From sausage to Phish

OK, so in the fall of 1996 I was just starting college and at the same time meeting all sorts of new friends.  Some of these friends were huge Phish fans.  I had been to 2 shows in Philly while in high school but that fall was when I truely fell in love with what the boys were doing.  A Picture of Nectar was the sound track to all those wonderful times and to this day reminds me of all those friends.  Some of them still with us and some are not.  I really miss those concerts of the mid 90's and consider those days the best time of my musical life (besides my times at Mardi Gras in 2000 and Jazzfest 2003).  A show at Virgina Beach has some vivid memories for me and I just wanted to post this story.  A good friend of mine and I called this day "From sausage to Phish.  Anyone who camped for those Merriwether and VB shows in 96, 97, and 98 knows that it could be damn hot and I was not apposed to sleeping naked.  On this morning Mark woke up at around 5 am due to the heat at I was awakened shortly after by the anguished cry,"Milligan no!!!!!!".  You see he did not appreciate the nude spread eagle pose I had slept in when he glanced in my tent window.  So I put on some shorts and got up to join him in making breakfast and laugh about his experience with my grundel.  All we had was a large sausage to eat, ironic right?  So that is what the 5 of us shared for breakfast the morning of the show.  As show time got closer we began the rituals of drinking and other various activities, then jumped in our cars to head over to the show.  As we sat in the traffic outside the venue I see Mark leave the drivers seat of a car he was guilted into driving because the young lady who owned it had had too many.  As  he dropped trow on the median to releave himself I swung a video camera over to him.  This was just in time to see the police car pull up and watch him get hauled away midstream!  Not just a ticket but put in cuffs and taken away.  We had lost Mark a few hundred yards before the venue.  Then to top it off myself and my girlfriend got busted for underage drinking walking into the actual show.  I was pretty down about that and trying to find Mark later but still managed to enjoy myself during the first set and even indulged in some psychoactivity.  At the break I had to pee very bad so I left the group and went to use the facilities and on the way back got stuck in the cattle shute to lawn.  As I am shuffling up the steps a guy in front of me exclaims, "Lets just run up the hill," and he leaps over the rail. "OH MY FUCKING GOD, MARK!!!  I thought you were in jail!"  Mark yells "I thought I was stuck in Virginia with no ride back to PA!" Mark had gotten taken to the police station because he did not have his license on him and he was released.  He then found a phriendly ride to the show and also succeeded in getting wasted in the lot.  Only to end up standing right in front of me in a sea of forty thousand people.  I get chills to this day remembering that moment.  After the hugs and pats on the back from all the phamily around we ran to our people, Page side on the lawn, to share this story. Then as if we had not been lucky enough the second set ended with one of the best encores ever.  YEM>Frankenstein, Terrapin Station. People were actually weeping at this rare Dead cover.  That is how the day went "From sausage to Phish" and I spent the next few years following these guys as much as I could.
Fri 11/9/2007 1:16 PM