Why Phish? Because Phish is so much more than a band. Phish is a culture, a phenomenon, a dance party, a celebration, an inside joke and a practical joke all the same. Phish is a 30-minute psychedelic improvisational meltdown, followed by a two minute 100-year-old a cappella barbershop quartet song. Phish is composition and improvisation. Phish is both humble and confident; spontaneous and rehearsed; four musicians, yet larger than the sum of their parts.
Why Phish? We could give you a 1,000 reasons why Phish, but have attempted to distill them into 100 things, 100 whys—some objective, some personal, some historical, some magical, and some simply unbelievable. Start at the beginning of the book and read cover to cover, or skip around from chapter to chapter.
Why Phish? Here are 100 reasons why Phish.
Andy P. Smith is a writer, entrepreneur, and marketing consultant who has been attending Phish shows for more than 20 years. He is the Arts Editor at Greenpointers.com, founder of PhanSite.com, and the author of The Last American Gypsy: Chronicles of Phish Tour 2004. His writing has also appeared in JamBase.com, FreeWilliasmburg.com,Quartz, Vice, and The Village Voice, among other publications.
Over the years, he has produced content for Wieden+Kennedy, The United Colors of Benetton, MINI, PBS, and the Northside Festival. As an avid music lover and impresario, he has booked shows and DJ’d gigs all over the country, continually seeking out new sounds and music communities worldwide. He has degrees from NYU and Pratt Institute and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and their weird dog, Luigi. You can find him on social media at @apsmithnyc or through www.apsmith.nyc.
Jason Gershuny has photographed and written about concerts and festivals since 1999 for a variety of music news media outlets including but not limited to Jambase Magazine, Glide Magazine, and Billboard Mobile Beat. During that time he has covered a variety of festivals including High Sierra Music Festival, The Northwest String Summit, and The Portland Blues Festival. He has also reviewed and shot photographs for individual concerts such as Phish, moe., and String Cheese Incident. He has reviewed albums and interviewed various musicians such as George Porter Jr., Steve Kimock, and Karl Denson for publication.
Outside of the musical journalism realm, he was the Oregon team Leader for the national voter registration organization Headcount for more than a decade. He attended the University of Buffalo, graduated from the University of Arizona with an undergraduate degree in Sociology, and received his Master’s degree in teaching from Lewis and Clark College.
Since first seeing Phish in 1993 in a dusty fairgrounds in upstate NY, he has seen them more than 200 times. He lives with in Portland, Oregon, with his loving wife, Mindy, his precious daughter, Izabella, and his two cats, Luke and Leia. He has been a social studies teacher in a variety of grade levels for more than 15 years.