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Published: 2012/11/20

The Bieber-Phish Connection Continued

“Sand” can be heard at 4:32, with “First Tube” at 5:35

Hollywood Reporter music editor Shirley Halperin is also a longstanding friend and fan of Phish. As we noted in August when she wrote about Justin Bieber and girlfriend Selena Gomez attending a Phish show, Halperin once told executive editor Dean Budnick, “When they were making the Hoist record they wanted to put the song ‘Jerusalem City of Gold’ on in it at the end but they didn’t know the words. So while I was still living with my parents, I got a random call at midnight on a weeknight from Mike Gordon. They were literally in the studio recording Hoist and he asked me if I could transliterate the song and speak it out for him so that they’d sing it properly.”

Halperin continues to explore the Bieber-Phish connection. Earlier today, the Hollywood Reporter published her conversation with Bieber guitarist Dan Kanter. In the interview Kanter explains that he continues to tease Phish songs during the show, acknowledging that the total has reached “almost 25 songs now — we’re just sneaking them in here and there. There’s one song called “She Don’t Like the Light” where we have a very James Bond-esque chase video starting and Justin is offstage doing a costume change, then he pops out of a trap door. So during that video, I played the Phish pieces. Really, I was doing it to make Kuroda laugh.”

The Kuroda he references is Phish lighting director Chris Kuroda, who is currently fulfilling the same role on Justin Bieber tour. Kanter notes that Phish fans don’t have to worry about losing Kuroda because, “We worked it out so if there is a conflict, Chris does Phish and there is a sub for Justin. When Chris is done, he comes right back to Justin. That was the only way I would recommend Chris — is if he never missed a Phish show.”

The complete interview can be found here.

Click here for the conversation with Kanter from earlier this year.


There are 18 comments associated with this post

Ham Sammy November 20, 2012, 10:54:34

please….......just stop with the Beiber/Phish bs

casey nelson November 20, 2012, 10:30:33


getting old November 20, 2012, 11:20:23

agreed ^, who cares anymore, it’s old news, and readers of this site are usually not 14 y.o. teeny-boppers. also, this is hardly “news,” so if you’re going to publish on it at least make it something new that wasn’t previous knowledge.

we get it November 20, 2012, 11:45:31

Beiber’s guitar player likes Phish

sean November 20, 2012, 11:47:12

Please stop! Once was enough!

john November 20, 2012, 12:05:53

Stop what, reporting? Lighten up people.

Sammy Martin November 20, 2012, 12:21:06

i find it fascinating. a lot of people do. it’s been overplayed because phish fans find it hard to believe. or people in general find it hard to believe that innocent, mainstream, pop icon justin b. would have anything to do with phish. because most phish fans feel they are uniquely defined and connected in a world all our own, most of us not only get a good laugh over this, but are interested in how two ends of the perceived musical world and spectrum could be connected in any way. newsworthy in my world.

Ha ha November 20, 2012, 13:08:16

Vanilla ice at a phish show. Funny.

Vinny Bagodonits November 20, 2012, 13:42:02

Does it really get old? I love these stories. Biebs + Phish – And I’m like Baby Baby Baby Oh Kee Pah!!!! Biebs + Selena – I want to kiss my Mexican Cousin once again!!! Phish + Selena – I pulled the witch from out the ditch!!!

Eric November 20, 2012, 14:10:07

Your jumping the shark with this gay story..Please make it stop!

Joffrey November 20, 2012, 16:33:03

I’d prefer that they stop with the deification of Kuroda. I love Phish, but if you think he is a good light guy then you don’t know theatrical and stage lighting at all. Before anyone starts with their nonsense, look at pictures of the band genesis from the mid 80’s. See what they did almost 30 years ago using Showco’s Varilites? (if you don’t know what that means, then stop praising Kuroda) Shame that people think what kuroda does is in anyway special. In my opinion the best lighting of any phish show was the late night set at Lemonwheel. Improv by candlelight!

GoHomeAndKnit November 20, 2012, 20:56:01

Kuroda is keeping busy and doing shows while Phish is not. Just like everyone, he is allowed to moonlight for other artists. Does it need to be covered here, in multiple articles, no less?
The answer is NO. Let the gossip and Bieber rags and sites cover this crap. Smarten Up, You are indeed jumping the shark (maybe you’ll see Relix up there while you’re airbound…)

OB November 21, 2012, 02:14:32

The only acceptable jambands stories are: * Musician sits in with other band. * Band to play festival. * Old Band to have reunion. * Band announces tour dates. * Phish plays random song. Do not deviate from the formula!!!

Matt November 21, 2012, 08:37:39

a lot of haters in this thread. i’m a long time phish fan and i personally think this type of attention is badass. who cares if justin teases phish songs…maybe people (read: non fans) will start to realize just how great phish is.

Ron November 24, 2012, 00:25:46

sooo sick

Matt S. November 24, 2012, 03:26:19

How can you assholes not find this fantastic??? A huge phish fan finds a gig that likely pays more than having a doctorate in neuroscience (any musician, that is a true working musician, knows he hit the god damn jackpot), and has enough creative freedom to sneak teases in front of thousands of fans that have less than no clue whats going on, all for a hilarious relationship with the lighting director?? So, so awesome.

kyle November 28, 2012, 20:21:06

to the dude that said kuroda suck. name 3 better light directors that can change with the band that doesnt use auto setups that can change with the time. go troll biebers site douchehole.

Brendan November 29, 2012, 15:36:45

Biebers guitarist likes phish? I agree the kid must be pulling in serious dough but what ever happened to artistic integrity? He obviously knows good music. I guess everybody’s gotta eat but i would imagine he’s ashamed of what he’s doing for work.

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