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The Loop

Published: 2011/08/19

Chasing The Dragon (An Essay About Phish)

Mockingbird Foundation board member Charlie Dirksen wrote this thoughtful Phish essay which was squeezed out of our Super Ball IX newspaper, expanded and now appears on In case you haven’t seen it, we wanted to pass along the link. But first here’s now it starts…

IT never ceases to amaze you. The first taste fills you with a joy so supreme, you want the experience to last forever. The moment of discovery is pure and beautiful. As it happens, there is nothing more important, nothing more meaningful. Your heart races. You forget to breathe. Your soul is blissfully overwhelmed. You cannot get enough of it. You had never met before, but you had known it all your life. It has found you, and you, it.

Music, like pretty much everything else, can be addictive and all-consuming. Even if you are not prone to obsessive-compulsive behavior (such as listening to every version of “Tweezer,” “YEM,” and “Mike’s Groove” performed in Phish history), there is likely something that drives you forward, day in and day out. That something centers your being. It keeps you going, whether you are aware of it or not. It could be harmful, or innocuous, or both. It could be something as dreary — and ignorant — as inertia. Or it could be your God, your family, your job, your finances, your music, or a uticular combination of these or other things. “Uticular!?” ...

To read the complete essay, visit

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