Phish Selects Northampton 1989 Concert For ‘Dinner And A Movie’ Premiere
Phish dove deep into the vault for the next installment of their Dinner And A Movie archival video series. The band will premiere video of their May 1, 1989 performance at the Universal Joint in Northampton, Massachusetts on Tuesday, July 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. Watch on the JamBase Livestreams Calendar via YouTube.
The footage marks the oldest video ever officially shared by Phish and will feature the concert’s 67-minute second set. Universal Joint is located in the basement of Pearl Street and was later known as 10 Below. Donations will be contributed to the National Independent Venue Association, an organization whose mission “is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States.”
Phish keyboardist Page McConnell shared memories of the show and the circumstances that led to a man known as René filming the concert. Additionally, Page provided recipes for a classic burger and pasta salad while his wife, Heather, provided one for the vegetarian millet cakes. Head here for the recipes and read McConnell’s note below:
As I recall, the video for this show came into being rather spontaneously, without too much forethought or planning. As we were setting up our gear, in a basement club in Northampton, MA, we were approached by a well-dressed, diminutive gentleman. As best I can remember, his name was René. And he was there to pitch his video idea to us. For a nominal fee he would shoot the band’s set with one camera, artistically. He spoke with a French accent, almost spitting at us in a kind of broken English, with an urgency that was quite compelling. As his pace and volume increased, he kept saying it would be “avant-garde.” And the more times he said “avant-garde” with that thick accent, the more I believed him.
Needless to say, he got the gig. And we got the video.
The audio was recorded by our friend and former manager, John Paluska. The audio and visual sat in our vault since 1989, but had never been properly synched up (the videotape lacked audio). Jared Slomoff did a great job matching them up, so you all could enjoy it this week. According to Kevin Shapiro, we have used all the existing audio, but there are still a few audio pauses and hiccups along the way. Our apologies.
Rene’s use of the fisheye lens, the “negative image” effect, the odd angles and abrupt movements…I’m not sure it all adds up to “avant-garde.” And, at times I wish he would settle down. But, he went for it, and there is no denying that Rene’s camera work brought a certain excitement to the overall shoot.
After watching some of the video, I looked to see what sort of shows we were playing back then. It was a really fun time for us. We were starting to get gigs every month around the Northeast at clubs and colleges, and still playing regular gigs in Burlington at The Front and Nectar’s.
This video captures some of that youthful energy that is nurtured and developed in small clubs like this one all across the country. Some of the places we played are still around, but many clubs are just barely hanging on now, which is why this week we are proud to be supporting the National Independent Venue Association. #saveourstages
This week, one of my favorite sandwiches, the burger. Though I’ve never really been much of a cook, over the last few years I’ve really learned to enjoy grilling. I do it all year round.
We enjoy this meal with a pasta salad, but any sides can work. Heather also included a recipe for millet cakes, as a vegan option.