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Published: 2013/03/07

Phish Finally Get Some Respect From Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone has named Phish as one of their “New Immortals.” While this may sound like a huge compliment, it requires a bit of context. Back in 2004, the magazine got a bunch of musicians, critics and industry folks together to assemble a list of the 50 greatest artists of all time. They called this list “The Immortals,” and a little while later they expanded it to 100 artists. It was an interesting concept, with other musicians writing short articles on their heroes. (Elvis Costello wrote the entry on The Beatles, for instance, and Warren Haynes wrote a piece on The Grateful Dead.) Phish did not make it on to this list the first or second time around but it looks like things have changed.

In light of the past few years, Rolling Stone has decided to update their list with 14 new artists whose work they believe will stand the test of time. Artists whose names you “wouldn’t be surprised to see on a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot at some point down the road when they become eligible.” The list does not have any particular order to it, but Phish is now ranked amongst the likes of Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Rhianna, Beyonce and Green Day—though bands like The Roots, The White Stripes and Wilco are also included. So what do you think? Are you happy Rolling Stone has finally placed Phish in their pantheon of rock gods? Do you think it’s too little too late? Or do you think these lists are dumb to begin with? Let us know in the comments.


There are 70 comments associated with this post

HARRY WISER March 8, 2013, 01:23:32

If you are a fan of Phish why give a hoot what Rolling Stone writers diatribes have to say anyway?. I’ll see you at SPAC.

Randy March 7, 2013, 23:42:52

who cares what anybody thinks? i know what i have seen and heard the last 25yrs and some dumb and obviously biased “experts” have no clue about the magic that Phish and Trey have blessed us all with!...they put Jerry 46th or so on their list?....please….

Bubba March 8, 2013, 00:02:03

List of people who got through it without dying. Only list that matters.

Haver March 8, 2013, 02:03:41

Rolling Stone is nothing more than a liberal propaganda mag. Love the section “with us – Against us” The with us points to the left with a blue arrow and against us has a red arrow to the right. Wow get it? blue = the democrat color and to the left. Red = Republican color and to the right. Wow how clever. Wake the fuck up you are being brainwashed! It is not fox news vs cnn or democrat vs republican. It’s evil globalist vs the rest of us. Support the constitution and fight against anyone who wants to take away freedom for the “greater good.” Bush and Obama both used tragedy to take away our freedoms. The police state is coming. I know, I know I must be a racist. Just smoke some pot and watch MSNBC and John stewart. Read Rolling stone and those cool local papers that are free at the music store. They will tell you the truth. Get your flu shot, drink the fluoride water, eat the GMO... that’s right be a good little sheep. Don’t question authority because your guy is in the office and he is so cool. Sheep!

MarZaPhiGar March 8, 2013, 03:43:08

RS exists for one reason only- to keep you staring at the advertising. That’s it.

Matters March 8, 2013, 07:29:04

Do people still listen to these guys?? Really?

Jeff Evans March 7, 2013, 19:44:12

I love Phish, and that’s all that matters. Could give a shit about some magazine’s list of whatever.

justin from massachusetts March 7, 2013, 20:50:04

phish could urinate in my ears and i’ll happily lap it up..or criticize them on a message board. this is called shotgunning a beer

Unibonger March 7, 2013, 19:24:18

It was clear to me in the early 90’s the RS staff were not a lot off par from the RR Hall of Fame thinking, that bands like Rush, Yes, King Crimson, and today phish don’t rate in their classic rock to up to the minute pop circles. They hear about the Great Went but print a Clifford Ball review, interviews always start with the GD/Jerry comparisons, the list goes on, this was probably the work of a single fan on staff that wouldn’t shut up until his band was recognized for at least touring big, so well, for so long. It is important though, sharin the groove.

Nugstradamus March 7, 2013, 17:50:40

Rolling Stones good for one thing only Matt Taibbi columns.

Jon March 7, 2013, 18:02:38

yeah… i think that it speaks volumes about Phish to be put in the same sentence as Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Wilco… lol… seriously.

Bobert March 7, 2013, 18:32:23

Phish definitely deserves recognition no matter who makes the list. It’s dumb other musicians like Taylor Swift are on it, but that doesn’t mean Phish shouldn’t be recognized for what they are. There’s no doubt they deserve to be in the Rock Hall and will be some day. Will we doubt the Rock Halls cred when that happens b/c they let Madonna in and have Lady Gaga paraphanalia in there? Sure they deserve to be on the list. And I HATE Rolling Stones magazine and their shitty liberal agenda.

Into Phish since 95 March 7, 2013, 18:33:27

You had me until you listed the other acts that are “new Immortals” too. Yuck. And Dan wrote, “believing in global warming are now considered hip and cool and popular”? So believing in science and facts makes one hip and popular?

Doyle March 7, 2013, 17:32:39

I have been a subscriber to Rollng Stone since 1978. This is great news. Put the mag down all you want but I guarantee the boys in the band think its an honor.

jerrybear March 7, 2013, 17:45:43

i agree with cody any rag that can’t rank Warren in the top 100 and only ranks jerry at 49 stinks in my opinion so phish shouldn’t give a rats a** what they think

DanChildress March 7, 2013, 17:13:49

Phish has been getting tons of mainstream love/respect/attention since 2.0 began…. but especially since 3.0 started. Part of it is that Joy and the “modern live phish” sound are much more accessible to the common listener and much more “mainstream-sounding” Part of it was the “hippy/tree-hugger/naturalist/environmentalist” movement of the 2000s. Just like jamband festivals and believing in global warming are now considered hip and cool and popular…. people just don’t look at Phish so crosseyed now. Part of it, in this case specifically, was Trey basically becoming the epitome of dad-rocker.

Lee March 7, 2013, 17:18:55

Phish definitely deserves the recognition, they offer music lovers a deep and complex range of live performances that few if any other bands currently do. I do believe they are a much stronger band NOW than they were in 2004, that being said, I would elevate them above a lot of the other groups on the earlier list,

me March 7, 2013, 15:53:29

I take RS for what it is… a magazine that focuses on pop culture of most all forms, primarily those who stand out for some reason (whether for a moment in time, or long lasting). They are a valid magazine, not necessarily what I enjoy, but as I can recognize that someone like Lady Gaga has a place within the music industry even though I have no taste for her at all, I feel that way about RS. With that out of the way, yes, it’s nice to see Phish get a nod… however, I lost no sleep prior to this, nor will I be celebrating it now. Bottom line is that RS acknowledged a great band/great musicians and it should serve as a nice little feather in their collective hat… NEXT!

timmy March 7, 2013, 16:08:07

Corporate rags judge art based mostly on profits. So in that regard Phish fits the bill. RS is in the entertainment business. Their industry controlled share holders dictate what their version of music is to the masses. They have had no integrity for decades. I’m not surprised they still do so well in this TMZ tabloid controlled culture.

Joe March 7, 2013, 16:10:38

Worst “influential” magazine ever.

terry March 7, 2013, 16:19:35

Rolling Stone is garbage

Obsolete March 7, 2013, 16:25:25

Quadrophonic, 8-Track, DCC, Minidisc, Rolling Stone Magazine… Obsolete music related items that belong in the garbage heap of history…

Mad Mickey March 7, 2013, 16:37:58

Well…Phish are kind of mainstream now and Rolling Stone is a pop culture mag. Phish were cutting edge and innovative in the 80’s-90’s, but they weren’t really mainstream. So, none of this is very surprising.

sneakin sally March 7, 2013, 15:27:38

i don’t think anyone here cares about what rolling stone has to say… they consider kurt cobain a top 100 guitarist. come on now

T March 7, 2013, 15:28:13

Who cares? It’s like the Grammys. Dumb to begin with

Shane March 7, 2013, 15:29:17

For the most part, these lists are pretty good. Again, they’re subjective, but it’s nice to at least see the recognition.

Cliff March 7, 2013, 15:34:08

Rolling Stone bases their ‘lists’ on popularity and record sales more than musicianship, which is obvious. It used to be the voice for rock, no matter how many records you sell, but those days are long gone.

Matt March 7, 2013, 15:34:41

Rolling Stone is garbage, Their respect means nothing. They just take the most popular artists and throw them on their list. Rolling Stone put Rihanna on their list because she’s popular not talented.

John March 7, 2013, 15:35:28

Glad to see Phish joining the club. Why is it important? Young music fans (many of whom read Rolling Stone) will be more likely to listen to Phish and possibly get turned onto the band now that they have joined this list of immortals. That is why these type of accolades will help ensure Phish’s place in American music history.

Coby March 7, 2013, 15:37:46

Any magazine that leaves Warren Haynes out of the top 100 guitarists of all time and moves Duane Allman from 2nd to 9th doesn’t deserve much attention in terms of rankings.

leglizhemp March 7, 2013, 15:40:02

taylor swift is a rock god? that right there tells you lists are dumb.

Dustin March 7, 2013, 15:45:39

Does anyone think the boys in phish care about this honor? Highly unlikely… #please announce summer tour

mark gillman March 8, 2013, 09:12:32

rolling stone also gave phish’s a picture of nectar the labeling of top ten worst of the decade album….......... does anybody really honestly read that shit pile of a magazine anymore anyways?????????????? regardless this guys been loving him some phish since ’94!!!

Tony March 8, 2013, 09:13:48

I grew up listening to Phish, and still am enjoying their sound! It doesn’t matter to me what a “list” says about them.

shinymetalass March 8, 2013, 09:15:57

Haver, Phish makes u think of GMO’s and Bush and Obama. RS IS NOT a liberal propaganda mag. They may report on different political stuff, but their all business baby making that money. Why else would a now shitty music magazine still be around.. I highly doubt anyone here, except u obviously, even read it. Its good to start my woodstove with when it goes out!

fluff March 8, 2013, 09:16:07

Summer tour in your mother’s undies! WOOP WOOP!

Maria March 8, 2013, 09:16:39

Rolling Stone called Phish the most important band of the 90s, so I wouldn’t say that they are finally just not coming around to respecting them.

Gamehenge Resident March 8, 2013, 09:25:36

Great, like it wasn’t hard enough to get tickets already. Thank goodness for couch tour!

phoenix phish March 8, 2013, 09:47:48

Is this same mag that recently had Paul Simon & Kurt Cobain as top 100 guitarists of all time and left Big Red off their “list”? Really?

salwizard March 8, 2013, 09:48:44

Did my eyes read correctly? Phish is being nominated in the same class as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Green Day? It’s definitely hard to take Rolling Stone seriously, especially when Trey didn’t make the list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time, but Bonnie Raitt was number six. Happy 30th Birthday, Phish! Not many others can say that.

Jack Straw March 8, 2013, 10:22:39

Who gives a hairy rats ass what Rolling Stone thinks?

don March 8, 2013, 11:03:13

it’s the right thing to do.
phish are a unique ensemble.
like STI,, they are carrying the torch for for progressive musical directions.

Jimmy Jam March 8, 2013, 11:20:33

Rhianna? ....seriously??

Jereimah March 8, 2013, 11:23:06

Phish rules. Rolling Stone Magazine SUCKS.

Cassidy March 8, 2013, 11:48:39

Honestly I don’t want more mainstream attention for Phish- it will just bring more young people there who just want to party. When you look at the other bands listed I doubt Phish cares to be part of this list. The band & fans know that they are one of the best bands around & we don’t need a list or the RS to tell us what we have known for 30 years.

El Duderino March 8, 2013, 12:58:09

Well…that’s just like…you’re opinion, man…

Boston Cass March 8, 2013, 13:45:06

I think Rolling Stone doesn’t matter anyways. It is passe at this point. Fans are fans regardless of some dumb rank or a record on the wall in the Hard Rock Cafe.
Taking the performers that they are “coupled” with is the perfect example of misinterpretation or miscategorization.

jeffery peeno March 8, 2013, 14:10:20

Oh great, Phish can finally be discussed in the same category as, “Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Rhianna, Beyonce and Green Day”. It only took them 30 years to get the same respect Rolling Stone gives these gimmicky mass marketed “artists”. Finally I can end my hunger strike.

jeffery peeno March 8, 2013, 14:10:54

Oh great, Phish can finally be discussed in the same category as, “Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Rhianna, Beyonce and Green Day”. It only took them 30 years to get the same respect Rolling Stone gives these gimmicky mass marketed “artists”. Finally I can end my hunger strike.

The Sloth March 8, 2013, 18:16:01

I pretty sure the staff is full of Phans and they are doing their best to keep the greatest show on earth a secret to ensure what is left of the intimacy remains intact.

btownboy March 8, 2013, 18:26:31

That has to be the alltime worst
photo I have ever seen of those
three. Horrible.

Jn March 8, 2013, 23:18:25

Phishing was waaaaaay better in the nineties…still pun to see. Em but really has that nostalgia feel to it already…I mean Backwards down the number line is worse than Bobby Weir

PhrontRowAlpine March 9, 2013, 00:50:15

Yeah, and Trey, Page, Mike and John are independently better than all the musicians listed above combined. Nobody is as consistent, clever, creative, and dynamic as Phish. I mean, who else has set the standard for how to co ordinate a festival, has a trend setting light engineer, millions of Phans all over the world that speak multiple languages (when Phish only performs one song in another language, Japanese), and an entire backing storyline of The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday that is as epic, (or more) than the Lord of the Rings? Who does this? Phish, that’s who… Saint Louis was my 100th Phish show, and I’ve seen over 400 musical acts not including Phish, so I am pretty sure I know what I’m talking about…

robert nendza March 9, 2013, 08:44:03

IT TOOK 30 yrs. To figure this out!

kevin p. March 9, 2013, 12:24:09

I’m not sure what’s more boring…reading this article…reading RS mag now…or trying to read all these comments.

Slink! March 10, 2013, 15:38:02

There is nobody, nothing, anybody or anything that can affect my relationship with the music of Phish. Not Rolling Stone and not Mr “I’ve been to 100 shows so I know what I’m talking about…”
Great, they made the “immortals list”! So…now what!?

Haver March 10, 2013, 22:22:16

shinymetalass, You sound like a nasty liberal. I bet you do read rolling stone and watch MSNBC. Sheep!

francis March 11, 2013, 12:17:57

de doo doo doo
de da da da
is all i want to say to you

Rico March 12, 2013, 16:31:19

Baaa! Baaa! Baaa!

rico March 12, 2013, 16:31:46

next album they’ll be the cover

Suzanne March 12, 2013, 21:10:12

Phish is the deal and has been the deal for 20 years. Bye, bye!

Bob Weir March 12, 2013, 21:40:16

we have simple in the band. hey where is son volt?

earlman nearlman March 13, 2013, 03:08:13

Horrible list. WTF is Phish even on there for, they make real music. Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and other pop music lip synch garbage. Who is running rolling stone these days to make such a horrible list? Only Phish and Pearl Jam are the truwe “new immortals,” the rest is a joke.

Patrick March 13, 2013, 20:43:50

You get recognized by selling out shows year after year after year after year. Not by some writers at a magazine .

RIco March 16, 2013, 02:38:36

“You get recognized by selling out shows year after year after year after year. Not by some writers at a magazine .” Says a guy commenting on an article written by some writers at a magazine.

Californian March 18, 2013, 02:37:38

I feel like people who hate on BDTNL want to see Phish stop playing it/change their style because it is great and they want shows to be easy tickets or something. I mean like true haters.
Charlie Sheen would call them trolls. Joy rocked.
It was a great album.
Some of the new songs are some of my favorite songs and they have serious potential to become great jam vehicles in the near future.
I sincerely hope that Phish doesn’t let this stuff go their heads.
Play what you want.
The new stuff is sick.
The new demo I heard is awesome.
Cheers and thanks for showing the west coast love.
When have been very lonely without you.

dave Mcdonald March 18, 2013, 11:26:58

I never read RS only hear about in places that matter which I don’t understand Phish Is great!!!! loike them or not Variety is my key Immortal in Pop Culture sad right I bet Bach not on it OH 400 years will not sell paper Ninja pleas

Noodles March 18, 2013, 17:09:10

Isn’t Relix owned by the same company that owns Rolling Stone? There have been many positive PHISH blurbs in RS over the years- who gives a hoot. Being in the I have PHISH cassettes from when they played VT boarding school prom nights … I think these guys simply leave home to play some decent music, they can now go on ‘easier’ tours, with less family distrupting runs, they know the profit margins to the penny per show/venue … and like all tenured pros- dance to their own rules.

Rico March 22, 2013, 17:22:42

I don’t knock RS, I’m a lifetime subscriber, and lists are lists. As any PHISH fan knows, for them not to appear on “top” lists, or for Trey not to be on the RS 100 Greatest Guitarist list (though a reviewer) is sheer ignorance. We know.

lyle March 24, 2013, 12:32:56

Its about time they included with the likes of taylor swift and lady gaga! Haha what a joke

Pete April 5, 2013, 11:50:46

I am less happy about the talentless musicians lumped into the same category as with Phish, e.g., Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Rhianna, Beyonce, and Green Day.

Stephen July 6, 2013, 13:01:24

Phish was easily the most original and innovative rock band of the 90’s. As a musician, I learned more about music theory and composition from them than anyone else in rock history except the Beatles. If Beethoven were alive today, Phish is probably one of the few rock bands that would interest him. But Lady Gaga? Taylor Swift? Kanye? Rihanna? You’ve got to be kidding me. They’re bland pop artists with almost no innovation whatsoever. Yawn.

Andrea July 7, 2013, 23:19:58

Lists do not tell us anything except for other people’s opinions. I guess it gives us something to talk about for a few minutes but that is all. If there was a way to rate the technical and compositional skills, then I would respect that and actually read the list. I have appreciated Phish’s music for the past 12 years, they never cease to impress me – Keep up the good work guys!

alfred May 9, 2014, 04:22:30

Fuck Rolling Stone Magazine.

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