a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

News David Welker print for Mockingbird sold out!

Posted 2015-03-31 11:58 am by MarcoEsc - 3 comments - Link:

Our initial allocation of "Rutherford" by David Welker, Foil Edition, sold out in a remarkable two minutes. If you were not able to grab a print, fear not. We held on to some, which will be sold at upcoming art/print shows.

The regular edition of the print, along with the rest of the series created for The Phish Companion, 3rd Edition, will be announced and sold in the coming weeks.

Thank you all for your support, and a special thanks to David Welker for honoring us with your art.

News David Welker Creates New Print for TPC3

Posted 2015-03-25 4:20 am by MarcoEsc - 13 comments - Link:

The Mockingbird Foundation is excited to announce "Rutherford", the first in a series of art prints commissioned for our upcoming book The Phish Companion - 3rd Edition. Gloriously executed by the brilliant David Welker, the artist behind Phish's Rift cover art, this print features an armor-suited Rutherford plunging into the depths of a raging river. Framed by rich Gamehendgian imagery, David's stunning interpretation will be reproduced in TPC3 to introduce the first era of Phish.

This is the first in a series of eight art prints being created by top artists, each representing a different era of the band's career. Each print will be reproduced in full color in TPC3, and also sold as limited edition prints (both individually, and as a complete set). More details about the print series will be released in the coming weeks.

David has created a special mirror foil edition of "Rutherford", which we are excited to make available via our friends at Bottleneck Gallery. This screenprint measures 24" x 18", is printed on mirror foil paper (similar to David's acclaimed Alpharetta '14 print), and has an edition size of 600. (There will also be a standard edition of the print, to be sold at a later date.)

The mirror foil edition of "Rutherford" will go on sale at 12:00 noon EDT on March 31, 2015, via the Bottleneck Gallery website, for $100. Sales are limited to one per person.


Song History Song History: Words to Wanda

Posted 2015-03-23 2:21 pm by Tim Wade (TheEmu) - Link:

Inspiration strikes in the darndest places. If you had to surmise the origins of an elegant piece of art like “Words to Wanda,” you would probably not guess it was born of a drunken romp. But that is exactly how Trey says the song was conceived. “‘Words to Wanda’ was like another style of Tom/Trey writing,” he told Randy Ray in a 2007 interview. “It is me and Tom drinking too much beer and jumping around the room screaming until the lyrics come out. He’s hilarious. ‘Words to Wanda’ is a Tom/Trey screamer.” But this song was not destined to remain a lark. Transformed by a simple melody and a brilliant arrangement, “Words to Wanda” would instead become one of TAB’s most gorgeous songs. ...

Blog Jam Chart Proportions... Charted

Posted 2015-03-20 11:12 am by Lemuria - 7 comments

The next few entries in our charts series summarize some of the information and scrutiny available through First up, a quantitative summary of the site's extensive Jamming Charts, which identify 3,343 recommended performances of 193 songs (an average of 17.3 each) as well as 919 highly recommend versions (an average of 4.8 each).

For the 41 of those songs which were performed 150 or more times, the chart to the right illustrates the total performances (to end of grey), proportion recommended (end of green), and proportion highly-recommended (yellow).

Those 41 songs account for 1,549 recommended versions and 541 highly recommended versions, or about half of all those in the Jamming Charts. But those charts recommend a wide range - from only 2 of the 438 Caverns, to 43% of the 366 Tweezers (of which 63, or 17%, are highly recommended.)


Blog 2015 Summer Tour, Magnaball Announced

Posted 2015-03-18 6:04 am by phishnet - 0 comments

Phish has announced their 2015 Summer Tour and Magnaball, Phish’s tenth festival, which will take place August 21-23, 2015 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.

The Summer Tour will begin at the end of July on the West Coast with two evenings at Les Schwab Amphitheatre in Bend, OR (July 21 & 22). The band will also play two-night stands in Atlanta, GA (July 31 & August 1), East Troy, WI (August 8 & 9), Philadelphia, PA (August 11 & 12) and Columbia, MD (August 15 & 16). For the fifth straight year, Phish will wrap up its summer outing with a trio of Labor Day weekend shows at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (9/4-6). The band will not be touring this fall.


Phish returns to Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY for their tenth festival, Magnaball (August 21-23, 2015). Located amidst the rolling hills of central New York’s Finger Lakes region, the site is just a short drive from numerous Northeastern cities. Onsite camping is included in the price of admission. Like previous Phish festivals, the event will include numerous activities, attractions and art installations in addition to a series of performances by the band. Camping and travel packages are available. is your main source for all things ‘ball. We’ve posted the first wave of information about the festival and will continue to update with Travel info, FAQs, Guidelines, Event Info, the hottest celebrity recipes, and much much more, so keep checking back.

An online ticket request period for Phish’s 2015 Summer Tour (not including Magnaball) is currently underway at The ticket request period will end Sunday, March 29th at 11:59pm Eastern Time. Tickets for Magnaball go on sale this Friday, March 20th at Noon ET at

Blog Best of 2014

Posted 2015-03-10 8:15 am by phishnet - 68 comments

[Editor's Note, SP] – Continuing a tradition began last year, the working group set out again to rank the Top 10 shows of 2014 (with Miami being included as part of the 2014 "year" despite bleeding into 2015). Normally this is where I’d caution that any ranking of Phish shows is an exercise in imposing an objective order on something that couldn’t be more subjective. And that’s true! If you really want the lecture, though, here you go. Generally our readers find these posts helpful and informative... or not. If you fall into the latter category, you've at least been warned.

Before we get started, there were some trends that emerged in our admittedly small sample size. We actually ended up with a pretty clear Top 13 that we whittled down to ten. The last three out were 7/20 Chicago, 7/26 MPP and 8/29 Dicks. After that, we were really left with a Top 4 and a Next 6. We’ll get to the Top 4 later, but as for 5-10, these were mostly shows that featured consistently strong playing throughout but perhaps lacked a truly transcendent jam. The group was all over the map in ranking these shows, with any given show as likely to be ranked five or six as it was to be left out of the Top 10 altogether. Now, without further ado, the top 10!


Blog Phish and Yoga: A Discussion With Chris Calarco

Posted 2015-03-04 12:32 pm by Icculus - 2 comments

Chris Calarco ( has been practicing yoga for over a decade. He recently began incorporating Phish’s music into some of his classes, including classes for the benefit of The Mockingbird Foundation, and we wanted to take the opportunity to publicly thank and acknowledge him for his work, and learn more about his inspiration.

Can you explain how or what inspired you to create Phishy yoga classes? Does your experience with Phish's music inform your practice?

When I first started practicing yoga, I would feel exhilarated and exhausted following class. It was a truly beautiful, wonderful feeling, and it felt really familiar. Pretty quickly it came to me that the feeling reminded me of the post Phish show feeling. So, in that way, Phish informed my yoga almost immediately. I had always said that I learned the most about myself dancing at Phish shows. But that was before I found yoga, which insists that one be willing to skillfully and honestly stare yourself in the face, and be self-reflective. Yoga isn't simply a physical practice. It’s a way of looking at yourself and the world. So much of the yoga philosophy that I studied and continue to study is a sort of “homecoming,” in that I first learned it all through the creative inner exploration at Phish shows. It was a beautiful confirmation to "re-learn."

When did you get “IT” with respect to Phish?


Song History Song History: Lushington

Posted 2015-03-03 1:10 pm by Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty) - Link:

If you’ve ever spent any great amount of time driving solo, whether it be the seemingly interminable miles between tour stops or the daily grind of the bumper to bumper commute to work, I’m sure you know from where the protagonist in “Lushington” is coming… but where was he going? As the miles and miles of “Lushington” drag on we all have our favorite coping mechanisms and some of them are brutal. For some people it is time spent jamming out to their favorite tunes. The more dangerous motorist may be texting while driving. Other drivers may engage in hands-free telephone conversations that make it appear like they are ranting and raving to imaginary passengers. But this song harkens back to a time before such technology was available. An era when our idle hands were left to be the devil’s playthings. The gory days when our fingers were free to digitally excavate nose fossils, earwax, and dingleberries from the respective openings in our bodies that generate such things. Don’t judge… I mean really… who among us hasn’t flicked a bean or yanked a crank to pass the time in the middle of nowhere? Ah, the Reagan years....

Blog The Story of the Ghost (revised jam chart)

Posted 2015-02-28 7:00 pm by Dog_Faced_Boy - 24 comments

Since the jam chart team has just published a revised chart for Ghost, we thought it would be informative, and perhaps even interesting (for some) to learn more about the process of updating a major jam chart. Ghost is a cherished, fan-favorite jamming song. Going in to this process, we knew that the results would be closely scrutinized, debated, and that we would draw the ire of those who disagree with some of our decisions, like which versions to highlight.

Why did we even feel the need to tinker with the Ghost jam chart? First, the former Ghost chart was assembled in a hurried and somewhat haphazard manner, part of a much larger effort to introduce a new and improved jam chart format that occurred in December 2013. Second, a quick glance at the (now) former chart gave us reason to believe that the chart was overlooking important versions, and underrepresenting particular years. Consider these statistics: the former chart had thirteen versions from 1997 and two from 1999. Likewise, 2003 and 2004 were represented by five total versions, and we inherently knew that the 2.0 era is particularly strong from a jamming perspective. So we set out to do a comprehensive review of all 133 live performances of Ghost, seeking to ensure that a revised chart did not overlook any strong improvisational versions, and that the final chart would reflect the entire performance history of Ghost, covering the high water marks across all years and eras. The team consisted of Marty Acaster (@Doctor_Smarty), Pete Skewes-Coxe (@ucpete), Andrew Stavely (@Westbrook) and me. Below is a description of the processes we employed:


Blog In Memoriam: Harris Wittels

Posted 2015-02-21 9:30 am by phishnet - 16 comments

We at were greatly saddened to hear of the untimely death of phan Harris Wittels, host of the hilarious Analyze Phish podcast and writer for Parks and Recreation (among many other comedic endeavors). To remember him, we turned to Nathan Rabin, author of You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me, a memoir of his experiences following Phish and the Insane Clown Posse. Nathan appeared on Episode 7 of Analyze Phish to discuss his book and attempt to help Harris convince co-host Scott Auckerman of Phish's greatness. He is the former head writer for The A.V. Club and currently a staff writer at The Dissolve.

Remembering Harris Wittels

By Nathan Rabin (@nathanrabin)

At the age of 30, Harris Wittels had the kind of credits men twice his age would be proud to claim. He’d written for three of the best, most groundbreaking and beloved sitcoms of the past twenty years in The Sarah Silverman Program, Eastbound & Down and Parks & Recreation, where he was an Executive Producer and could be found in some episodes wearing a Phish tee shirt and playing a hapless guy named Harris.

Harris was an essential part of the Comedy Bang Bang podcast before fusing two of his great loves: podcasting and Phish, into his brilliant podcast Analyze Phish. As if all that weren’t impressive enough for one lifetime he was also a gifted stand-up comedian, talented drummer with Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die, a columnist at Grantland, the coiner of the term of Humblebrag and the author of the book spun off the column.

Yet Harris was so much more than the sum of his incredible credits that it felt maddening and reductive to see obituary headlines that referred to him as a Parks & Recreation producer or Humblebrag coiner because the whole of Wittels was so much greater than the sum of its remarkable parts.


Blog Remembering Eric Vandercar

Posted 2015-02-13 3:55 pm by Icculus - 19 comments

On Tuesday, February 3, 2015, the improvisational rock community lost a brilliant and generous man in Eric Vandercar. While commuting home from work to his wife, his teenage son, and young daughter, Eric’s northbound train hit a car at a crossing in Westchester County, NY. It was the deadliest train crash in the history of the Metro-North line, which is the second most-ridden commuter railroad in America (second only to the Long Island Rail Road).

For several decades, Eric taped and circulated the shows of many bands, including Phish, Grateful Dead, moe., Spin Doctors, The Radiators, and others. Copies of several hundred of the shows that he taped circulate on the Live Music Archive, for example. His love of the music so many of us share in common cannot be overstated. And his generosity in circulating that music was, and continues to be, both magnificent and inspiring.


Blog Supernumerary Shows: a Discovery!

Posted 2015-02-13 12:13 pm by Lemuria - 11 comments

A "Triple Nipple" refers to any show in which Phish plays all three* of their original songs that refer to nipples**: "Fee", "Punch You in the Eye", and "The Sloth". They've been an item of amusement for decades. But even the FAQ's Triple Nipple page has until recently had the numbers wrong.

Corrected numbers reveal something that's long been elusive, partly because we didn't even know to look for it: There have only been two such shows, such that the next one will be the one, the only, Third Triple Nipple - the cubed cube, the apex of nubbin allusion, the supernumerary of supernumerary shows.


Song History Song History: Roggae

Posted 2015-02-11 8:33 pm by Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty) - Link:

"If life were easy, and not so fast, I wouldn’t think about the past.” That is to say, if the years did not fly by so quickly, we might not have to take the occasional moment to reflect upon what it is about the people, places, and events of days gone by that shape our current perceptions of ourselves. ...

Song History Song History: Dem Bones

Posted 2015-02-08 10:21 am by Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty) - Link:

When the prophet Ezekiel had his vision in the Valley of the Bones foretelling the resurrection of Israel, he likely did not have the Phish New Year’s Eve 2014 suck to blow gag in mind. Neither could he have imagined the circuitous path that would lead to his prophecy being transformed into the song Phish selected to preface the gag which culminated in a giant Fishman balloon releasing a golden shower of confetti on the crowd gathered below. ...

Song History Song History: Tube

Posted 2015-01-15 2:28 am by Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo); Craig DeLucia - Link:

“Tube” is the musical version of a quickie. Time is a-wastin’ so let’s get down to business. “Tube” is the first component of the quasi-official “Tube Trilogy” along with “First Tube” and TAB’sLast Tube,” though it should not be confused with the apparently unrelated “Tube Top Flop” from TAB or “Fresh Tube” from Page’s Vida Blue project. The original “Tube” combines quirky Fishman-penned lyrics that reference asteroids crashing, tigers in lily patches, and even singer Robert Palmer (though few can decipher the ending lyrics well enough to know what he is doing!) with a fast, shuffle-style verse and a groovy jam in the middle. ...

News Mockingbird Announces Ambassadors

Posted 2014-11-14 4:31 pm by Lemuria - 15 comments - Link:

The Mockingbird Foundation is proud to announce a new program recognizing key supporters of its core mission through a new annual process.

Many people beyond the Foundation's formal structure invest significant time, care, and effort into building and improving the Foundation's intellectual property, services, relationships, and grant funds. They have coordinated or administered events for the Foundation, represented the Foundation in some official capacity, or otherwise helped fulfill the Foundation's mission in some exceptional manner. As an all volunteer organization, these individuals provide critical, direct or indirect support of our greater goal: the furthering of music and arts education for children.

In recognition of past work on behalf of or to benefit the Foundation, the board will identify Mockingbird Ambassadors each November. The longterm intent is to identify perhaps five such Ambassadors each year. However, the inaugural cohort is a larger group, of ten individuals each overdue for a public expression of our appreciation, debt, and support.

The 2015 Mockingbird Ambassadors are:

It is our honor to have each of them serve as Mockingbird Ambassadors for 2015.

Login Register