Selection: “Mike’s Song->Legalize It”
Meearf on Dick’s
When the man who wears a helmet to Phish shows asked me if I wanted to help him on a project I didn’t hesitate, but blankly agreed to whatever twisted vision was safely nestled in the doubly-encased mush of his skull.
Then he asked me to recall a Phish show.
I had not anticipated such a barbaric mental onslaught to be leveled on me by the man you call Lawnmemo. I had not been cautioned about the need to recollect, to remember, to engage in nostalgia. I was incensed! Nag champa’d. How could I possibly gather water at the well of emotions, visions, thoughts, creations and destructions lived out in a 3-hour span — no less a lifetime — with merely the porous bucket of memory?
Boiling away like some aromatic, perhaps therapeutic, oil under the constant flame of his incessant one question I soon forgot why I was mad and the frothing caps of the maelstrom behind my eyes calmed long enough and I heard him say he wanted me to write about Dick’s. Beg pardon? The last night of Dick’s mostly.
Glorious! I’ll write about Dick’s “SAND” and how it was beautiful and how we danced and removed our pants — he underminded that Dick’s “SAND” was 2012 and he was talking about 2013. Time ticks against my favor once more and I shake my fist at the spinning Earth. Ah, I wasn’t there, I told him. That’s weird, I swear I remember seeing you, he stung back. This Lawnmemo is a worthy foe when it comes to battles of wits. He was right, I was there.
I am usually here.
Sometimes walking is difficult.
Sometimes you start to walk and you immediately feel like everyone is looking at you. Yes. No. Everyone. The old lady checking tickets? Perched on her haunches, peering like an old lady hawk menacing the air with her mechanical chirp. The dude selling beer? Staring at you while spilling foam. That cop? Oh, he’s definitely looking at you. The sky, she looks too. Why are you walking so weirdly, you weirdo? What, I’m fine, what? Now you are overly conscious of what your arms should be doing and they begin to float by your sides. Like fleshy plastic bags caught in a draft. Sweating. You put your hands in your pockets but learn that your pockets contain a portal to somewhere scary and – what the devil – did something just bite your finger? Why is that tall guy so monstrously tall? He’s at least 9 NO!12 feet tall. Oh shit now he’s looking down at you too. The giant from another planet is looking at you. Look away. Do not make eye contact.
Just lifting my knee and putting it down, is all. Hoping that when my foot lands it is slightly further in front than when it set off, and in a general, directionally purposed fashion. I’m going that way, is what a walk should say. Sometimes your walk can betray you.
I start to shimmy rhythmically as we traverse the paved Earth like coital serpents. Now, if I step backwards or off to one side, it’s me dancing. I point over there. What’s over there? I don’t know but I made you look and now we are all laughing. I wave to the old lady checking tickets, still looking with her beady bird eyes. She looks away. Where’s Gigantor??
Once inside, everyone is pink and warm.
We find ourselves standing on a familiar, sacred plot of ground. It had been deemed holy a year prior by a council of gurgling wooks. It is land we are all born on. It is my homeland. Mike Side.
Without warning, even though the ticket said show at 8, the glow intensifies, the multitude swells with energy and erupts with noise. From over there a guitar chord, loud and perfect, slices through matter we can’t see and ignites my soul.
Movement. Tantric. Prayer-like. We are all thread and music is the loom.
I fart but skillfully wave it around with my hands in time to the beat so as not to stoke the ire of those who smelt and risk being labeled the one who dealt. One grotesquely shapen, green skinned man angrily spins around but I just point to the purple dolphin to my immediate longitudinal North West, the one that hasn’t stopped staring at me since I walked in here, and they begin to argue. The dolphin is an epic debater, however and he quells the upstart with a series of nearly inaudible clicks and deft ripples of his meaty dolphin tongue. The creature melts into the waves of flesh. Was that me for a moment?
Outside the wall over past the second hill there grows a blade of prairie grass, newly sentient and waiting for the sunrise as a fly whirrs past on its way to die.
Back in this cage my chest pulses with the pressure of each low frequency crest plucking its spectral content out at me. It is bass. I love bass. It takes over my heartbeat. I can picture the string vibrate, it purrs, too fast to perceive properly with your eyes. Close your eyes. Your eyes are liars. The deep harmonics pour down on me like solid wind but also rise up and emanate from within me in response. I am resonant; but I am not hollow. There is sound and life vibrating inside me and neither had the decency to at least buy me a burrito on lot.
The song “David Bowie” is a psychedelic masterpiece.
And that’s what I think of the song “David Bowie.”
The lights come up too soon, they always do. I am being hugged and kissed by a glittery mermaid type goddess. That’s fancy. I hug and kiss back. Water is shared lovingly and, despite the spotlights raining stealth magma into our yawning peepers, everyone seems agreeable or better.
Peter Dinklage walks by.
Everything is perfectly as it should be.
What was the question?
OH! Right; the show/jam review…
The other half of the musical sandwich opens up and gets toasty with the opening riff of “Carini,” just shredding lettuce all over the crowd. Fishman’s cymbals complement the greens, slicing off grand, locally sourced tomatoes to the cadence of Mike’s bass thumping at the bottom of a bottle of mayo. Page peppers in salty bits and carves out some turkey. So much cheese. This looks like a delicious sandwich, you guys. The “Carini” is a special menu item.
Birds of a yada. :Golden Age” is also short and sweet. Both of these tunes were brief and side salad-y yet nutritious. Eat your greens.
Uh oh. Oh no. “Caspian.”
Yay Piper. Piper settles into a nice groove at the (minute:second) mark, I don’t fucking know, you go listen to it. Guy tease. This is the ass shaking portion of the evening. There is band-led wooing. Birds tease.
Bow baba bow bow ba ba bow baba bowbow boob bow baba bow bow Boogie On. What a lovely time I am having. What the? What’s this?! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Uncontrollably jumping, flailing and screaming for about 20-30 seconds, it’s I Saw It Again. THIS is the jam I want to highlight from the night. The story of a boogeyman and the paralyzing fear accompanying seeing him, again. Boogeymen are scary and are only placated with evil guitar solos. People around me are politely horrified and make space. Some of you may not know this about me but I am a virtuoso air instrument player. I went to JuliAir’d. Name any instrument and I can air play the fuck out of it. Air drums? My kit can hardly fit in the JEMP truck. Air cello? ::karate chops Yo Yo Ma:: So I whip out my air guitar and fortunately tonight I brought my air pedal board with me and I lay into the Wah pedal with my foot. Deftly working my hand up and down the invisible, skull-inlayed fretboard each note howls from within my fingertips. I give it a little Gene Simmons tongue action too, because why not? I really like this song a lot and feared the slower outro to 20 Years Later had replaced the epic outro jam. They should play I Saw It Again every day, even if no one is there to hear it. In the woods. Then release them all onto the internet like digital doves. It could bring on world peace. Hey, it’s a better idea than any of you a-holes have come up with. I’m just saying. I’ve been made aware that some people do not like this song. Those are the people you should avoid in life, they are beyond help and enjoy the stench of their own misery.
So anyway here is my review of the song: “drums first->then guitar->words to the song->facemelting guitar with screaming I SAW IT AGAIN over and over. Perfection.” If you are writing a song yourself, feel free to use this handy template. It’s sure to be a hit. Moving on!
“Mike’s Song.” It just doesn’t get much more “classic Phish” than this song. There is a certain solace to “Mike’s Song” in that you are almost certain the next 10-15 minutes of your life are going to fucking rock and you might even get a crazy surprise. This is a solid version. It has fury and patience, peaks and drama. A man made entirely of beef turns to me and lets me know about the climate on Jupiter where he is currently summering. Phish is really good. Climbing, reaching, spiraling upward, Trey pushes on to the top of the jam taking well timed leaps with his notes and we all peak together and the clouds part like big fluffy boobs. The air here is thin, ever so simple, mostly Hydrogen and…weed?
“Legalize It.” The Peter Tosh creed could not have been more apropos at that time in the legalization process in Colorado. Hearing Page go through all the many names of our favorite herb while Trey chuckled like a stoner was high-larious pot-notch entertainment. Some dude I never met before walks right up to me during this and pulls out a massive bubbler from a pocket in his poncho. It is packed with what smells like God’s armpit hair and I smoke it. Sour Diesel, he smiles. It made me so high. If you try to tell me that this is illegal you can go right back to hell. Thank you, stranger in a poncho.
Fishman’s snare hits echo and Mike playfully swats at them with thumps and plucks as they fade. Sounds like “Buffalo Bill” for a split open second. Nope, it’s “Paug.”
Oh damn, “SOL.”
I understand some of you like this song.
Suzy. When Page gets up, I get down. Encore was Zero, blah blah blah notes were played, the end.
This show capped off an amazing summer run that my lady and I were fortunate to catch quite a bit of because we quit our jobs and took an adventure. We met new friends and solidified the foundations of friendships prior. We danced like weirdos all over this amazing country to our favorite music with some of our favorite people. We cordially freaked out squares wherever we went. But it’s always been like that. As long as Phish continues to play we will continue to follow, dance, laugh and love. The experiences had along side this band for the last 20 years have shaped my life and the lives of so many others. I can’t wait for the next show, always and forever. We are unconditionally blessed in this show some of you call Life.
This isn’t a letter, stupid, it’s an essay. You don’t finish an essay “Love,” anything. –Well why don’t you go fuck yourself? This is hardly an essay, now, is it? If you want “cohesion” and “sense-making” go to Waxbanks. I was asked to talk about a Phish show and I did. If you don’t like it you can have your money back and go spend it on Bisco lot.
Meearf is weird and has a beard. He lives with his lovely and patient girlfriend in South Philly. Yo. The 1st time he heard Phish was around 1992 and he was… “hooked” haha get it? It was Phish fans, however, that kept him away from seeing a show until ’94 because Phish fans are super annoying. He couldn’t possibly pick a favorite show. SAND might be his favorite song but he loves them all as long as they jam proper and get either his ass to move, his face to melt, or, ideally, both. Perfect scenario would be a jam so evil it turns his hair to snakes and the snakes eat his face.
Meearf has a deep love for Zappa. Two derpy cats would be dead if it were not for him. Furthermeearf, he would like to thank Lawnmemo Myke’s helmet. We did it, baby. We did it.
Bye for now. Bye!
Meearf is what Italians often refer to as a “piece of work.” You never know what you are going to get with him. Yup safe to say I like him