Amongst Phish fans there is often discussion regarding Trey’s circle of childhood friends. Many of these friends have had roles in the creation of Phish songs, and some of them have even played in the band. Today, we take a look at some of these friends and their contributions to the band.
1. Tom Marshall – Everyone knows Tom, Trey’s childhood songwriting buddy. Tom has penned over 100 original Phish songs, and is the leading lyrical contributor, even more than the band themselves. Trey has said his relationship with Tom goes back until 8th grade. Trey and Tom’s lyrics are one of a kind, there is no way to describe them. Tom helped write Golgi Apparatus, Runaway Jim, and many more of the very early songs. He has been part of UTALK (a band with Marshall, Anatsasio, Peter Cottone on drums and Matt Kohut on bass [formerly of Ween and Amfibian]), and Bivouac Jaun, and several other of Trey’s very early bands. Tom also has his own band, Amfibian.
2. Marc Daubert – The Stu Sutcliffe of the band. Marc was in Andback, the original Tom Marshall songwriting group. Before Trey. Marc and Tom were the first two friends, and were very musical. He was part of Bivouac, and helped write I am Hydrogen and the lyrics to The Curtain. Marc was actually in Phish from September ’84 to February ’85 as an additional percussionist. The show from 12/1/84 at Nectar’s features Daubert on some type of African drum. After going on a three day binge of drugs and alcohol, Trey kicked him out of the house they were sharing, and out of the band. It was not until a show in 1998 that Trey acknowledged his contributions.
3. Dave Abrahams – Member of Andback, the original songwriting team consisting of Tom, Dave and Marc Daubert. One day he heard Tom and Marc signing the lyrics “moons, moons, sons of moons” in the gym, he approached them interested. They would soon become friends, writing songs from a very early age. Dave went to guitar camp with Trey and it was here that they would pen the two guitar parts to Dave’s Energy Guide, an admitted take on King Crimson’s Indiscipline. Dave is also the Dave from McGrupp, “He looks too much like Dave…” He has continued to play a roll in Phish and is an avid concert-goer. Dave helped pen the music and lyrics to Run Like an Antelope, Glide, Fast Enough For You and Slave to the Traffic Light . In addition his mother’s name is Guelah, and his fathers name is Elihu (from Sample in a Jar).
4. Aaron Woolf – Co-writer of Wilson and Golgi along with Tom. Another of Trey’s very early friends, and a discoverer of the Rhombus. Aaron went on to become a film director, making a film about the Vietnam war. In the movie, a baby is hit by the explosion of a mine mangling the baby’s hands and feet. The baby goes on to become a genius. This story would go on to make up the chorus of the Mango Song “Your hands and feet are mangoes. Your gonna be a genius anyway.” As Trey said in an interview from ’91
“My friend Aaron didn’t even know that this whole band existed or anything, like a year ago; he had no idea about any of this. And I’m telling you, Golgi Apparatus was something we used to sing every day at school, in eighth grade, at least fifteen years ago. I got him to come to this gig at the Marquee and we did Golgi and he was standing there just freaking out. But the thing was that he had actually heard it — that’s not the whole story; I just remembered, the whole story is that he was at a party in California. He had no idea about the band, and somebody put it on the stereo, (that’s right, ’cause then I met this other guy who told me that he was at the party with him) and Aaron started going “I wrote this! I wrote this!” And they went, “No, man, this is Phish.” So he says, “What are you talking about — I wrote this!” The “whole thing…”runs like a junkyard dog”
5. Steve Pollack – The “Dude of Life”. The Dude helped pen Suzy Greenberg, Fluffhead, Slave to the Traffic Light, Run like
an Antelope,Sanity and Dinner and a Movie. The Dude attended the Taft school as well as UVM with Trey. He has performed with Phish on numerous occasions, and has released two CDs of his own. The first, “Crimes of the Mind” features Phish as his backing band. The second, “Under the Sound Umbrella” also includes songs with members of the band. One of the early inspirations behind a great deal of Phish’s humor and lunacy.
6. Roger Holloway – Bass and guitar player for some of Trey’s early bands. Roger is featured on the White Album’s Aftermath on acoustic guitar and as a co-writer. Roger is also mentioned in Wilson, “I talked to Mike Christian, Rog’ and Pete same”.
7. Pete Cottone – The drummer in many of Trey’s early bands. He is the “Pete” from Wilson, and is the original drummer on Slave to the Traffic Light. He was also a member of Tom Marshall’s band Amfibian.
Today’s jam is a highlight from night 1 of the Red Rocks run. The band was already on fire by the second set, and this Ghost is the highlight. Displaying some very outside jamming, indicative of the band’s new direction, this Ghost is one of my favorites from the run.