Phish Time Line | EW.com

Music

Phish Time Line

Phish Time Line -- Important dates in the jam band's history

12/31/99
80,000 Phish fans flock to the swampy Florida Everglades for a marathon midnight-to-dawn set to mark the new millennium.

7/21/99
When worlds collide: The band covers Pavement’s ”Gold Soundz” at a concert outside Pittsburgh. Who says hippies don’t have good taste?

3/18/97
At a benefit for Lake Champlain, Ben and Jerry — yep, the ice-cream dudes — join Phish on stage at Burlington’s Flynn Theater to celebrate the debut of Phish Food, a chocolate marshmallow concoction stocked with little fudge fish.

11/2/96
The mainstream beckons: Billy Breathes debuts in Billboard’s top 10, smack-dab between No Doubt and LeAnn Rimes.

8/17/96
In the wee hours, the four guys in Phish climb aboard a flatbed truck and ride around serenading a tent city of more than 70,000 sleepy phans in upstate New York at the Clifford Ball, the first summer camp-out show.

12/30/94
We’ll take Manhattan: Phish play their first concert at New York’s mammoth Madison Square Garden. It sells out four hours after tickets go on sale.

10/31/94
A Halloween tradition is born when the band performs its first ”musical costume” — the Beatles’ entire White Album. Since then, Phish have also dressed up as the Who’s Quadrophenia, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, and the Velvet Underground’s Loaded.

5/7/94
At a Dallas club, the band unleashes a nearly 70-minute version of ”Tweezer,” somehow touching on Aerosmith’s ”Sweet Emotion,” the Breeders’ ”Cannonball,” and Prince’s ”Purple Rain.” The quartet at its improvisatory peak.

12/28/92
The band gets an early nod in the mainstream press when PEOPLE names A Picture of Nectar one of the year’s 10 worst albums.

11/22/91
Phish sign to Elektra, home of the Doors, AC/DC, and Better Than Ezra.

12/31/89
Decked out in tuxedos, Phish pop the cork with a New Year’s Eve gig at Boston’s World Trade Center, thereby establishing a tradition. New Year’s shows would grow increasingly extravagant, integrating over-the-top props like scuba gear and a giant hot dog.

5/3/85
Goddard College student and Love Goat keyboardist Page McConnell sits in with Phish at a UVM barbecue. He soon leaves Love Goat. (Wouldn’t you?)

12/1/84
The band braves its first professional show at Burlington’s Main Street club Nectar’s. The set — still widely circulated on tape — is heavy on Grateful Dead covers, but does include longtime Phish fave ”Fluffhead.”

10/30/83
University of Vermont freshmen Anastasio, Fishman, and Gordon play their first gig, a ROTC party. The set includes Big Chill-style chestnuts like ”I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and ”Proud Mary.” The band is eventually shut down to make way for a spinning of Michael Jackson’s ”Thriller.”

SOURCES FOR TIMELINE AND SOME LISTS: The Phish Book, by Richard Gehr & Phish; The Pharmer’s Almanac, by Andy Bernstein, Lockhart Steele, Larry Chasnoff & Brian Celentano; Phish.com and Phish.net