Best and Worst Phish Guests Rebuttal

In response to David Steinberg’s fun article about the Best and Worst Phish Guests, I would like to add my thoughts to his choices.  I agree with most, and I disagree with some.

David’s Worst Guests

Bob Weir 10/06/2000
I completely agree with him.  I would have added that no one wanted to have guest this close to what we thought was the end of Phish.  While I enjoy Phil sitting in with Phish, Bobby does very little for me when it comes to him contributing to Phish songs.  Dave had it right when he said Bob couldn’t keep up with Chalk Dust, just like his cohort Bill Kreutzmann couldn’t keep up with Fish in 2001 or Character Zero.

B.B. King 2/24/2003
Agree, he was there too long.

Jennifer Hartswick 4/15/2004
Agree with this, as well–during some of the worst shows in Phish history, trying to work with a guest might have been the most embarrassing and painful thing they could do.  Would definitely like to see her come back, though.

Baby Gramps 8/26/1993

Kid Rock 9/29/00
Completely disagree.  If you are not familiar with this show, I wrote about it here yesterday, complete with the download and videos.  Dave refers to this is “cock rock”–I’m not sure if he is offended by Kid Rock changing some lyrics to things like “We’ll pull your panties down”, or if he doesn’t like the song selection, but I have been waiting for a long time to see Phish play songs like Walk this Way and Shook Me All Night (especially the latter).  This part of the show pumps me up so much; Listen to Trey nail the guitar solo in Shook Me All Night–with Kid Rock pointing at him.  Kid Rock added a lot of fun to the show, I am happy he joined them.  Along with Phish I enjoy heavier material–would Dave be upset of Guns ‘n Roses came out with Phish?  I don’t understand why some people don’t like this part of this concert;  do these same people not like the encore to 12/06/1996 because Phish doesn’t usually incorporate yodeling and rap/poems into their music?  I mean, come on, what good is a guest if they don’t allow Phish to try different styles.  How can he enjoy Jay-Z but not kid rock?

David’s Best Guests

Tom Marshall
I suppose I agree, I probably wouldn’t have included him as a “guest” at all, though.

B.B King 2/24/2003
Kind of weird he shows up on both lists.  I agree it’s better when you have to option to not listen to the entire things, but certainly not good enough to put it on the list of “best” guests.

P Funk 12/30/2003
Disagree.  I found the nearly 20 minutes of  “music” that was played that night sounds like a “medley” of crap that had been stewing in the sun too long.  I may be in the minority on this, but I feel the idea and novelty were fun while it turned out to be complete garbage.  I mean, seriously, how often do you listen to this since it’s been played?

Bruce Springsteen 6/14/2009
Totally agree – this was an awesome guest to host.  Each song is strong in it’s own way, and Phish sound great on each.  It’s also hilarious when Bruce forgets Page’s name.

Phil Lesh 9/17/1999
Agree; as I said above, I always like when Phil sits in.  Phil on the tramps was, indeed, epic.

Dude of Life 
I agree that he is fun seeing as how he doesn’t break the rule of staying too long.  He certainly is fun and, like David did, I would rate him above Tom Marshall.

Jay – Z 6/18/2004
I agree with him being one of the best guests.  A true treat in Brooklyn.  Also, Dave’s story about the vendors pulling out their cell phones when he came out is funny–venue workers are usually so brain-dead bored at Phish shows.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Agree, not sure I would put it at number three, but I agree to it being on the list nonetheless.  I probably would have added the YEM -> Ghost > Poor Heart from 7/09/1997, though.

Karl Perazzo, Dave Grippo, and Gray Gazaway 10/31/1996
Totally agree- that Halloween set was pure bliss.  It is amazing the sound Phish was able to achieve with these added guests.  A true highlight in American concert history.

Sharon Jones 10/31/2009
Again, I agree.  Sharon Jones added sooo much to this set.  The fact that you could tell how much damn fun she was having certainly added to it; she would be smiling in awe at the crowd while she wasn’t singing.  What an amazing addition both Saundra Williams and she were.  I don’t think they could contain their excitement during Suzy Greenberg > jam, and I couldn’t either.

Thanks to David so much for making this list–stuff like this is so fun for Phish discussion.  Make sure you become a regular user of his amazing ZZYZX Phish Stats site.  He is one of the best members of the Phish community.