of expression. Thanks again. Enjoy!

will you ever update the q and a from 11-19-01?
tj cain -tjcain74@msn.com
This is the perfect segue into what will be my last few answers for now. We are deep in the midst of work on LivePhish among other projects. As TJ noted, I haven't answered as consistently as I might have in a less busy time. I hope I'll get another chance to engage you all again at some point. I want to take this opportunity to thank Jambase for providing the forum and Phish for letting me take the time to do it. Thanks to you all for asking so many great questions and for putting up with a few self-indulgent answers. It's been great reading your thoughts and sharing mine. Thanks and best wishes for a peaceful, happy and healthy New Year. Enjoy!

11/19/01
Hey Kevin. Thanks for Live Phish; it is a dream come true. 1) You mentioned the flatbed truck jam from the Clifford Ball. Since no audience tapes of this exist, are there plans to release it under Live Phish or maybe as an mp3? 2) Trey mentioned in an interview that the next series of Live Phish releases would include shows from the '80s. Can you confirm or deny? =) Thanks for your time!
Jeff Picanso -Arblus@onebox.com
First, there is an audience recording of the flatbed truck jam from Clifford Ball out there somewhere. Someone taped it while riding a bicycle alongside the flatbed truck. I've heard the recording and it's pretty good - amazing given the conditions of riding a bike quickly surrounded by a growing mob of people running, mounted police, etc. The flatbed jam would be cool to release some way though it would not be considered (except maybe as filler) for Live Phish since it is not a complete live Phish concert. Second, I hope Live Phish Series #2 will include a show or shows from the 1980's. There are some excellent shows from the '80's under consideration and if Trey said that, it's likely to be the case. The band decides what's ultimately released in each series and they haven't made those decisions yet so it would be impossible for me to confirm or deny Trey's statement at this stage.

Hey Kevin- What was the setlist for 11/04/1991 @ Rhythm Room, Dallas, TX? No, seriously, did Phish keep an accurate setlist for all of their gigs back before it was common practice for fans to write them down at shows?...And if so, will a complete and accurate collection ever be published? -Thanks, Jeff Irish ps- do you have the setlist for the show above? :)
Jeffrey Irish -jeff.irish@att.net
We don't have a setlist for that show. The band did not keep setlists for their gigs, even after it became common for fans to do so. Paul wrote setlists on all the tapes he made but we unfortunately have no tape of that show either. After Brad Sands started working for Phish full-time in late 1991/early 1992, he began to jot the lists in books he gave the band members as gifts at the end of each tour. Unfortunately, Brad started that practice after the show you're asking about. If we were able to someday get a tape of every show (which is unlikely if not impossible), a complete and accurate collection of setlists could be published. In the meantime, I keep a database for our archives and keep it up to date with accurate lists for all the shows. I update it whenever I review a show for any reason. Generally if I don't have a verified tape to base a list on, I won't adopt it but if you were at a show you know there's no published list for and know what the band played (because you taped it, wrote it down, etc.), please let the Mockingbird people know. I shared the setlist information in our database with The Mockingbird Foundation so they could publish The Phish Companion. That is by far the most accurate setlist publication thus far and incorporates the work that was begun ten or more years ago by Shelly Culbertson, Matt Lawrence, and countless others in the "phish.net" community (most of whom are rightfully listed in the book's exhaustive credits). The information-sharing process is not perfect but is the best we could do given the scope of the project. I should mention that of the band members, at least Mike has looked the book over carefully and has been involved in the correction process. Mockingbird and I intend to continue to compare notes and the resulting data will improve in quantity and accuracy. I'm confident a more complete and more accurate collection of lists will eventually be published. Like most things related to Phish, the setlist project is a community effort and with the sort of effort I know this group is capable of, we'll eventually know more than we do today. All that said, we'll never know everything. Losing some if it is part of the nature of the live music experience, archival science and life. The process of archiving information was explained to me by a musical archivist I respect very much. It's like being at the back of a plane with no tail end. The plane is full of valuable cargo and takes off without warning. You have to grab whatever you can and do what you can to make sure the things you grab are the most important or at least those falling fastest. Whatever you can't grab becomes memories. The remainder becomes history.

11/16/01
are there any plans to release video footage from any of the festivals? i assume you guys recorded all the footage that was projected on the giant video screens... thanks
Greg Farrell -g_farrell99@yahoo.com
We recorded all the feeds to the screens at the various festivals. There are no specific plans to release any of that material but I hope we someday will. I am pushing for Big Cypress first though I have no idea when we'll get to it.

Kevin, Thanks for taking the time to do this. Do you do the recording or archiving for any of the bands side projects, i.e. Pork Tornado, TAB, Oysterhead, etc? Also, are there any talks about releasing any video's of full length concerts?
Eric Olson -weekapaugy@yahoo.com
Yes. I archive materials for all the band members' side projects. I generally don't act as a recordist for any of those projects, though at some times, I still step up to the plate if they're playing and nobody else is recording the performance.

Kevin, First a big thanks for doing the interview! I have been listening to alot of Phish over the years and find the fall 97 is one of my favorite periods of Phish history. I really think this is when the band might have peaked musically. What are your feelings or what is your favorite time in Phish history? Also does anyone outside the band have access to the vault for personal use? Chris
Fogel C -FogelFactor@aol.com
Fall 1997 is one of many musical peaks for the band. Each era has its own appeal to me and some appeal more than others but that's because of my experiences. I've found that many people think the time they first came in contact with Phish (or any band really) is the most creative. It's the first-love, best-love factor. For me, that is not the case with Phish. I first saw Phish in 1991 but my favorite era for personal listening (if I have to choose just one) is 1994. That said, my favorite shows are not all clustered around that year. Nobody outside the band has access to the vault for personal use.

First of all, Kevin, a hearty Mazel Tov on your recent wedding! No more Backstage Betties for you! Okay, on to the question: I'm curious to know whether you're capable of distinguishing on the spot between a show that is "merely fun" -- shows that are singular experiences but won't necessarily hold up on tape -- and the shows that will go down as epic jamfests and stay in your CD changer for months? Oh, and a follow-up to that: what jam surprised you most in the Live Phish bunch, and which if any didn't live up to your recollections? All the best.
Chris Bertolet -bertolet@earthlink.net
Thank you Chris. And Mazel Tov to you on the recent addition to your family. I am not generally capable of distinguishing at a show whether it will hold up on tape. Sometimes I am able to tell a show or run of shows is for the ages but not consistently enough to count on. Clifford Ball, 10/31/96 or Big Cypress are good examples of shows that I knew were epic as they happened and would be the sort of things that would stay in the CD changer for months. How my day went, who I was with, the natural beauty of the place, and countless other variables have a lot to do with how I view a show as it happens and how I remember it. Careful review of the tapes is the only way I can be sure how good the music really was. The jam out of Twist from Fukuoka probably surprised me most as I didn't attend the show and though I'd listened in passing to the tapes, I didn't fully discover the jam in its full glory until partway into the release process. The only shows from Series #1 I attended were 7/16/94 and 11/27/98. To be honest, all the jams from both those shows lived up to my recollections but I can't fully distinguish the concert memories from memories of the tapes because I had listened to both shows a bunch since they'd happened. I hope that answers your question. Enjoy!

Kevin -- Thanks for taking the time to do this. My question is how often do the members of the band come to you for shows? Do they often listen to entire shows or is it more specific moments maybe burned on a "mix"-type CD?
Luke Sacks -Cardsls@aol.com
That depends on what is underway at the time. Their requests run the gamut from full tours of shows to various sequences of studio material and even CD's of loops or effects to use on the road. Trey has listened to parts of Phish tours and more recently, his solo tours. He does more listening to live stuff when he thinks it might be of use for making an album, either live or studio. There are a few series of live compilations Trey and Mike have had me compile over the years for whatever reason but the general rule is that the requests come project-by-project. We start more projects than ever come to fruition but I never know when we might revisit something so I try to keep everything we put together for the band. At one point, Fish had me listen to soundchecks to compile every Dog Log ever played for the so-called "Dog Log" album the band has talked about. Page used to listen to a lot of Phish shows, but since I've worked for the band he hasn't requested much. Mike recently requested some of his favorite shows but I think that was mostly in response to the Live Phish series. The band members request a huge variety of material that isn't live shows. For example, Page has been working with me a lot on his recent studio project and Trey on his band's studio project. Mike calls on the archives for video relating to his film work as often as he does any audio of Phish or his solo work. I also work directly with the project's various producers and my co-workers to provide material they need for whatever reason. It's as wide a variety of requests as you could imagine for as many reasons.

11/14/01
Do you or Phish have any plans to formally release "cleaned-up" shows that were recorded FOB? I find that the 2-track soundboards that don't mix in any matrix audience feel lack a bit of the true live experience. Rather, they seem to be very "dry" (lacking the room's feel) and sound perhaps like it sounds through a set of headphones on the Board. For instance some of the FOB stuff from Lemonwheel that's been widely circulated I believe sound better than ANY soundboard. Thanks Kevin, and Congratulations! T.A. from SF
Taka Andrews -taka2001@earthlink.net
Thanks Taka! I don't know of any plans to release audience recordings though the question has come up within the context of Live Phish when there is a really stellar show that exists only as an audience recording. I agree with you that audience recordings do a better job in many cases of preserving the "feel" of a show than soundboards. I hope we will someday experiment with mixing high-quality audience recordings with our existing reference tapes. Digital editing makes that increasingly easy (easier than a full mixdown for sure) and the payoff would be great as it would effectively turn the two old sources into a new and improved mix.

Kevin - Hey there. I was hoping that you could shed a little light on how the process for picking live Phish works. Does the band consider "fan favorites" like those listed in the Pharmer's Almanac? Or is it more of an internal dialogue? Is there any one band member who is more adamant about what gets heard? I would think that Trey is the most critical, but then again I hear Mike is an admitted passive aggressive type. How does the process work, are there any governing rules?
Sara Sevener -tela329@hotmail.com
The band does consider fan favorites, though not necessarily those listed in any particular publication. The process is almost completely internal and begins on paper with me brainstroming a number of suggestions to submit to the band. Our Manager, John, and I then discuss my suggestions and alternatives. To generate what I hope is a good list of suggestions, we incorporate myriad sources of information including what we've personally seen and heard as well as data from select friends, family, crew and co-workers. By definition, that includes a good deal of fan input as many of our family and friends are pretty avid (and vocal) Phish fans. I am always listening to suggestions of great live Phish and take notes based on input submitted directly to me and ideas that I hear about online or elsewhere. I also consider any particular requests for shows the band has made. For example, the band made a pretty broad list of requests for Live Phish Series #1. Thus far, the number of particular shows requested by the band is quite a bit smaller in comparison. From that combined list of possibilities and requests, we narrow the choices, considering what we think people will enjoy, what we think the band will approve and what ground we've already covered (this step will become more relevant as we release more and more material). The final steps of the process deal with listening to and approving the music. That is done by transfering the show from its initial source (usually DAT or cassette) to CDR for for uniform listening. If a band member has requested to hear something, they and I review it and we'll discuss to the degree they want to. If they still like a selection after their initial review, it goes to the other band members for their approval. If the show came from my list of suggestions rather than directly from the band, I review it carefully before passing it to John to get his impression. If I don't think it's good enough, I try to save him the trouble of listening. If he wants to hear something I haven't suggested, we discuss that and figure out whether to move it up in the listening order or not. If a choice makes it past my ears and John's and we still agree it qualifies, then it gets submitted to the band for their approval. No one band member is necessarily most critical in this process because their individual levels of involvement vary as we move forward. Their roles depend on how much time they have to brainstorm and review, what other projects they are busy with and whether a particular suggestion really moves them one way or the other. The band members' input also changes based on discussions they have among themselves and with others. The only governing rules that I am aware of (other than considering only complete Phish concerts) are that the releases should be really amazing examples of the live Phish experience and that the band makes the final decision to either approve or disapprove a show at any stage of the process.

Two goofy little questions that I've been wondering about for years: What's the deal with the high pitch Golgi chorus sung during the fade-out on "A Live One" disc 2? Who is the mystery man on the phone during the "Meatstick" from the Ghost Outtakes? we all appreciate you taking the time for this Kevin!
nate leskovic -arkansasmule@yahoo.com
I can answer at least one definitively. The "mystery man" on the phone during The Meatstick from The Story of The Ghost outtakes is Phish's Manager, John Paluska.

Kevin- Do you have a favorite show of all time? This could be answered in two ways...is there a show that you explicitly remember or is there one that you listen to frequently for one reason or another?
Micah Kagan -mkagan@gwu.edu
This is a good question. I mentioned my favorite tapes in a previous answer but my favorite show in my memory is not on the list. The show I remember most explicitly is probably 12/31/91 at the New Aud in Worcester. I recall the drive from Michigan, the cold outside the venue, the music, the unveiling of the new Minkin backdrop and the balls bouncing from the balcony. If I had to list the best reason for that strong a memory, it would be the wonderful people we took to the show and those we met there (many of whom are still counted among our closest friends). The music from that night still amazes me when I hear recordings, but the memories from the show itself are as powerful as any I have from any musical event ever. Other shows or runs of shows that have had similar impact on my memory are 4/16-4/21/92 up the coast of California, 7/16/92 Trax, 2/19-2/21/93 Roxy, 8/13/93 Murat Theatre, 7/13/94 Big Birch and 7/30-8/1/99 Fuji Rock Festival.

Dear Kevin, Since you have the awesome privilage of being Phish's archivist,I must take this opportunity to humbly ask one simple question. For the sake of the sanity of myself and generations of Phish-heads to come, would you PLLEEEAASE consider releasing the 7-31-97 Shoreline show. Never before has my soul been so genuinely touched. Your favorable consideration regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. --Scott
Scott Henley -phiend24@yahoo.com
These are the easy questions...gladly, yes.

Kevin, I myself have become a huge phish collector and have fallen deep in love with collecting shows. My favirote shows are 10-29-94,clifford ball and the first gamehendge (88). I was wondering if you could tell me your most favirote collected phish shows. This would be a definite addition to my collection. Thanks. Greg - A Devoted phish phan phor ph-life!!!
Greg Adelberg -shakedown2475@aol.com
There are so many favorites. The top five tapes in my collection off the top of my head are: 6/18/94 Chicago, 10/31/96 Atlanta, 12/31/95 New York, 8/16/96 Clifford Ball and 3/20/92 Binghamton.

Hey Kevin, I've got a slew of questions for you. First off, where did you grow up, go to school, and how did this lead you in life to be the archivist/attorney for phish? Also, do you ever have time to listen to anything other than phish, and if so, what do you listen to lately? And last, name five jams we should all go listen to right now? Thanks, Yale
Yale Chasin -YayoRC@aol.com
I've answered the first part of this re: education already so I'll fill in the blanks. I grew up in Port Huron, Michigan and a love of music, history, great people and the law led me to be in the right place and time to be hired by Phish. I spend a lot of time checking out live music, including but not limited to Phish and their various side projects. For many years I have attended music festivals (mostly jazz and blues) and volunteer my time to record local improvisational music whenever possible including archiving the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival each year. In the jazz world, I love the music of James Carter (a saxophone player about my age originally from Detroit), Lester Bowie, Sun Ra, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Ornette Coleman and John Zorn. The "creative art" side of jazz appeals greatly to me and I rarely encounter something too far out for me to enjoy. As a drummer, I follow the careers of Joey Barron, Dennis Chambers and Bob Moses among others. I listen to a great deal of reggae and ska music as well, especially Bob Marley (possibly the most poignant musical prophet of all time), Black Uhuru and Peter Tosh. I've attended the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival the past few years and have always enjoyed The Meters, George Porter, Jr., Dirty Dozen and Rebirth Brass Bands as well as Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Professor Longhair. I also listen to a lot of good old fashioned rock and roll, like Zeppelin, Clapton's various projects, Traffic, Neil Young and CSN(Y). Progressive rock like Rush, Yes and even Styx also appeals to me and played a huge role in my life. Also high on my listening list are Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and Metallica though I never went the grunge or hair-band routes. Psychedelic music like Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna also shaped my musical tastes as did "jam bands" like Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Shockra, Fat Mama and Medeski Martin and Wood (yes I know a lot of those are top-level jazz musicians but for lack of a better description...). All that stuff and more joins Phish in steady rotation in my car tape deck and home CD player. My live experience is no less diverse. In the past month or so, I have seen Bob Moses with Amina Claudine Myers, Dr. Didj, The Itals, The Meditations, The New Deal, Deep Soda, Shadraq, the Screaming Headless Torsos, Soullive, Kalaparusha and The Light, DJ Greyboy, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and others. Burlington attracts an astonishing lineup of great acts in all genres of music and I try to take advantage of that. I assume when asking about five jams you should listen to, you're asking about Phish. Narrowing it to five is tougher than anything else. Check out: 12/31/91 Tweezer > McGrupp, 8/13/93 Bathtub Gin > YaMar, 5/16/95 Reba, 7/31/99 2001 > Bowie and 11/12/94 Disease > Have Mercy > Disease. I've avoided a couple of obvious ones that I think will get touched on elsewhere in the interview but you'd do fine with the above on a desert island...

Dear Kevin, Where did you find the time to get through law school succesfully while at the same time taping and archiving all those Phish shows? That's pretty impressive! C. Klob
Chris Klob -klob1@aol.com
Thanks. I've been called a master of the temporal plane. In many ways I live outside the normal bounds of linear (or circular) time. The Law School years were a prime example of that life trend.

Hi Kevin, 2 questions: 1)Did you ever get a chance to meet/swap stories with Dick Latvala while he was alive and working? If so, do you think you guys operate(d) differently at all as archivists? 2) I think pretty much everybody here agrees and/or thinks that you and he have/had the best jobs one could imagine, but I'm wondering if the duties of your job as archivist ever get in the way of just enjoying the tunes...In other words, with as much critical listening to Phish shows as I'm sure you do, do you ever feel like you need some "time off" as far as listening goes to still be able to groove to them when you return? Thanks for all your efforts and responses--got to be one of the coolest interviews I've seen online in a long time!
seth keele -skeele@homf.com
I am lucky enough to have gotten to know Dick during his lifetime. Our relationship and its timing had a profound impact on me. The best way for me to describe it is that we understood each other and had a great mutual respect for the task at hand. We met a few times between when we first spoke on the phone in early 1996 and when he passed in Summer of 1999. I toured the Grateful Dead vault with him, hung at his house a few times and we stayed in touch by phone, email and letters. Dick was a great letter writer and I always admired that since I try to be as well. I think the art of letter writing is something that is being lost in the electronic age and will effect our ability to piece together history so I was impressed when I first received his neatly hand-written notes. I definitely operate differently as an archivist than Dick did. For one thing, Dick's title was Tape Archivist while mine is Archivist. In that sense, he dealt with much less variety of objects than I do and he was able to spend a lot more time listening to the Dead's tapes than I am Phish's. There are just too many other things that I deal with to study the music as in-depth as he did the Dead's. I literally have to set aside time for critical listening, which I've been enjoying more of lately given the Live Phish project. I did not know Dick when the Dead were touring so I can't compare our routines in that sense. By the time we met, he was pretty much exclusively dealing with the Dick's Picks series so it is hard for me to guess what his world was like when the GD was touring. I also have two distinct roles with Phish. My other title is In-House Counsel and because of that I have lot of duties that don't relate directly to our archives as well. In contrast, Dick was able to devote himself to a single task within his organization, at least by the time we met. He and I talked often about how well-suited our careers are for our personalities. I still feel that way, though it is fair to say that the duties of my job can "get in the way of just enjoying the tunes". To the degree it is necessary, I sometimes go days of work without any devoted listening to Phish. That has been less the case now that the archives are actively providing material for release but there is a lot more to my position than just chilling and listening. I do take "time off" from listening to Phish in my free time and go check out or listen to a wide variety of other music. Sometimes I'll avoid listening to music at all. On a recent trip to Hawaii, I spent some very peaceful time just hearing the surf pound the shore, which is something I would like to do as much as possible because of how it makes me feel. I don't think I need that time in order to continue enjoying Phish as much as it's just nice to have some time off that's totally unrelated to my day-to-day. I am always able to enjoy Phish's music, regardless of how often or how much I'm listening to it. There have been times with a specific project (like an album) that particular pieces of music might get sort of monotonous. So far that feeling passes soon after the project is off my desk and I can honestly say I still enjoy everything I've worked on. I hope that's always the case. I try not to reach saturation on any one part of my job just like anyone else would. I do love my work more than many people I know and that has its ups and downs, mostly ups. Thanks for your thanks. I'm enjoying the interview a lot.

11/12/01
hi kevin; i'd like to know how phish was able to make the sounds of clocks during their performance of pink floyd's time since the decision to cover that album (dark side of the moon) is said to be last minute? thanx
rafi khazaei -phathead36@hotmail.com
The decision was last minute (that afternoon as far as I know). I believe they either had the CD with them or had somebody run out and get it. Then Paul mixed it into the P.A. mix at the appropriate time.

Hey Kevin. Got any advice for law students who want to land a sweet gig like yours?
Marc Ellenbogen -ellenboges@hotmail.com
Yes. Study hard but don't get too wrapped up in the law school quagmire. Keep your mind open to all the possibilities you'll eventually intersect with the right one. Good luck.

Hello Kevin. Way off subjet here but when you were at MSU did you live in McDonell hall? 4th floor with Darren? If so then hello and congrats on your position with one of the greatest organizations around. I lived next door for a short will and then down the hall after you moved in with Darren. I've talked to Darren a few times over the past few years but haven't had contact in a year or so. But WOW!!! What an awesome suprise to see your name here. Keep up the good work. The first series of Live Phish is incredible. If you're ever back in MI look me up. Joe Nowak jnowak@aiserv.net
Joe Nowak -jnowak@aiserv.net
What a blast from the past...My first dorm assignment at MSU was 4th floor McDonell Hall. I first lived in a suite with three nice enough guys, one of whom was so incredibly intolerant that he basically ran me out of my suite during my first semester there. He didn't understand my love for music, the hours I kept or the way my friends looked/smelled - so he demanded I move. More about that in a second. Luckily, Darren lived down the hall. He and I met and he was short a roommate so we hooked up and got along great and lived together for a couple years. He turned me on to punk rock (especially the Dead Kennedys) and I took him to his first Grateful Dead show, and at least one more after that. We were both pretty unique and couldn't have been more different from each other, yet got along really well and learned a lot from each other. I've been trying to locate Darren for years. If you speak with him, please have him contact me via: our website and send along my Love. In a classic twist, my original suitemate who kicked me out (let's call him Mr. Intolerant to protect his identity) showed up at a show I was playing in his city with my band about five or six years later and was all excited to see me. I guess by then he had: a) grown up a lot, b) determined that it was cool to like the Dead or thought at least he could find some hot chicks checking out the local cover band, and/or c) forgot he threw me out of my first room assignment at MSU for no good reason. It is also possible that the remainder of college taught him tolerance and the value of diversity. I hope for the last possibility. Regardless, It's great to hear from you and I hope things are going great in Michigan. Enjoy!

Hi Kev. Great interview. My questions is: will the live Phish series ever include any non-Phish (but Phish-related) shows? Two I can think of are the Bad Hat show from early 95 (January?) and/or any of the Trey Band summer 2001 shows (which blow my mind)? Even the Phil/Friends shows with Page/Trey from 99 seem like they would make nice releases. Ok - I'll keep going - the parking lot jam from fall 94? One more thing - its rare that the 06/25/1994 show is ever mentioned in Phish circles (you referenced it as your last of that tour). It was my first Phish show ever and the one that made me re-think how I listen to music in general. How 'bout getting some friends together to hold the band down until they agree to release that one? :-) Thanks!
Phil Byers -prbyers@yahoo.com
As far as I know, the Live Phish series will feature only Phish music. That is for the best, as there are more than enough great performances by Phish to keep even a vigorous program like twelve-shows-per-year going for a long time. I hope someday unedited live performances of some of the "Phish-related" projects will also be considered for release. I agree with Dick Latvala that the Phil and Friends 4/99 Warfield run was absolutely transcendent and would be thrilled if it was ever released. I like the parking lot jam from after the 11/19/94 Bloomington show, but think that impromptu jamming outside the bus is pretty rough listening compared to so much of the band members' other solo and guest projects.

Hey Kevin, I can think of so many questions to ask you. Do you think the band will ever release another live cd with songs from various shows such as "A Live One"? Generally I think most people prefer complete shows, but I'm worried that gems such as the 10-24-95 Antelope won't get released. Have you heard that version? Also what ever happened with releasing 11-17-97? The band seemed so hyped on that incredible show. Thanks for everthing. Peace Mike Hagerud
Michael Hagerud -camper88@hotmail.com
I hope there is something like "A Live Two" someday. There are a lot of great moments that don't necessarily come out of shows that would otherwise be released and it is cool to check out a well-edited fantasy set like A Live One (in a very different way than the thrill of listening to full shows). 11/17/97 Denver still receives attention from everyone involved in the live release process. I loved the show at the time (it is my wife's birthday and the only time she and I ever watched Phish from reserved front-row seats) and I still enjoy listening to it, especially the ground-breaking madness of Ghost, Johnny B. Goode and Jesus Left Chicago. Just after it happened, the band was excited to make it a live record (though not necessarily the whole show) and worked on some possible sequences. In my opinion, Fall 1997 is a tough period to examine and decide upon because there are so many great high-energy, exploratory shows from that time.

Kevin, I have been given the great pleasure of managing the "archives" of a local band i work for. They've only been around for about 3 years, and have recorded a great many of those shows. We obviously don't have the resources to build a physical archive building, or rent space, so i'm wondering where and how would be the best way to keep the recordings (CD, DAT, cassette). Thanks for your time, keep up the good work.
Jonathan Thrush -jon_yem@yahoo.com
The most secluded and secure space available with the most consistently cool, dry (but not so dry that static develops) and dark environment will be best. Make safeties for listening that you can keep in an alternate location if possible. Finally, keep everything in the strongest and least breakable case you can find, with tapes wound "tails-out" all the way to the end. Good luck.

Hello Kevin- When responding to a previous question, you mentioned that you archive a wide variety of music relating to Phish. Just curious as to if you've got a copy of the El Buho show from Tulsa that featured Mike dropping bombs and blowing a fuse all in the same night. Also, how many bag pipe players have shared the stage with Phish? Brent Olson
brent olson -bm_olson@hotmail.com
We have not received a copy of the El Buho shows from Tulsa or the shows he played with Mike last week in Austin but I would like to. El Buho is a super-talented player and a great guy and his musical sense gels well with the members of Phish, especially Mike. As far as I know, there have only been two bag pipe players to play with Phish, Fish (not exactly sharing the stage but with bagpipes nonetheless) and a guy whose name escapes me who sat in during Amazing Grace on 10/20/95 in Cedar Rapids.

I'm interested in your thoughts on a question I read posed to Trey regarding whether musicians create music from essentially nothing, or whether the musician is more of a vehicle that the music passes through and changes...the music is already there, but now it's different. I think trey leaned more towards the latter answer. Thanks!
Jimmy Friedlander -jfriedla@go.com
I think we are all vessels and that much of what we create flows from a greater whole - one common source of creative Energy. I guess I'd call it collective unconcious or "the cosmic soup". A musician, like any person creating anything, does so through the filter of their training, personality, experiences and inspiration. All those variables are also effected by the time, place and culture they live in. The person-as-a-vessel concept accounts for so much of the similarity among music while also explaining its infinite diversity.

Hi Kevin.. Thanks for doing this! 1)Have you personally heard every show in the Phish archive and how many people assist you in the archiving process? Got room for one more? Thanks Kevin~
Chris Cooper -Caspean12@Yahoo.com
I have not heard every show in the archive. The number of shows in the archive changes as we fill in the blanks but I try to always be listening to something new, along with old favorites. I am thankfully assisted by two people, an assistant and an intern. I couldn't keep up with the current pace of projects without them.

what do you think about SHADRAQ???
mathew lazarus -mlazaru@yahoo.com
Shadraq rocks. They're no Encordium, but I always have a good time at their shows and they're friends. Great guys, great band. They really should cover some Styx though (hello Chris: Grand Illusion!)

Dear Kev, Has Trey found an ideal oufit for musical creativity and exploration while onstage? Allow me to explain my question! Since the Orpheum show on the winter Trey tour, every time I've seen him live he has had the same outfit on, blue jeans and a black long sleeve shirt. My last phish show was the second night at the tweeker center in 2000, and i don't have any recollection of trey's outfit that night but definitely since the Orpheum show every time i've seen him it's been the same and the three oysterhead shows i have seen have cemented my theory! What happened to the cool funky t-shirts he used to wear? (i.e. Pepe Lepeau,Island Tour '98) I don't make a point of documenting musicians clothes when I see a show but this searing social issue has definitely entered my conciosness since the Orpheum show. Thank you for even entertaining such a long and stupid question! -phil-
Phil Mahnken -pmahnken36@hotmail.com
I think his outfit (at least his shirt) on New Year's Eve at Big Cypress was ideal for musical creativity and exploration. The Marvin The Martian t-shirt pushed him to new levels as well...

Hey Kevin. I was just wondering what your thoughts are on the current slew of "jambands" and their rising popularity. Also, are their any "jamband trends you feel especially strongly about, eith positively or negatively, such as the techno, funk influences etc. By the way, thanks for doing this whole q/a thing in the first place. peace, kris
kris mitchell -hookakat1@aol.com
I think the term "jamband" is a little misleading. As long as there have been bands that played outside the written composition of their songs there have been jam bands. I really like some of the so-called "jambands" and others do nothing for me. Regardless, the trend seems to be allowing lots of good people to come together to celebrate life, the spirit inherent in music and each other. It's also led to a lot of cross-pollenation among some of the finest bands (ie: some of the linked sets that took place at the earliest HORDE festivals). If those are the results of the current trend, I think it's great.

Kevin Although I might not have listened to as many tapes as some, the greatest shows I have ever listened to came out of the middle of the Island tour- 4/2-4/3/98. It seems they were super possesed and energetic on this tour. Both shows are funky, exploratory, and rock. From Mike->Weekapaug opener on the 2nd to the Harry Hood closer on the 3rd and the some of the best versions ever of Roses are Free, Antelope, Brother, Ghost, Lizards in between this seems like a must for releasing on the Live Phish series. Do you know if their has been any discussion to release either or both of these shows?
Paul Rome -pr369@nyu.edu
I enjoyed the Island Tour a lot and view it in many ways as the pinnacle of the more funk-influenced style of jamming the band developed in the late 1990's. Without getting too specific, there has been discussion about releasing one or more of the Island shows.

Sorry I forgot another question I wanted to ask. When filling in blank space on the live releases, why doesn't the band use material from other shows as "Philler" like traders do? I think that would be cool as hell to get a couple of great versions of other songs added onto the end of a short disc.
Ryan Richards -weekapaug_groove@email.com
I think I addressed this earlier in the interview when discussing soundchecks to fill extra space on short discs. I hope the band will decide to fill extra space on the future Live Phish releases with "filler" consisting of particularly great moments from surrounding shows. The idea is being discussed so we'll see how it goes for Series #2

11/9/01
Kevin - Hey there. I am curious as to when and how you got your job with Phish? What were the circumstances that lead to your working for the band? Were you simply the long time fan / taper in the right place at the right time?
Michael Cirrito -cirrito@jambase.com
This question is the same as Alex Brough’s and wraps in a lot of other questions I've been asked in this interview so I’ll answer them all together. Forgive me if I ramble here... There are a lot of things I do for Phish that have little to do with being a fan or taper and neither fully prepared me for the experience of working for them, but I was in the right place at the right time. The circumstances were that I was living in Michigan attending MSU. I played drums during college in what would now be called a “jam band”. We gigged around the region, playing mostly covers and a few originals so I got a bit of a feel for the music business on that level. I was taping our shows and other live music and trading tapes of all kinds of music. Around 1990 some friends turned me on to a Phish tape or two. About that same time Brent passed away and I pretty much stopped seeing the Dead but continued to see and record lots of other concerts. I didn’t see Phish until September 1991 – 9/29/91 at the Agora Ballroom. I was instantly hooked. I taped my first show and got to know other tapers, the band and some of the crew through taping and seeing Phish. Mutual friendships developed. I used to run Brad’s tape deck for him as his responsibilities on the road grew and he visited us once or twice when Dead tour brought him through town. I played music throughout college. I started law school in 1992 because I always wanted to do something with music and law and wasn’t sure how else to go about it. While in law school, I ended up involved with civil rights law through a couple of clerkships and eventually became too busy to keep gigging. Through those years (1992-1994), Phish’s playing became more and more exciting with each tour, so I made a point to see more of them. I finished law school and took the Michigan Bar exam in summer 1995. I went on Phish tour that fall to avoid pacing near the mailbox for results. if I passed, I wanted to celebrate with Phish. if I failed I figured I’d be studying again so I might as well catch some shows while I could. After one of the Fox Theatre shows in 1995, we were at a party at a local restaurant and the band’s Manager, John asked me if I minded corresponding with a new archivist they were planning to hire. I said I would be glad to help in any way but half-jokingly asked why they hadn’t offered the position to me. We laughed it off and talked a bit about my plans but I figured that was that. I stayed on the road for another week to see the Florida shows, got the news I passed the Bar and returned home to begin my law practice. I returned home to a message from Shelly requesting that I forward them a resume’ so I did. Dionysian had recently moved from Massachusetts to Vermont and finally had the space to set up the sort of archive John envisioned pretty early on in the band’s career (he taped a few shows himself through the years). When John and the band realized I was willing to pursue a legal career in-house and was excited to develop their archives, our discussion got more serious. We had meetings during the holiday 1995 tour to figure out the details. I started research on how to put together the archive while still in Michigan and moved to Vermont to start work in early February, 1996. I later was admitted to the Vermont Bar and it's been pretty smooth sailing since, albeit busier than I ever imagined.

Hey Kevin, what's the status of Phish's video archives? Is there any high quality video footage that might be suitable for a future DVD concert release? Does Phish own any of the rights to the videos shown on the big screens at some summer shows? What about the Big Cypress video footage?
Brian Altman -phinegrey@aol.com
We have a fair amount of video in the archives, mostly from the past six or seven years. The quality varies a lot but some is usable. Most of the footage we have is either hand-shot or pre-cut by directors at amphitheaters but some is pro-shot with iso-cams. In particular, we have excellent digital Betacam footage of almost all of Big Cypress that I hope will become our first DVD concert release sooner than later. The band generally owns the rights to videos shown on the screens. Venues also have rights in their names and images so we would need to work with a venue if we wanted to release footage shot there.

Kevin- I was wondering if anyone ever recorded the private show when Jim Carrey came up on stage? I know that myself and every phish fan would love to hear it.
Mike McCarthy -Bmac26@aol.com
Yes, Paul recorded the party. The tapes aren't stellar. It's a straight stereo audience DAT from mics that were draped over the rafters.

Hi Kevin, I was wondering if you have the DATs (or any other media) from the string of Telluride shows from July/August 1988 or is the rumor that they were stolen back in the day true. If you do have them that would make a nice Liive Phish release. Thanks John
John Damas -jrdamas@fortlewis.edu
We have master cassettes of the July/August, 1988 Colorado shows. Thanks to Mike L., who mastered them, kept them safe all these years and handed them over to the archives. As far as I know none of the Colorado '88 masters (at least none of his) were stolen and we have as complete a set of recordings as exists of those landmark shows.

Hi Kevin. Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. I have noticed over the years that the Wilson on A Live One, which is generally assumed to be from the 12/30/94 show has a completely different guitar solo from my tapes of the complete 12/30/94 show. Are my ears deceiving me or is there a discrepancy here? And if the MSG show is not the source, where did that Wilson come from? Thanks!
Scott Kushner -skushner@wesleyan.edu
I believe you are correct that the source of Wilson from A Live One is 12/30/94 Madison Square Garden. A Live One is a fully-produced live album, designed to flow like a real show (hence the joke in the insert booklet "Recorded live, Clifford Ball, 1994"). Unlike some of the newer live releases, ALO was entirely remixed from digital multi-track and then pieced back together. Though I would have to look up studio logs and track sheets for details of any specific song, the album definitely contains some overdubs and edits. I would guess that explains the difference you are hearing in the guitar solo.

kevin: first, thanks for doing this. fifth, (and may be you dont know this) do venue employees and their security know whats going on at shows? do they address special concerns/ questions with you? can you give us a odd tidbit some some occurence with these people? thanks
Alan Maschek -a_maschek@yahoo.com
Hopefully they have no idea what is going on. When The Man figures out the scene, the jig is up.

First, why do they call you Walt? Secondly, would the archives be interested in an invite(with phish logo} to a birthday party for me and Kristy Anastasio with special guest, Phish? I do recall 2 sets, but the rest of the night is a blur and no tapes exists. Thanks for your time and see you soon. -Stephen Walt Thomas
stephen thomas -tebo17@aol.com
They call me Walt because for at least five years, I referred to this crazy old-school friend of Trey's incorrectly as "Walt". We were probably introduced a dozen times during that time but somehow the only name I ever recalled was Walt. The dude's name turns out to be something totally unrelated to that. The joke grew on me and I figure if I can't laugh at myself, what good am I. Hence, I will always answer to Walt. A Phish logo invitation to a birthday party where the band played for a friend and Trey's sister would be an excellent addition to the archives. A party with no tapes and a blurry recollection? I'm shocked! Thanks. See you soon.

The last few live Phish releases (Hampton Comes Alive and Phishlive 01-06) are sourced from Paul's two-track masters. I know mixing 40 track recordings is a real bitch, but will we start seeing some releases from multitrack masters? Recording in multitrack is expensive, requires lots of vault space which you have said is at a premium, and is not practical for casual listening of the shows by the band. Why record the shows in multitrack if you are not going to use them for official releases?
Ryan Boone -ryan_boone@hotmail.com
I think I’ve mostly answered most of your question but you asked "why bother?" and that’s slight twist on the other question I answered earlier today about the Live Phish mixes. Recording the shows multi-track allows for mixing if the band so desires. I think there will be more fully mixed live albums from Phish but the nature of the current release program doesn’t lend itself to remixing for reasons I already mentioned.

When are you going to play with Doctor Jones again? That show rocked.
Steven Drebber -drebbers@adelphia.net
I love playing GD covers (especially tunes like Cassidy or Dark Star) so we’ll do it again as soon as possible. Thanks again to Doctor Jones for having me. I heard you were opening up for The Rad’s. Good luck.

Kevin, I would like to start by saying I appreciate what you are doing by archiving Phish's music. I think it is the very heart and soul of the live music scene. The idea of capturing the energy of the music is a genius idea, and is a big part of people's lives. I would love to be in your shoes man!!!! Access to all that music! I would never leave the archives! I'd be set for life. Seriously. Anyway, back to the interview... 1)What are your thoughts and feelings about Phish's current extended hiatus? Does the break allow you to take time to listen to the archives? and decide for ideas for phuture releases? 2)Are you archiving Trey's new band (TBA,not Oysterhead) 3)What kind of music did you listen to growing up? 4)Am I only allowed one question? 5)Please? 6)Thanks 7)Tell the boys we miss all miss them very much and will be waiting however long it takes? Thanks again Robbie
Robbie Griego -DividedSky5@hotmail.com
1) I hope the break allows the band members to achieve the goals they sought by taking it and that when they play together again (and I obviously hope they will) that it feels as good or better for them than ever. I have done a lot more listening for work purposes during the hiatus than ever before. I think that has more to do with our release schedule than with the band being off the road. I will probably never have enough time to study the Phish archives to the degree I would like. 2) So far, I keep the archives for all the band members’ side projects. It’s a lot more to keep track of than Phish ever was by itself. 3) As a kid growing up in the Detroit area, I listened to rock and roll. My mom first dialed up the local rock station for me when I was about six. I later discovered metal, reggae, funk, jazz and blues.

Do you know if the band has listened to the David Bowie from Providence, 12/29/94 and if so what they think? Can you provide any insight into what inspired such a phenomena? ~fuckerpants pixelthief@yahoo.com
Scott Draper -pixelthief@aol.com
I don’t know for sure but I would guess they did when reviewing material for A Live One. I haven’t suggested that show for release though the David Bowie jammed so hard at the time, I think it rearranged my DNA. I believe it was inspired by Fall 1994.

What area of law did you study, how did you get involved with Phish, and what other legal work do you do outside of Phish? Thanx!
Andrew McGuire -bubbamcguire@cs.com
It has been said that lawyers are the last of the great generalists and I heartily embraced that concept during law school. I studied all the Bar subjects (luckily for me, my law school required that I do so) and focused mostly on civil rights and environmental law while in school. The only legal work I do outside of Phish is to lend advice to a couple local businesses and bands pro bono. For all practical purposes, Phish has been my only client since I moved to Vermont and became licensed here.

Hey Kevin. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I have a couple questions for you. How involved are you in the selection process for the LivePhish series? Also, How many of the early ('83-'86) shows are archived and if they are, how is the quality? I would love to see some 80's shows in the LivePhish series. Oh yeah, and some FALL 97!!! :^) Thanks, Steve
Steve Motyka -motykjs@home.com
I am very involved in the release process but didn’t make the final decisions about which shows. The band selected the shows for release from those suggested by me and others and some they requested completely on their own. I'll fill in more details as this interview continues. The second part of your question relates to very early shows. There are a good number of early (1983-1986) shows in the archives but many shows of that era were not taped or the recordings not archived. The Live Phish releases will eventually touch on many parts of the band’s career, though I doubt there will be much material from the band's first couple years unless they really want to showcase that era. Some of that stuff is fun to hear and even decent quality but Phish’s career had a pretty steep learning curve. In my opinion, their best playing and certainly the best recordings happened in the last thirteen years or so. Finally, I am quite sure that Fall 1997 will eventually be represented.

Kevin, What are your thoughts about satan? I was just surfing the internet here and stumbled across some satan site...satan.com or something, and there's this little place where you can "ask satan a question" and he'll respond to your email address. Anyways...this got me to thinking about people who worship the devil and the dumbness of it. OK...here it comes...the only reason people believe there is satan is because of the Bible, right? So if the Bible's true and Satan exists, then God also exists. Therefore Satan is screwed as are his followers. Am I right? Am I wrong? Also, couldn't Satan defeat God by repenting for his sins? This would make god a liar therefore imperfect therefore not God? Too many questions no answers...what are your thoughts on Satan? Look forward to hearing your prophetic answers. Thanks, Kevin(my name too)
Kevin Spence -liquidspaces@msn.com
There are definitely more questions than answers, here and always. I believe the Energy of the Universe is equal and undivided parts dark and light. I try to embrace the light whenever possible, but stumble in the dark plenty. I also believe everything in the universe is a necessary manifestation of the Creative Force. Thank God for that or we wouldn't have questions or answers. Enjoy!

This may be a little technical, but I was wondering about the Live Phish releases. Initially, Phish News reported that the releases would be multi-track if a multi-track version exists. As far as I've read, all shows since 1994 have been recorded on 32-48 tracks since the recording of A Live One. However, I then read that the Live Phish releases are straight off Paul's 2 track mixdown (like HCA). So, which is it and why? P.S. I'd kill to trade jobs with you for a day.
Brian Fitzsimmons -bpfitzsi@home.com
The decision to use 2-track was made mostly because the band preferred Paul’s reference mixes for these full show releases - the same reason they used Paul's mix for Hampton Comes Alive. We began mixing to 1/2" analog reels for the first six releases and it began to take up a lot more of the band members’ time to oversee and review the mixing than originally anticipated. We also experienced problems with aging digital multi-track tape with at least one of the shows. I think the move to 2-track will prove a blessing because I’m not sure we could have kept pace with the process of choosing, mixing and reviewing at least 12 shows per year. Sticking with 2-track reference tapes also lends consistency to the series since so many great shows that should be released do not exist on multi-tracks.

It's a pleasure talking to you Kevin! I have 2 quick questions for you. The first being what year or specific show would probably be your favorite? I mean one that just completely blows you away. Secondly, my first Phish experience was seeing them in Charleston, Wv. in 94 and I was wondering if you were there and/or have you listened to it? I was pretty spun after that night.. Thanx, Brandon
brandon click -dancedawg2001@yahoo.com
A lot of people have asked about my favorite show or shows and I'll get more into detail at some point in the interview. If I had to name one favorite year for Phish shows it would be 1994, though I have a lot of favorite eras. My last show of that summer was 6/25/94 in Cleveland so I missed the "Game/Hoist" madness of West Virginia the next night. I have listened to it - it was among my favorite tapes at the time though it's been a while. What a night! I'm glad you recovered...

Hey Kevin! I have thoroughly enjoyed ALL of the Live Phish releases, and think the CD Organizer is excellent! My question is two-fold; The task of listening to all of the vault must be undaunting, How much have phans helped out in the selection process, because many of us could help you out. And how much has the band selected and how much have you selectedIt would be interesting to see if phans have any of the same favorite shows/favorite versions as the band. PS- My 5 Desert Island Phish shows: 10/21/95 (great reba), 12/31/93 (dwd jam), 9/14/99 (insane 2nd set), 2/20/93 (obvious reasons), and 12/9/95 (YEM), Obviously these change daily as you probably would expect
Jamie Marshall -jammarshall@erols.com
Fan's help out a lot in the selection process. I spend a lot of time corresponding with fans and talking with friends as well as listening to the music. We debate the fine points of shows to an excessive degree. Phish has performed so many great shows that it would be foolish to undertake the release project without at least considering a lot of opinions, though in the end careful listening and comparison is the only way to really tell which shows best translate into CD releases. Sometimes my favorites and fan favorites appeal to the band and sometimes they do not. I'll address the actual release process in more detail in another answer.

Kevin, This is a semi-Phish related inquiry. Back in January of '00 my brother-in-law organized a small benefit in Starksboro, VT featuring Mike Gordon, Jamie Masefield, and Doug Perkins. What a fun night that was, although quite cold inside that little church. Anyway, was that you I spied up in he balcony recording the show? If so, what did you think? Thanks, -Mike Bove
Mike Bove -mikegrupp@aol.com
That was me in the balcony recording the show. I thought it was a great concert with a cool local feel. It was my first visit to the town of Starksboro. When I felt how cold it was in there, I knew the benefit was for a good cause. If nothing else, the place needed some heat!

first i want to say kudos for releasing binghapton that was definitely a evolutionary show. I'm wondering if there is still any dialoge in the organizition about possible gamehenge projects. I remember at one point they were talking about a possible multi-media release. that seems semi - unfeasable these days but how about maybe a gamehenge live set release. It seems in the last couple of years everyone has forgotten about gamehenge but i still regard it as phish's finest work (well except for that meatstick song)
reuben bloomfield -cwengrow@excite.com
There is and probably always will be dialogue about some type of Gamehendge release. I think audio of one of the live performances or Trey's taped thesis would be the best bet.

Hey Kevin, Stuart here... What type of storage are you using to physically rack all the DATs, CDs, etc. Stuff you guys put together on your own? It is hard to find high volume storage especially if things like CDs are planned on being stored in cases rather than folders
Stuart Gerber -stuart@mindspring.com
For smaller items like DAT's and cassettes, we have drawers built into aisles of industrial shelving. Our CD's are kept inside jewel cases (never folders) in archival CD boxes, which sit on the shelves. I anticipate they too will go into drawers at some point since that's the best way to maximize space for small items within larger shelving units.

Hey Kevin I was wondering if there has been discussions about releasing live shows on video thanks
Bob Skinner -bskinnerjr@aol.com
Yes.

is Pete your brother?
robert weaver -werdnac4@home.com
Loosely, yes. Technically we are not related but he's a friend of mine and a helluva guy.

11/7/01
Hey Kevin, thanks for doing this. As Phish Archivist, I assume you're involved in the "Live Phish" process. In the original announcement, phish.com mentioned that soundchecks would be included on some/ all of the releases. Is there a reason why this didn't happen? Are there plans to try to do it with future "Live Phish" releases?
Brian Altman -phinegrey@aol.com
When it was originally announced, we thought the Live Phish series might include material from soundchecks to fill extra space on the discs. The band decided against including soundchecks in the first series of shows. As far as I know they have not ruled out using soundchecks on future Live Phish releases. However, now that we've had gotten deeper into the release process, I think space could be filled more wisely with songs from surrounding shows. Soundchecks sometimes contain hidden gems like covers the band didn't perform or songs they were working on at the time. That said, the checks are often pretty boring to listen to. As a rule, they contain a lot of "dead air" and much less musical energy or exploration than songs performed in front of an audience.

Hey there Kevin. I have 2 questions: I was curious as to what kind of facility you use to house the archives and what else besides the audio / video content lives in said facility. Thanks - James
James Madison -hhood57@hotmail.com
We have a state-of-the-art storage vault that houses most of the Phish Archives. All the audio and video content not being used at any particular time is stored there. That includes a growing amount of film (from Bittersweet Motel and Mike's movies) and all the album masters for Phish and the band members' solo projects. A lot of other archival items currently share the space, such as original art and photographs, the very first Minkin backdrop, specimens of merchandise, some fan mail, a collection of press and a wide variety of memorabilia. If the band saved it through the years, it likely lives in our vault. Space in there is at a premium, so as our magnetic media collections grow, some of the other items will have to find new homes. For now, the vault houses all our archives except the largest props. The facility is uniquely constructed with very limited access and high security, tempurature and humidity control (it's kept cold, dark and dry - around 55 deg. F and 30-35% humidity), special low-UV lighting, filtered air and dual sensor (heat and smoke) Inergen fire suppression system. When I started with Phish, their storage facilities consisted of what is now my office and some rented vault space in Boston. We constructed the vault a few years ago and have been gradually filling it ever since.

Hi Kevin, If you could go back in time and record one show or experience that was not recorded, what would it be? Thanks. -Jack Mancool, NYC
Jack Mantell -jack@jonmantell.com
If I had to choose one "event" to document (it was a course of events rather than any one), it would be the discussion that led to Page joining the band. I suppose that would be the most important unrecorded happening in Phish history since it has so much more significance than any one show of any era.

Where is the "Aquarium Set" from Holiday Tour '93 being stored and will the band ever use it again at any shows? *It had some awesome props and was such a nice stage setup for those shows during the snowy and blizzard like conditions which followed the band up I-95 that year ;-)
Todd Nolan -todd.nolan@starband.com
Most of the aquarium set, consisting of the fish, the kelp and some of the mechanism that allowed the fish and kelp to "float" are stored at the band's warehouse with their equipment. The clam is stored in the garage of one of the band members. It would be great to see that stuff on display someday (like the hot dog, fries and coke from 12/31/94)

What are some of the funniest and most bizarre stage antics that you have seen and/or recorded throughout your time with the band?
Todd Nolan -todd.nolan@starband.com
It wasn't exactly on stage, but the highest impact of all that I've seen was the burning of the wooden "edifice" and band/fan art at The Great Went. Second most bizarre was the band riding in a giant hot dog on 12/31/94 at the Boston Garden. The funniest antic was probably watching Trey sing Fly Famous Mockingbird to Brad Sands dressed in a chicken suit on 12/31/92. Another outrageous moment took place 4/17/93 at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor when Trey and Mike each thought the other was supposed to continue Creature so both froze for 10 minutes or so. Watching Fish get shaved while wearing a diaper was also very weird as was watching the band play while rolling through the campgrounds on a flatbed truck at Clifford Ball. Some of the larger Meatstick dances have also been amazing to behold. This is becoming a long answer as I realize there have been way too many outrageous moments to list.

Do you know whether or not Trey has sat down and listened to the Stash "saga" from Orlando, 11/14/95, and if so were you fortunate enough to hear any comments he made about it?
Tyler Blue Schwartz -tylerblue1@aol.com
Not unless he heard it when I played it on my radio show at Lemonwheel. We've never discussed the version, though I think it is probably the most exploratory Stash of all time and I imagine he will hear it soon. That show (and the Stash in particular) ended a wonderful day for me. I got the news that morning in Orlando that I passed the Michigan Bar Exam. My friend Big Phil and I celebrated with a day at Disney World and a great night at that show.
[Published on: 12/13/01]

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