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Published: 2008/10/25
by Ken Robbins

Letter To The Editor: Not Necessarily SO OVER PHISH

Editors Note: This email was sent after my recent editorial, which touched on the behavior of those people, who repeatedly assert in the face of the upcoming Hampton dates that they are SO OVER PHISH. The response came from one of my former campers during my stint as a counselor at a Massachusetts overnight camp in the mid-80s.
Hey Dean Kenny Robbins here (Bauercrest Bunk 13, 1983). Your article provoked something in me and caused me to question whether I am one of those guys who says that he is OVER Phish. I need to go back to really evaluate.
I left Massachusetts 3 months after my first Phish gig which was at my senior Spring Fling at Northfield Mount Hermon School, May, 1989. My buddy Sky from Vermont kept telling us about this new band from his hometown who were great friends with his buddy Amy and who would come play at our school for $200. Max Creek had played the year before for considerably more money and we thought $200 to be a good price. Suffice to say, it was worth it..I recall vividly walking back to the buses to take me to my campus (Northfield) as the band played Contact for those who needed to catch the bus back to the dorms..fitting..
My friend John Clark taped the show and I brought it to Camp that summer. Matty Ravech and I were waiter counselors and that was my last summer on the hillside. I would play that tape over and over as it was the only Phish tape I had. Matty was blown away by the soloing in Weekapaug and my campers didnt know what to make of it. I found out years later that a couple of them got very much into the band.
I took the tape with me to Colorado for my freshmen year and continued to wear it out. Soon though, I was able to get more tapes as the band came West and played tiny bars such as McCabes/Boulder, Hermans Hideaway/Denver, the Quad/Colorado Springs, etc, etcthe next year they moved up the venue ladder to places like Boulder Theater..Gothic Theater..Ten Mile RoomWheeler Opera House. A friend on mine who used to run the shows at the Arrowhead Ranch, Dave Paul, told me that year that these guys will be playing Civic Centers soon. I could not imagine it. I couldnt picture standing on concrete slabs in a concrete building and hearing just didnt seem plausible. When they played the Boulder Fieldhouse a year or two later I thought, Wow, he may be right. But the following night they played a surprise gig at the newly opened, and again tiny, Fox Theater, and all seemed comfortable again.
Well.we know how the story goessoon my favorite places like Boulder Theater gave way to Red Rocks then McNichols Arena (exactly the concrete slabs I could not imagine) and the Warfield/Laguna Seca gave way to a shed on an old trash dump in Palo Atlo.

It all came into focus while I was sitting in the upper level at New Years 92 at Northeastern Univ. That was the run with 2 nights at the Palace Theater in New Haven and that all out barnburner of a show at Symphony Hall in Springfield-relatively modest places in their own right. As I looked down over the floor of Matthews Arena, I was struck with the revelation that for the first time, it looked just like the floor of a GD show big taping section and all. Thats when I knew for sure that things had changed for good.
Soon I would be happily gigging at THE slabsMSG.SpectrumBoston Garden. 9 New Years shows and many miles later..Phish called it quits at Coventry. I did get OVER Phish, I thought.I had 2 kids, moved into a bedroom community north of Boston and was satisfied seeing Scott Murawski in Rhode Island and Allston whenever possible.
When it came time to put in for the lottery for Hampton, I thought.I will put in and get tickets. No doubt. Surely with the technology today they will be able to tell how long I have supported the band from all my old mail orders and hook me up. Never really though twice about it. Anyway, since I am OVER them, no biggie.right?
Then came October 15th and my order got rejected???????? I felt as if I had just finished a game of capture-the-flag back in 1983..sore, bloody and dejected..
WHAT!!!!!!!! I am not OVER Phish!!!!!!!! DAMN THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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