Phish: The Biography

Phish: The Biography

  • Binding: Hardcover
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Da Capo Press
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$70.12
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Phish rank among the greatest live bands in rock history, and a sizable subculture of Phishheads would argue theres been none better. Formed in Burlington, Vermont, this determined foursome of high-IQ misfits developed their uniquely telepathic chemistry playing that college towns club scene. Vermonts best-kept secret rose to national prominence in the nineties, when they became the most obvious heirs to the Grateful Deads legacy as onstage improvisers and touring Pied Pipers. With a raft of self-imposed challenges, Phish mapped out much new territory, as well. Wildly eclectic, endlessly resourceful, and ever unpredictable, Phish were at the forefront of the jam-band movement, an organic alternative to the mainstream status quo that caught the ears and imagination of millions.

Drawing upon nearly 15 years of exclusive interviews with the members of Phish and those in their employ, veteran music journalist Parke Puterbaugh delivers an insightful and authoritative biography of this beloved band and their quixotic career. Phish: The Biography thoroughly traces the quartets history from their formative years to their spectacular success as a prolific touring phenomenon. Puterbaugh examines the colorful chemistry the unique mix of personalities, backgrounds and talents that inspired the members of Phish to push their four-way experiment to the limit. He documents their rigorous work ethic, boundless creativity, and all of the resulting innovations, including a series of one-band festivals that served as the blueprint for Bonnaroo and a slew of latter-day rock festivals. Moreover, he details how Phish distilled classical discipline, jazz improvisation, and rock instrumentation and attitude into an intoxicating brew that kept hordes of fans coming back show after show, encouraging them to digest and debate every note and nuance.

The book also candidly addresses the bumps in the road that followed Phishs ascent to popularity, as rocks hardest-working band also became one of its hardest-partying entities. Mounting excesses and internal dissent led to a two-year hiatus, a dramatic breakup, and a well-documented drug bust and courageous recovery from addiction for guitarist Trey Anastasio. The tale concludes with Phishs triumphant reunion in 2009, marking one of the greatest comebacks in music history. An intimate and fascinating portrait, Phish: The Biography is the definitive story of these Vermont jamband legends.

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