Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Phish: Rare & Unreleased

The Nancy Tracks (1985)

Taken from The Mockingbird Foundation’s Phish Companion:

Three tracks written and recorded by Richard Wright, the songwriter widely known as “Nancy Taube”.

The tracks include the original, pre-Phish versions of two fan favorites, plus a song written by “Nancy” for Phish which they never performed. None of these tracks have been available previously, and the third has rarely even been heard.

Here are liner notes from “Nancy” himself:

“I Didn’t Know” (2:59) – Recorded September 1985, Goddard College. I wrote this while I was driving on Jay Street in Montpelier with a couple of friends & a guy who thought he was in direct contact with Darth Vader. This song was later covered by Phish, who got a few of the words wrong.

“Halley’s Comet” (5:48) – Recorded September 1985, Goddard College, a few days after the previous session. This song was written as a reaction to the Motown revival in the wake of “The Big Chill” along with the impending passage of said comet through our solar system & the hype thereof. Was originally two songs: “Halley’s Comet” had no lyrics other than “Halley’s Comet” & was conceived as a parody of Brian Eno (the “Another Green World/Before & After Science” phase); the rest of the song was a satire of Motown called “Goin’ Down”, which I wrote after getting stoned & listening to “The Blue Mask” by Lou Reed. A month after I recorded this song, I met Trey Anastasio who asked me if Phish could cover it. I gave my consent & they debuted the song onstage at Goddard Springfest ’86…they got the chords wrong.

“Snootable Snunshine” (12:12) – Recorded May 1986, Jeffrey Caswell’s studio, Marshfield, Vermont: Unlike “I Didn’t Know” & “Halley’s Comet” which Phish had simply heard & decided to cover, I actually wrote this song for Phish, but they wouldn’t touch it, though Trey & Jon were laughing their f*cking asses off when I played this tape of it for them. The lyrics are bits & pieces of poetry I’d written throughout early 1985 & early 1986.

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