Photo by Michael Weintrob
In a story that appears in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, the members of Phish reflect on the band’s break-up back in 2004. Drummer Jon Fishman, recalls that Trey Anastasio “came to the band, in ’04, totally out of his mind, saying, ‘The only way I can describe this is, if I don’t get out of Phish now, I’ll die.’ When your good friend says this to you, you go, ‘It should have never come to this. Absolutely, go home. Nobody should die over this.’ ”
Anastasio remembers that around this same time, “Page [McConnell] pulled me aside and said, ‘For 20 years, I’ve had 100 percent faith that you would lead us onstage, and it’s always made me feel good. For the first time, I’m not sure I feel that anymore.’”
David Fricke’s piece, which focuses on the recording of Anastasio’s album Traveler, as well as his work on the musical Hands on a Hardbody, also looks back on the moment in December 2006 when Anastasio was stopped by police in upstate New York who found “prescription medications, including Percocet and Xanax, made out to another person, in his car.”
Anastasio is now sober following treatment and Fricke reports that every day while on tour, “He asks everyone in the band and members of the crew which songs they would like to see in the sets that night. Then, before gig time, Anastasio will go into a backstage bathroom and, he says, ‘get quiet. I’ll think about how many people are coming to the show, who’s had a hard day. I’ll meditate on that person and think of them way in the back of the room.”
Folks in the back of the room can look forward to four nights of music when Phish returns to the stage at Madison Square Garden at the end of next month.
For more on the recording of Traveler, check out our recent interview with Trey.