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Jon Fishman

Full Name: Jonathan "Fish" Fishman

This entry contains legacy content from the earler Phish.net's FAQ file and/or from earlier editions of The Phish Companion. It may be incomplete and/or out-of-date, but we hope to update it soon.

        Born Jonathan Fishman on February 19th, 1965 (with no middle name).

        Family: Jon was born in Philadelphia, PA; moved to Syracuse, NY in the early 1970's. His father Len is a retired orthodontist and a sculptor. His late mother Mimi was a regular audience fixture at shows, started (with fan and friend David Shulman) a nonprofit organization in 1999 (The Mimi Fishman Foundation) to raise awareness to the early detection of glaucoma, and has appeared onstage with Phish several times. Fish has two siblings, a sister, Julie, and a brother, David. Fish was married on 9/28/97 to Pam Tengiris in Las Vegas, from whom he is now divorced. He is now married to Briar, with whom he has three children - Ella Cynthia Ruth (b. 12/30/01, 9 days early, @ 6lbs 10oz), Jack Bradley (b. 9/30/03, @ 8lbs 4oz), and Rosie; they live in Maine.

        Education: Attended Moses Dewitt for High School before landing at the University of Vermont (fall 1983 to spring 1984). In the fall of 1986 he transferred to Goddard College (through spring 1990), where his Senior Study was titled “A Self-Teaching Guide to Drumming Written in Retrospect.” He holds a bachelor's degree in Arts from Goddard.

      Nicknames: Primarily Fish, Henrietta, and Tubbs. Also, Jon the Fishman (1984); Moses Brown, Moses Heaps, and Moses Dewitt (5/15/88 and 3/15/91); Moses Yastrzemski (2/7/89); J. Edgar Hoover (12/7/89); Vinnie Barbarino (2/23/90); Phil Collins (2/25/90); Tubbs (Rift liner notes); Zero man (initially 9/13/90); Johnny B. Fishman (10/20/89); Hankrietta, the shortest man in rock and roll (3/19/91); Sultan of Swat (7/21/91); the fourth member of the Giant Country Horns and Phish's multi-instrumentalist (7/21/91); Hankrietta, the shortest man in show business (10/13/91); Showboat Gertrude and Peter Shaw (10/19/91); Hankrietta, the hardest man in show business (11/13/91; the Yo Yo Ma of Vacuum Cleaners (4/17/92); Tommy Dorsey (4/19/92); the Piper (5/1/92); Sans Bag the Piper (5/2/92); Tubbs the Beast Boy (11/19/92); Eye Ball man (after the white dress); Tubbs, the little hairy beast-man (2/20/93, introducing himself); Little Jon and Friar Tubbs (3/5/93); Jon, Friar Tubbs, and Henrietta Fieldberg (3/9/93); Henrietta Tubman (4/5/93); Chuck Norris (8/8/93); Greasy Fizeek (beginning 12/31/93 and in Hoist liner notes); Ron Jaworski (3/18/94), Marco Esquandolas (11/13/94); Luke Skywalker (12/29/94); Sneezeblood Eyeball (6/13/95); Forrest Gump (11/24/95); Morton Charlton Heston (10/25/96 and 11/2/96); Barn Boy (Billy Breathes liner); the orchestral Greasy Troll (7/10/97); the inhuman computer drumbeat (7/21/97); Bob Weaver (throughout the U.S. summer 1998 tour); Sammy Hagar the Horrible Horn Section (11/13/98); Ralph Boringsteen (7/6/00); Russell Crow (7/11/00); and Joe C. (9/29/00). Other nicknames (dates unknown) include Tubman; Missing Link; Central Scrutinizer; Showboat Gertrude (esp. with the trombone); The Man with the High Hat; Second Best Trombone Player in Vermont and parts of New Hampshire; and Captain Caveman. As drummer for the Jazz Mandolin Project, he was the Abominable Shitstutski (1/27/98); Edgar Finnegan from Kinnymanport, Maine (1/29/98); all the way from Bombay Curry, Mr. Stanley Hindustan (2/7/98); Igor Spewshitzki (2/8/98); Aardvark von Doozer (2/13/99).

        Instruments: drums (since age 8); vacuum (an Electrolux); Bag-Vac, as well as bagpipes; trombone; “Cracklin’ Rosie” cymbals, the “Madonna washboard” (usually accompanied by with golden metal breasts); mandolin (in the acoustic setups of ’95-‘97), acoustic guitar (in “Acoustic Army”); and bass (during “Walfredo” and “Rock A William”).

        Wrote: “Bye Bye Foot,” “Faht,” “Ha Ha Ha,” “Kung,” “Lengthwise,” "Party Time," "Tomorrow's Song," and “My Sweet One,” and lyrics to “Gumbo” and “Rock-a-William”; co-wrote “Dave’s Energy Guide,” “Dog-Faced Boy,” “Harpua,” and “Tube,” and others attributed to the full band.

        Key Side Projects: Bad Hat, 1994; Surrender to the Air, spring 1996; Zambiland Orchestra, 12/22/97; Jazz Mandolin Project, 1998-2005, 2009, 2010; Gordon Stone Trio; Yonder Mountain String Band, 2007-2008; Marco Benevento Trio, 2008; and Pork Tornado.

        Key Side Albums: J. Willis Pratt’s Lost Paradox, 1993; J. Willis Pratt’s Bleeding in the Shark's Tank, 1997; Jazz Mandolin Project's Tour De Flux, 1998; Dude of Life’s Under the Sound Umbrella, 1999; J. Willis Pratt’s Rhythm of the Sun, 2001; Tin Hat Trio's The Rodeo Eroded, 2002; Pork Tornado's Pork Tornado, 2003.

        Other Projects: Fish played with Mike in the band the Dangerous Grapes (early 1984, while Trey was suspended from UVM). In 1994, Fish began playing in several side-groups outside of Phish, including Bad Hat (with Trey). 1995 saw the formation of the Pork Tornado, a band Fish refers to as his "bar band." Pork Tornado has toured off and on since '95 and straight through '03. In 2002, Fishman and Pork Tornado wrote a slew of new songs and took them into the studio (The Barn). The result was the self-titled Rykodisc album of the same name. The summer of 2003 also saw Fishman's participation in an additional Rykodisc release, Zappa Picks By Jon Fishman, in which he was able to compile an album of his favorite Zappa tunes. Fishman has also dipped his toes in acting, and performs (in a pink dress) in a band in the movie The Wedding Band.

        Wardrobe: Wears a frock (“dress”) on stage, a blue number with orange donuts. This was replaced by a white dress with eyes/holes during late 1992; a black tailored suit from Italy in summer 1997; and pants and/or a Flyers shirt underneath the “Henrietta dress” fall 1997. On a few early occassions (2/21/91 and the Chance 2/91) he wore a Captain Zero outfit, featuring little more than a target on his groin. On most occasions since, he’s gone back to nothing underneath – sometimes with embarrassing consequences (see the 2000 VH1 taping of the 5/23/00 Roseland show). In 2003, he was presented with a new frock made by a fan from Japan. He wore a Viking helmet worn for most of the fall 1998 tour that he apparently picked up at the Vegas Halloween gig.

Tubbs has performed solo or lead on the following tunes: "I Didn't Know" (written by Nancy Taube); "Love You" (aka Honey Love), "Bike" and "Terrapin" (all three written by the Crazy Diamond himself, Syd Barrett), "Lengthwise" (original on Rift), Cracklin Rosie (Neil Diamond tune), "Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars" (rollicking hard core original), "Touch Me" (Doors tune, with horns), the infamous Prison Joke (from the 4-11-91 Carleton encore), "Kung" (a poem/chant Fish wrote years ago, which makes reference to a fascinating Kalahari hunter/gatherer culture, the !Kung), "If I Only Had a Brain" (from The Wizard of Oz), "Faht" (a fishman original, on Picture of Nectar; previously known as Windham Hell), "Minute by Minut" (a Doobie Brothers tune, circa 1981), "Purple Rain" (yes, the Prince song; started summer 1993; see esp. 8-20-93 with Mimi Fishman), "The Great Gig in the Sky" (Pink Floyd cover; start spring 93?), "Cryin" (by Aerosmith), "Suspicious Minds" (by Elvis, with cape and glasses), "Moby Dick" (originally by Led Zepplin; performed 2-19-93 and 11-29-97), "Sexual Healing" (8-7-98 and 8-16-98), and, of course, band introductions. He arrives from behind the drums to Mike and Page playing either "Hold Your Head Up" (released by Argent in 1972) or "Cold As Ice" (Foreigner, circa 1976) just as Trey takes over on drums. Occasionally, the vacuum has been used without a full-on Fishman bit. Finally, to note, no longer does every show have a Fishman solo song bit thing up front in the second set; it might come first set, in the encore, in the third set (!), some combination of those, or not at all.

Phish's drummer (also known for his vacuum and other instruments) is Jon Fishman, also known as Henrietta and many other names. Fishman was voted #11 on the list of Most Intriguing People of 1997 on People's web site. For one reason, check out that greazy physique on this page from the Phish Bill from 10/31/96.

See also, Aaron Kiselka's Jon Fishman site

 

Henrietta is one of many nicknames for Jon Fishman, Phish's drummer. He is also known for his vacuum and other instruments, for a particular dress, and for some unusual song selections.
 

 "It truly is the most unconditional thing ever. She could fucking hang me by my balls and pull out my toenails and I'd still love her ... I mean, if  that were my wife, I'd have to divorce her as soon as possible."  -- Phish's Jon Fishman on the marvels of fatherhood and his deep, abiding love for his baby daughter, in Relix Dec 2002

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