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Published: 2012/04/15

Jon Fishman Leads "The Cowbell Record Breaking Band"

Phish drummer Jon Fishman broke the Guinness World Record for the largest cowbell ensemble late Saturday afternoon. As confirmed by the Burlington Free Press, more than 1,600 fans joined Fishman and his self-proclaimed “The Cowbell Record Breaking Band” for the record-breaking performance on Burlington, VT’s Church Street shortly after 4 PM. The turnout more than doubled the previous world record of 640.

For his performance, Fishman’s band consisted of vocalist Joshua Panda, guitarist Bob Wagner, bassist Aaron Hersey, Trey Anastasio Band drummer Russ Lawton and keyboardist Phil Abair. Fishman—who wore a “more cowbell” t-shirt throughout the performance—stuck to the cowbell throughout his short set. Both Hersey and Abair once performed with Fishman in his now inactive side-band Pork Tornado. Phish bassist Mike Gordon was also on hand to sign autographs and greet fans but did not perform with his longtime bandmate.

The cowbell ensemble’s interactive set consisted of The Chamber Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today, ” Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and Bachman–Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business.” Early arrivals were also treated to the cowbell classic “Low Ride” during soundcheck. Fishman was particularly animated throughout his short set, name-checking Christopher Walken and Will Farrell, whose “more cowbell” skit is an SNL classic.

Proceeds from the afternoon benefited the Vermont Flood Recovery campaign through Phish’s WaterWheel Foundation. The celebration also marked the 15th anniversary of the Vermont Quartet’s Phish Food ice cream flavor. Fans were able to pickup tickets to perform as part of the cowbell ensemble at Burlington’s Flynn Theater, where Phish celebrated Phish Food’s launch in 1997. In another nostalgic twist, fans who paid to participate in the cowbell performance were given leftover Clifford Ball wristbands to wear.

After breaking the world record, the Phish organization moved their celebration around the corner to the classic Phish haunt Nectar’s for the official vinyl release of Junta. The early Phish album will be available on vinyl across the country as a Record Store Day special next week.

Phish has attempted to break several world records over the years, including the world’s largest nude photo at the Great Went in 1997, the world’s largest balloon drop during a New Year’s Eve ’96-97 concert and the world’s largest group dance at Camp Oswego in 1999 (Trey Anastasio mentioned the group would try break the record at Big Cypress as well). The Big Cypress festival was also the largest ticketed show on December 31, 1999.

Additional reporting by Eric Pietrzak


There are 28 comments associated with this post

debbi April 15, 2012, 11:11:24

Look for David in the front. Very cool.

dave April 15, 2012, 14:13:38

Ho Hum, who cares. A bad drummer from a bad band

zach April 15, 2012, 14:30:20

wow dave, you obviously don’t know music at all, you ignorant piece of shit. You are the kind of person who ruins music. Phish is one of the greatest bands of all time and fishman is an absolutely amazing drummer. You have to be completely retarded and ignorant to say that

dave April 15, 2012, 16:44:15

What did the phish fan say when the drugs ran out???? Wow this band sucks.

Kind April 15, 2012, 19:26:59

WoW it seems to be fairly often I read the articles and then see the people post in regards to them, and to be honest it is getting to the point it makes not want to visit this site. Lots of negative vibes. Anyway might I suggest to do away with the ability to comment admins?

dave April 15, 2012, 20:11:42

Easy Kind Go take a big rip off your bong and everything will be fine.

Cloudy Knight April 15, 2012, 21:50:01

What’s got dave’s panties in a bunch?

Tom April 15, 2012, 22:01:21

Easy folks! Dave is obviously the biggest Phish fan EVER! He is everywhere in the Phish world. You can’t be the first to post in every Phish thread Dave, but your time and dedication to the online Phish community is impressive. It’s because of diehards like Dave, that our Phish threads always have the most hits. Keep it up sporto! Yay Dave!

me April 16, 2012, 10:58:07

Dave is angry at the world for being the result of a craigslist posting by a drug addled prostitute that used cheap condoms… he only knows his dad as “john”... he’s angry and takes his anger out on Phish because of Fishman’s first name… Dave doesn’t realize the real reason why his mom refers to his dad as a “john”... Dave is bitter because life sucks in his world… poor Dave…

dave April 16, 2012, 11:19:09

What is the differance between Phish and a harmonica???? A harmonica sucks every other note.

Cleeet April 16, 2012, 11:37:20

This Dave’s purported Phish hatred is like a lot of homophobes … he protests just a bit too much. An iPod full of LivePhish in his closet maybe? Oh and he’s recycling 30-year-old Grateful Dead jokes.

dave April 16, 2012, 11:55:48

If you took all the members of phish and dropped them from the tallest building you could find who would land first?? Who cares!!!!

***** April 16, 2012, 12:46:38

I think you’ve made your point dave- you’re just a deuche who can’t do anything better than rag on a band that is bringing money to a state that just had a natural disaster destroy it’s citizen’s homes… great job. Maybe you should find something better to do than sit in front of a computer all day only to trash a band that has contributed far more than you ever have.

dave April 16, 2012, 13:08:40

The only thing Phish contributes to is their own pockets and to the pockets of all the drug dealers who follow that crappy band. They should take some of the money they make and get some music lessions. And their fans should work on their peronal hygiene. Also getting a job might be a good move.

***** April 16, 2012, 13:17:13

Phish contributed 2 million to Lake Champlain clean up and over 3 million to the State’s Flood Relief fund. Not to mention Nice try.

makersandh2o April 16, 2012, 13:50:08

Bring back Pork Tornado! – “Kiss My Black Ass” rulz!!!

More Cowbell April 16, 2012, 14:10:53

The truth is Dave’s so pissed because thought he had the cowbell record in the bag,but only 1,599 people came to join his ensemble.Better luck next year chief.

me April 16, 2012, 15:06:16

Dave has no friends… Dave is a loser… Dave begs for attention on the internet… Everyone looks at Dave and laughs… Dave will die alone after living a pathetic life… Don’t be a Dave…

dave April 16, 2012, 18:42:57

I think we all know who the true losers are. Those poor people who go to Phish shows. They are just to stoned on what ever they bought with their wellfare checks to know any better. Realy sad.

Tough Guy April 17, 2012, 01:05:15

Did Nobody read the post about Dave being a Phan. I think he’s just being a sarcastic dick to get a rise out of all of you. I have a friend who does the same thing. Thinks it’s funny. Although we do not. Knowing he is in fact a fan makes this whole thing Phunny as Phuck. He prolly went to USC like my buddy and had everything given to him. We need Dans in the world just like we need Phans in the world. But in this case I think we have two in one.

DAVE April 17, 2012, 09:01:36

Has small dick syndrome and prolly has a finger or two up his ass as he types.

dave April 17, 2012, 11:05:46

Phish fans shake yourself. You can call me anything you like and even if it is true it still does not change the simple fact that phish sucks. Some things are just inevitable. Death, taxes, the world is round and Phish sucks. Pure and simple. Your friend Dave

minority view April 17, 2012, 16:14:57

I think Dave is funny for getting such a strong response here—but look at how personal and negative the supposedly kind Phish kids go so quickly on an obvious troll. Woof.

Kid Sweat April 20, 2012, 18:50:48

Too many cowbells.

really April 24, 2012, 11:46:11

Haven’t you folks ever seen the sign at the zoo of comments? “DON’T FEED THE TROLLS” Who gives a rip if “dave” doesn’t like Phishy-ness. One less person in front of me in line for a ticket.

real lot kid May 19, 2012, 11:24:52

Wow, the comments the phish kids on this forum i stumpled on trying to find funny phish kid jokes, is most def a PHISH KID JOKE in itself. and waay funnier than the ones about lightbulbs. hahaha.

***** August 9, 2012, 14:04:38

It’s funny that dave started to change the topic of conversation from Phish charity (when he knew he was wrong) to stupid one-liner Phish jokes… really brought the 4 yr old out of you dace… oh wait, maybe he is 4?

Tom December 26, 2012, 23:21:03

There is a lot of truth to what dave is saying but you drug dealing criminals don’t want to admit it. Phish sucks get over it. The only reason I read this article is because daves comments came up on a hit. Call whomever doesn’t agree with you a troll but you guys are scum the DEA should arrest. Spreading drugs across where ever you go like a cancer on society. Say whatever you want about me and attack the person instead of the issue that phish sucks.Good doesn’t erase the bad so who cares how much money came into the towns. The status quo is BS and the towns that let these events happen are corrupt. Truth is better than lies and dave tells the truth.

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