Phish

AP Photo/Jason DeCro

The Jammy Awards did a little Phishing last night.

Four years after going belly up, Phish's four members—Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman—turned up at Madison Square Garden Wednesday to accept a lifetime achievement award at the 7th Annual Jammy Awards, honoring the best in improvisational music.

But the band dashed the hopes of Phishheads by signaling they had no plans to perform together again.

Instead, fans had to settle for two of the four members joining other acts onstage.

With Gordon and Fishman watching from the sidelines, Anastasio joined the Beatles cover band Fab Faux on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Bungalow Bill" and "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey."

Meanwhile, Phish keyboardist McConnell grooved with jazz masters Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, James Carter and Roy Haynes during an all-star jazz tribute. McConnell also popped up early in the evening to accept Phish's win in the Download of the Year category for the benefit release "Headphones Jam."

By the time the foursome finally took to the podium to collect the hardware, it was clear they weren't going to announce a reunion tour. After brief speeches by the other three, it was left up to Anastasio—who has been off the road for more than a year while he completes probation from a 2006 DUI—to sum things up.

"Musicians from the beginning of time have been there to express the mood and the musical feelings in the air for whatever's going on in that particular culture," said the 43-year-old musician. "It's the greatest joy as a musician to be able to translate that, be part of something and watch the scenery around you. That's what it felt like to be in Phish all those years."

Following that, members of Phish protégés String Cheese Incident and the Disco Biscuits tore through a 40-minute set of Phish covers, including "Run Like an Antelope," "Wilson," "Maze" and "2001."

Per usual, the Jammys offered some eclectic performances, including beat-box maestro Doug E. Fresh joining forces with jazz-funk rockers Galactic; Joan Osbourne with the Fab Faux; Big Head Todd and the Monster's Todd Park Mohr with Squeeze's Glen Tilbrook; and Keller Williams with Chevy Chase (yes, that Chevy Chase), who once played drums for Donald Fagen in his pre-Steely Dan days.

Peter Shapiro, cofounder and executive producer of the Jammys, also announced that, taking a cue from the music form it celebrates, the awards ceremony would undergo a major overhaul.

"We've kind of accomplished what we set out to do. In a good jam you kind of have to take chances and go in new directions," he told the Associated Press. "That's why we, on this high...are going to take this momentum in a new direction."

For more on the Jammys, including all the winners, check out Jambase.com.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.