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Published: 1998/09/15
by David Shulman

Minutes With Mimi

This will be the first in what will be a series of columns involving Mimi Fishman (mother of Jon Fishman, drummer for Phish). For those of you not familiar with Mimi’s personal side (other than her infamous vacuum solo’s performed with Phish), she has been fighting a battle with Glaucoma for the past few years, and so far has been holding her own against a formidable enemy.

Mimi has also taken her battle public, as she has hosted a variety of benefit concerts, most often on her birthday, to raise money for the American Glaucoma Society. Her latest was a show at Red Rocks during the summer of ’97 that included Merl Saunders, David Grisman, Government Mule, among others.

While future columns will be more in the classic interview style, we’ll start in a profile mode to help provide you some of the background of Mimi.

Born: April 7

Year: 1936

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite slogan: “I am a survivor”

Favorite song: Divided Sky

Favorite performers: Phish (she says with a laugh)

Merl Saunders
Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe
Colonial Bruce Hampton
Favorite movie: Dr. Zhivago

Favorite TV show: “ugh, what’s good on TV?”

Favorite book: “Angela’s Ashes”

Favorite city: San Francisco

Last song listened to: “our radio stations suck” in response to me asking what was the last song she listened to on the radio

Favorite food: Pasta, “I’m just a plain person”

Favorite drink: Diet Coke and lemon

Favorite animal: Her cat, Valentine

Favorite place to vacation: Cape Cod

Favorite way to spend a summer day: Riding in a pontoon boat

Favorite Phish memory: “When they use to come and stay in my house, sleep on the floor, and have band meetings around my kitchen table. Once when we came home from a trip to California, Trey asked me to listen to a song he wrote for graduation. They proceeded to play some Gamehendge stuff. That was really a time, very thrilling.”

Favorite way to spend a winter day: Cooped up indoors with a book, “I am not a winter person”

How does Jon Fishman describe Mimi: “Jon calls me a cult figure”

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