Celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of Phish’s Return
Today on the 3rd anniversary of Phish’s return, we take a look back at the song that most definitively held it’s homecoming party at Hampton in ’09, “Fluffhead.” One of the oldest songs in Phish’s repertoire, its debut is a matter of public record, appearing on the widely circulated tape from December 1, 1984 at Nectar’s in Burlington.
Like most early versions, this performance encompassed only the “Fluffhead” portion of the song, as most of “Fluff’s Travels” had yet to be composed and rehearsed. The ’84 version is also notable for being a 2-guitar-no-keyboards arrangement, allowing fans the opportunity to hear how Trey adjusted the orchestration of his tunes to accommodate Page and his keyboards later in their career. Other evolutions related to “Fluffhead” abound, for example the song “Lushington” which seemed to exist only long enough to be re-appropriated as “The Chase” from “Fluff’s Travels”.
The song finally evolved in to the version we all know and love around February of 1988, followed by an extended shelving of the tune for the last half of 1989. As of 1990, the tune was back in regular rotation and fully settled in to it’s complete composed form.
From this point on, “Fluffhead” became a regular, if somewhat infrequent, tour staple. While most versions of “Fluffhead” are differentiated by the accuracy and energy of the performance, one particularly stand-out version from July 24, 1999 demonstrates that even the most static and road-worn tune can still be ripe jamming material for the band.
Then the band took a little break, and in the process tucked “Fluffhead” away somewhere for safe keeping. Instead of being a point of mid-second-set bliss, the song instead became a cruel joke to play on the fans in the post-hiatus era, i.e. Trey responding to a “Fluffhead” chant at IT by saying “Mike says no” (Mike claims he said “yes”), or repeatedly teasing it during an outdoor soundcheck on June 17, 2004. The long and short of it was that when Phish “broke up” in August of ’04, we all thought that we’d seen our last version of “Fluffhead” sometime in ’00.
Then came Hampton, and the rest of the story is the 3.0 era we’re living in now.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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