Nancy Responds to "Everyone Knew Him as Nancy: Richard Wright and the Old, Weird Phish"
9. Page 27, Column B, 1st paragraph. With all due respect to Mike Gordon – & I have no doubt that he really was told that I was hydrophobic – I’m not hydrophobic. That was a scam I made up during my first semester at Goddard in early 83. Every student had to work at least one meal team per week in the kitchen, washing dishes & pans & whatnot. Pretending to be hydrophobic was a lame excuse to get out of working. By the time I’d finished that semester, I was already tired of the scam. The next semester, the evaluator for the meal teams said that my work in the kitchen had “improved 100%” since the previous semester. I’m actually surprised that Mike heard that I was hydrophobic – nobody from my first semester was even left on campus by Autumn 1985. Who could’ve told him? Probably somebody who heard it from somebody who WAS there my first semester. Anyway, it’s not true, it’s a sham that should’ve already been dead by Autumn 83. I like Mike’s comment about the essential oils, though. I actually love water.
10. Page 79, Column A, 3rd paragraph. “Super-Delicious Crunchy Forest Critters” is actually one of the few recordings I’ve done that WAS performed & recorded live (though not on stage or in front of anyone): it’s one of my “Nancytronics” recordings (like Frippertronics, it utilises two reel-to-reel tape decks to create a long delay loop system upon which one can build layers of repeated sound). I probably couldn’t duplicate “Super-Delicious Crunchy Forest Critters” EXACTLY, but my point is that that type of recording is probably the only sort of thing I do or have done (apart from singing & playing acoustic guitar or piano) that I could do live, since there’s no multi-tracking & the layering itself is done live. Also, “Passive/Aggressive” was played on electric guitar, not acoustic.
11. Page 79, Column B, 3rd paragraph (not counting the tail end of one at the top of the page). I don’t recall saying “phoning it in” & strongly doubt that I said that. I wasn’t too happy with the 3/18/97 show, I’ll be the first to admit. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t say “phoning it in”. And as for the line about me not speaking to anyone in the band since 2004: It’s phrased as if it’s my decision. It never was. I would LOVE to speak to all of them again. THEY’RE the ones who aren’t speaking to ME. And that hurts.
12. Page 79, Column B, 4th paragraph. The smaller speakers are for not disturbing my DOWNSTAIRS neighbour – NOT my next-door neighbour. I don’t give a FUCK about my next-door neighbour.
13. Page 79, Columns B (5th paragraph) & C (top of page). The sentence that begins at the end of Column B & continues in column C…I can’t begin to tell you all of the things that are wrong with that sentence. But I’ll give it a try. My first tape album, A Boy & His Goddess, didn’t even EXIST in 1985. The Casio CZ-101 Digital Synthesiser that I use on that album wasn’t even ACQUIRED by me until May 1987. And the bulk of that album was recorded in the Summer of 87 & the album wasn’t mixed until Autumn 87. So how could a tape that DIDN’T EVEN EXIST until 87 be sold in 1985? Furthermore, the first song on the album is “Halley’s Comet ’86”. How could something that plainly states that it was recorded in 86 POSSIBLY appear on a tape in 1985? Didn’t Jesse READ any of my liner notes? Apparently not. And need I even mentrion that my current pseudonym is Dick FaceBat, NOT “Dick Facebat”?
14. Page 79, Column C, Post Script. They give thanks to WFMU & some guy who works there, but they gave no credit or thanks to my friend Rael OneCloud who sent the tape to WFMU in the first place, back in 1989, nor did they plug her cable access show PostMortem Espresso (Channel 15, Monday nights at Midnight, Thursday & Saturday nights at 1:00 in the morning), WHICH WAS A PRE-REQUISITE FOR MY DOING THE INTERVIEW IN THE FIRST PLACE, OR DID YOU FORGET THAT, JESSE!!!!!!!!????? If it wasn’t for Rael, WFMU would never have gotten that tape & this article would never have been written. Got that? RESPECT THE ONE-CLOUD!!!!!!!!
15. Other stuff they didn’t mention that I wanted them to mention: When I started 4-track recording at Goddard, Jim Pollock was my number one influence. If it wasn’t for him, there’d likely be no “I Didn’t Know” or “Halley’s Comet”. I’ve been wanting to say this in print ever since The Phish Companion came out back in 2000 & I realised they had no idea who he was (they thought he was “The Dude of Life”, whose actual name is Steve Pollack; they also thought “Dear Mrs. Reagan” was a Phish original); I instantly regretted not having said more about him in my interview for that book & I swore that if I was ever interviewed again I’d talk about his influence on my early 4-track recordings…which I did when interviewed for this article but apparently they saw fit not to print any of that. [Jim Pollock’s original recording of “Dear Mrs. Reagan” can be downloaded here.]
Jesse Jarnow’s response…
It’s not every day one gets to profile a mysterious entity that composed a pair of even more mysterious songs that have been ricocheting around my memory for decades. And it’s not every day that the aforementioned entity-of-many-names provides detailed corrections to said profile. To Dick FaceBat—and Nancy and Manta Ray and Blue Whale and Sea Creature and Richard—I’d like to formally and publicly apologize for any places where my brain made leaps in the space-time continuum to simplify story threads or misinterpreted an answer or screwed up chronologies for the sake of a punchier sentence or making something fit slightly better with the assigned word-count. I don’t think any of the below-recounted errors at all alter the story in any way. I stand by my paraphrases, and will let Herr FaceBat’s corrections provide nuance for the rest.
The only note I feel obligated to respond to, however, is #14. I recall no such advance promise to promote Rael OneCloud’s public access show, though continue to feel a little bummed that the description of Mr. FaceBat’s glorious lipdub performances of “Gethsemane” from “Jesus Christ Superstar” and songs by Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, and “some Thai chick” discovered on YouTube were cut from the final piece. (You can watch “Gethsemane,” performed by—ahem—“BatChrist,” here.) If you live in the greater Burlington area, please check out PostMortem Espresso on Channel 15 on Mondays at midnight, and Thursday and Saturday nights at 1 am. Also, regarding #12. I feel the same way, more or less, though I have no downstairs neighbor.
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