Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: phish (page 2 of 9)

Phish: The Pros And Cons

PRO: They make a lovely boing-boing noise
CON: Sometimes they stop making that noise to sing.

PRO: Name misspelled intentionally like The Beatles or Led Zeppelin.
CON: Name misspelled intentionally like Def Leppard or Ratt.

PRO: Might get to meet Mike Gordon and have your picture taken.
CON: Might get to meet Jon Fishman and have to endure a lecture on how Bernie would have won.

PRO: Lyrics are inspiring for young writers. (When young writers hear Hunter’s lyrics, they think–quite rightly–“I can’t do that. I’ll never be able to do that.” But when they hear Phish’s lyrics, they say, “I can do that right now off the top of my head.”)
CON: Lyrics.

PRO: No trainwrecks.
CON: No trainwrecks. (All right-thinking Enthusiasts value a good ol’ fashioned six-or-seven Dead pile-up during the re-entry from the Playing jam, or the rare-but-hilarious songs wherein half the band thinks the beat is over here while the other half thinks it’s over there, and they refuse to correct the mistake for the entire tune.)

PRO: Fun, welcoming, groovy fanbase.
CON: Or entitled, passive-aggressive whiners, wieners, and rich kids.

PRO: You can find drugs at the shows.
CON: A man named Antelope Greg might slug you in the jaw.

PRO: No tie-dye, and no fucking bears.
CON: Derpy logo.

PRO: Get to make “Dick’s” jokes every year.
CON: Have to hear “Dick’s jokes every year.

PRO: Semi-incalculable amount of high-quality live recordings from every era of the band’s history available for free.
CON: But it you want to listen to them on SiriusXM, then you might hear Twiddle or Turquaz by accident as Phish does not have their own channel and must share theirs with the dregs of the earth.

PRO: Couch Tour.
CON: Couch Tour chat rooms. (All of the Phinternet should be struck by the Hand of God. That’s how bad it is: it requires smiting. The Phinternet is locked in a never-ending battle to see who can hate the band the most.)

PRO: Donuts.
CON: If you are diabetic, donuts.

Lyrics Of Phish’s Tweezer Without Research

Whoa, Joe Steppenwolf’s a tweezer!
Beezer neezer fleezer! (2X)

I’m gonna burn coal, coal, coal, coal, coal (4X)


Whoa, Joe Steppenwolf’s a tweezer!
Beezer neezer fleezer! (2X)

Get Your Stinking Hands Off Her, You Damn Dirty Drummer

The people online calling this adorable don’t understand guitar players or human body language. Trample Amplestample wants to headbutt Fishman and take back the Laser Duck.


Everything is arbitrary except time and gravity, and if you are young enough and the music is correct, then even those things can be shunted to the side for a moment, just a moment; when you realize it is happening, it will be over and gone.

And for the rest of your life, that moment will be the fifth chamber of your heart.

Mercury In Retrograde


Oh, there you are. Where’d you go? I was worried about you. How’d the fight go?

“Between the multicorn and the Freddies Mercury?”

Isn’t it weird that that sentence makes sense?

“A little, yeah. But, uh, it was only a fight for a little bit.”



Hey, that’s great. You got laid in Vegas.

“I always get laid in Vegas. Never like that.”


“The Freddies share a hivemind.”

I assumed.

“And a hiveboner.”

I did not assume that. I don’t even think I understand that.

“It’s complicated. And veiny.”


“And hairy.”

Freddie didn’t seem like a manscaper.

“I lost my watch in his bush.”

So you’re saying that your first Phish Halloween show was not a great experience.

“Some good stuff happened.”


“I’m joining Queen.”

They have a guitarist, and he’s better than you.


Sorry, but true.

“I know, but it still hurts. Anyway, I’m not going to be the guitarist. I want to be a frontman like Freddie.”

You can’t be.

“Why not?”

Queen songs don’t sound good sung in an American accent.


Or through your nose.

“You’re a dick.”

You’re already in nine bands and you have so much laundry to do.

“You have to stay on top of it.”

Stop joining bands. Just be rich and bang pop stars and wear clothes. You’re a Grateful Dead now, John Mayer, because 2016 is trying to kill us all, so just be happy with what you have.

“But he wants it all, darling!”

“Oh, no.”


“And he wants it NOOOOOOWWW!”

Oh, those pipes.

“Thank you, darling. I’m often complimented on my plumbing.”

“Freddie, I…where are the others?”

“Rampaging through the crowd like sexual wolverines.”

“Of course. Listen, Freddie: I don’t think this is going to work out. We’re just in different places in life. And I’m not gay. And you died 25 years ago. That last one probably should’ve gone first.”

“Forbidden love! Wonderful, darling. I’ll be Romeo, and you be Mercutio.”

“You mean Juliet.”

“Shakespeare cut out a whole sub-plot. It was a plot about how Mercutio was the sub: sub-plot.”


“Darling, do you like comic books?”

“I guess. Why?”

“Because I’m going to show you my thing, and then it’s rogering time!”


Can I watch?


“I insist!”


You’re About To Learn A New Word


Stand up straight.

“Please leave me alone.”

Unicorns don’t slouch. They’re known for their posture.

“That’s Mickey.”

And unicorns. Don’t argue with me on this: I used to lie about having a Master’s in Cryptequinology.


The study of made-up horses.

“Big field?”

Unicorns, centaurs, zebras, my little ponies.

“Zebras are real.”

Nope. CG.

“I’ve seen them at zoos.”

Hard-light holograms. I thought you were hanging out backstage with Mike Gordon.

“There was a problem.”

Oh, no.

“I got mustard on my onesie.”

Hot dog?

“Sex thing.”

Sure. Go on.

“And Mike says, ‘We’ve got a washing machine.’ So I slapped him in the face as hard as I could.”


“Washing machine? I won’t be insulted like that.”

So you got thrown out of backstage.

“Yeah, a little. Did you know that Phish has a Parish?”

What’s his name?


Sounds right.

“John, darling! It’s me, us!

“That makes no sense.”


“Oh, actually it did make sense.”

“Get ready for a British Invasion.”

“Not again.”

“And again, and again. John Mayer, prepare your mouth and asshole!”

“Oh, I could have lived my whole life without having heard that sentence.”

“We’re going to put you under pressure, John. And you’ll want to break free, but the show must go on. Soon after, though, you’ll realize that the Freddies Mercury are somebody to love, and you’ll be our best friend.”

“Bicycle Race.”

“There it is. Yeah, this isn’t happening.”

“Oh, darling. Who’s going to stop us?”

“The multicorn.”



“Oh, the multicorn. I see it now.”

“There can only be one.”

“There are five of us, and four of you. There can be more than one.”

“I’m too high for math, Freddies. Let’s do this.”





Once More Into The Breach


“John, thanks for coming back to the show. I know last time was a bit rocky, what with being raped by multiple Freddies Mercury, but I’m glad to see you’ve put the onesie back on and have rejoined us on SiriusXM.”

“What? Radio Randy died.”

“I know. I’m his sister, Radio Randi.”

“Of course.”

“This has been very tough on our parent, Radio Randie and Radio Randee.”

“How do you tell each other apart?”

“We only exist in print.”

“Good plan. Listen, the acid is kicking in and I am in no shape for the radio. I’m ten seconds away from talking about my penis, and that has ended poorly every time I’ve done it in public.”

“What about in private?”

“Oh, it ends great there. I hang out with musicians and comedians; they don’t talk about anything other than their penises.”

“John, you say you have a solo album coming out, but there are other musicians on it, thereby negating the term ‘solo.’ Why the lies, John?”

“Not a lie; you’re misinterpreting the word ‘solo.’ I didn’t mean I did it all myself, I meant that I solo throughout the entire album.”


“Radio Randy–”


“–I’ll be honest with you: since I went out with Dead & Company? I can’t stop. I can’t stop soloing.”

“What about laundry?”

“I can briefly stop soloing. But then: soloing again.”

“John, in addition to my deejay duties, I also teach symbology at Harvard–”

“That’s neither a thing, nor a word.”

“–and I think your problem is that you’ve avatized: adopted the external essentialities of a character within the narrative. You’re the guitarist in the Dead who isn’t Bobby, and that means you must solo. It’s now your nature.”

“Is there no way to get relief?”

“Opiates and a beard have worked in several cases.”

“Can’t grow a beard.”

“Cocaine and a mustache?”

“Also can’t grow a mustache.”

“Crystal meth and a bushet?”

“A bushet?”

“A bush mullet. Pubes real short, but you let your ball hair grow out.”

“I never thought I’d say this, but can we take a call?”

“Sure, John! We have several callers, but first up is a friend of ours. Bobby in Marin? Are you there?

“Radio Randi, I’m so sorry to hear about your brother.”

“Thank you, Bobby, but he was secretly a serial killer.”

“Then, uh,  my feelings are mixed.”


“Josh, I’ve decided to be angry with you, and seek my bliss through bloody revenge. Which, you know, seems like a bit of a dichotomy, but I’m complicated. I’ve taken steps towards that end. Thought it was fair to let you know.”

“Bob, what are you talking about?”


“Josh, I hired a ninja to kill you.”

“Goddammit, Bobby.”

“You’re not going to see it coming.”

“You’re telling me about it, Bob. You lose the element of surprise when you call in to a non-existent radio show and announce your plans.”


“Is this because I forgot to get you when Elvis showed up?”

“That’s it, yeah, but some of it may be repressed feelings from the time you dressed up as a picnic blanket.”

“Bobby, please don’t send a ninja after me.”

“Can’t unsend a ninja. They’re like e-mails. Radio Randi?”

“Yeah, Bob?”

“Can I say the phrase that pays?”

“Not that kind of radio show, Bob.”

“Ah. Well, what schools are closed due to snow?”

“Not that kind of radio show, either.”


“Gotta go.”

“We’re back on the Radio Randi show with John…John? John?”

Is John Mayer Experienced?


Where are you? And why are you in black and white?

“Backstage. And you know why I am in black and white.”

Are you sad?

“I’m a lot of things right now.”


“Yes. Yes, sore. Muscles got used that don’t usually become involved during lovemaking.”

Lovemaking? That was not what that seemed like.

“Freddie Mercury is a charismatic man.”

I’m glad you got into it. Why are you backstage?

“I needed a minute.”

Sure. John?


Did he?


Did he?


Rock you?


Rock you.


See? We have so much fun.

“We don’t, really. I just wanted–”

To take drugs and see a band. Yeah, yeah: everybody gets your motivation, John. What happened to your unicorn outfit?


Jesus, you just couldn’t wait to wash that thing, could you?

“No. No, no. It truly needed washing.”


“Many stains.”


“Pre-soaking right now.”


“The Johnicorn.”

“Uh, hi. I’m, uh, looking for Jimi Tee-Shirt?”

“What? Bobby?”

“No, not Bobby.”


“This is Bobby Tee-Shirt. I’d, uh, like to speak to my best friend, Jimi Tee-Shirt.”

“He’s not available.”

“Hey, cat! Is that my groovy friend Bobby Tee-Shirt? Slide me that telephone so we can rap!”

“None of this makes any sense.”

Oh, nothing makes any sense any more. At least my bullshit has jokes.

“Now all you have to do is make ’em funny.”

Sure, sure: keep digging your own grave. You have no idea how many people dressed up as Freddie Mercury to go to that show.

“A lot?”

You should start drinking.


In Which Freddie Mercury Calls John Mayer’s Bluff


Just for Trey?

“I hate you. This is a Photoshop.”

What does the card actually say?

“Washing instructions for the unicorn onesie.”

I would have assumed you didn’t need washing instructions.

“I use them as a launching pad, yknow? They’re the map, but I’m free to go on side quests or little day trips to stain-removalville or wherever.”

How’s the show going, anyway?

“No idea. Between the snapchatting and selfie-sessions with randos, I haven’t been paying attention. Also all the weird bullshit.”

Yeah, I’m sorry for that.




“We meet again, John Darling!”


“No, not mothers. Fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews. Not mothers, except occasionally and only the ones with giant tits.”

“You’re being inappropriately sexual, Freddie.”

“Darling, I am Freddie Mercury at a party.”

“Okay, you’re being legendarily sexual.”

“Better, thank you. Come to Freddie, darling. Remove my white jeans.”

“You are the only person who’s ever successfully pulled off white jeans.”

“Oh no: you’ll be quite successful in pulling them off, I assure you.”


“I’ll help if they get stuck on my hips.”


“Oh, fine: I’ll do it myself.”

“Put your pants back on, Freddie Mercury.”

“After we’re done, absolutely.”


“You said you were gay for Trey. Are you ready for Freddie?”

“Freddie. Freddie? Freddie!”





John Boy?

“I just wanted to take drugs and see a band.”

But now you have a story to tell.

“I’m not participating in this anymore. I’m calling my lawyer.”

Ooh, I can’t wait to see who that is.


The Inevitable Death Of Radio Randy


“We’re back with John Mayer on the Radio Randy Rock and Roll Roundup.”

“Wait. Is this the selfie we were taking in the other picture?”

“Looks like.”

“How many pictures got taken of me?”

“Almost as many as you took of you.”

“That’s a lot.”

“You enjoy yourself. Can we talk about the upcoming solo record?”

“Randy, can we do this later?”

“We’re live on the air, John. This is very unprofessional of you, and I expect more from a unicorn. We have a caller, Bobby in Vegas. Oh, you’ve called before. Welcome back to the show.”

“I’ve been listening since the last time I called, and I’m, uh, just hooked. Great radio. Real, uh, theater of the mind-type stuff. Middle America, real people. I like that detective character, Guy Noir.”

“Bobby, you’re thinking of a Prairie Home Companion.”



“Is this Mike or the Mad Dog?”

“Hang up the phone, Radio Randy.”

“John says I have to go, Bobby.”

“You bet. Seriously, though: get me when Elvis shows up.”



“How the hell are we taking calls?”

“–I have a few more questions.”

“I don’t want to take any more questions.”

“They’re about laundry.”

“I will take as many questions as you have.”

“Blow our minds, John Mayer.”

“Hand-washing in a sink is a completely different beast than hand-washing in a tub. It has something to with water density and bubble viscosity. I’ve invented several differential equations to explain it.”

“You’ve blown our minds, John Mayer.”

“Don’t speak for everyone.”

“You’ve blown my mind, John Mayer.”

“I’ve written up my findings for the Journal of the American Laundry Association.”


“You read it?”

“I subscribe. They just pile up.”

“Worth your time, Radio Randy. Cutting edge of clean.”

“John, what about pre-soaking?”

“Ooh, that’s a touchy subject in the laundry community. And, quite frankly, it’s a personal subject and I’d rather not get into my personal life.”

“I didn’t mean to pry. Let’s talk about something less intimate.”

“Thank you.”

“Sources are saying you plowed Demi Lovato.”

“Plowing’s for skanks. Demi Lovato is a celebrity. You bang celebrities.”

“Bang her?”

“Shit, yeah.”


“Butt stuff?”

“Started with butt stuff.”


“So now you’ll marry her in the church?”

“You know I…what now?”


“You have to get married, or you’ll burn in hell.”

“I’m sorry, where is this coming from?”

“The Bible.”

“I meant the direction the conversation is going.”

“Lonely weirdo in Florida. We have another caller.”

You stop talking shit about me, you little asshole.

“Fuck you, TotD!”

Fuck YOU, Radio Randy!


“You know it’s TotD, man. Stop answering the phone.”

“No one calls that guy on his bullshit.”

“Sure, but it’s not good to antagonize him.”

“No? What’s he gonna do?”


“Send Elvis to kick you in the head.”



“I’m not a Rolling Stone, darling. John Mayer. We meet again.”

“Weren’t there five of you?”

“There can be only one.”

“Great. Elvis, I think you killed Radio Randy.”





“Yeah, you killed Radio Randy.”


“Take off your trousers, John.”

“Stop it, Freddie.”




“The one you lost a month ago in a storyline that just wandered around making no sense until it fizzled out with Lady Gaga’s appearance?”


“No. No. No. No. We’re not doing this again.”

“Just the shirt, then. Take off your shirt, John.”

“Freddie, come on.”

“Upon what shall I come, darling?”

“Stop it. I’m not a part of whatever the two of you are up to. I want to take drugs and see a band. Leave me alone. Y’know what? Fuck this. Fuck all of this. I’m leaving . It’s all ruined, and I’m leaving and–”

jm-circle-phish-2“What the fuck is this?”

Phantom Zone ring.

“Like what they did to Zod in Superman II?”


“That’s FUCKED! You’re fucked, man!”

You ain’t going anywhere.

“I will get you for this! You will kneel before me! YOU WILL KNEEL BEFORE JOHN!”

Okee-dokee, artichokee.


“What if I have to use the bathroom?”

Should’ve thought of that.



You will see that you have brought this call onto yourself.


“The Johnicorn speaking.”


“Didn’t I say to tell me when Elvis showed up?”

“Dammit. I forgot, Bob. Sorry.”

“One thing I ask you to do.”


“Fucker owes me $320.”

“For what?”

“Grown-up stuff, Josh. Don’t worry about it.”

“Are you mad?”

“I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.”

“I just wanted to take drugs and see a band.”

“Well, I guess no one gets what he wants today, huh?”


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