Phish Teams With CBS Orchestra For ‘Julius’ On ‘Letterman’ 25 Years Ago Today

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Phish returned to The Late Show With David Letterman 25 years ago today for a performance of “Julius.” The band’s second visit to Letterman came less than six months after Phish made their Late Show debut on December 30, 1994.

“Julius” was originally released by Phish on their 1994 studio album, Hoist. The studio version featured the Tower of Power Horns and four backing vocalists (Rickey Grundy, Angela Brown, Rose Stone and Jean McClain), so the quartet enlisted the CBS Orchestra to join them on Letterman. In addition, Phish called upon old pal Dave Grippo to augment the CBS Orchestra’s horn section, which included legendary trombonist Tom “Bones” Malone and saxophonist “Blue” Lou Marini of The Blues Brothers fame.

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The members of the CBS Orchestra and the horn section snapped their fingers at the start of “Julius,” which brought a huge smile to the face of Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio. Then, towards the end of the song, CBS Orchestra guitarist Felicia Collins belted out the high harmony featured on the studio version. Drummer Anton Fig shadowed Jon Fishman and the CBS Orchestra band leader Paul Shaffer added swirls of organ to the fun as Page McConnell played just a grand piano.

“Our next guests have earned a reputation as one of the best live bands in the country,” David Letterman said to start his introduction of Phish. “Their new CD, called A Live One, allows us stay-at-home types to join in the fun. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the program Phish!”

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Watch Phish and company’s “Julius” from July 13, 1995 via YouTuber trfrasier below:

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