Phish is more than a band to their fans. They are a way of living. Phish’s albums are well-received, but they are primarily a live band. They are the living, breathing and noodling embodiments of the term “jamband”. Phish fans, like the Deadheads before, have followed the band from city to city. They exchange bootleg tapes with their blessings and fervently debate the merits past gigs. (Phish does not play the same set twice). Phish grew from a grassroots following and became one of the most popular live entertainments in America over the course of ten years. John Fishman, the drummer, was the first to bring together the band. Trey Anastasio, Jeff Holdsworth, and Mike Gordon were fellow students who brought their guitars to jam. Mike Gordon answered Anastasio’s bulletin board ad. Fan Page McConnell was a Goddard College student who joined the group as a keyboardist in 1985. Holdsworth left the band the year after that. Marc Daubert was the drummer in the early performances. Also, Dude of Life would occasionally appear on stage (with whom the band later recorded Crimes of the Mind). Phish’s first album Junta was recorded in 1988. It was also sold at gigs as a cassette. Phish.Net, a fledgling internet, had already established a presence for its second album, Lawn Boy (1990). A year later, Elektra signed the band and released A Picture of Nectar (1992), followed by reissues of Lawn Boy (Number 51) and Junta (Number 51). The band’s popularity grew from 1993’s Rift (Number51) to chart success. Phish’s first video, “Down With Disease”, was released in 1993’s Hoist. It reached Number 34. 1995’s double-disc A Live One (Number 18), Billy breathes (Number 7), 1996), and the live Slip, Stitch followed.

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