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Performances Song History Lyrics

American Woman

Music/Lyrics: Bachman/Cummings/Kale/Peterson

Vocals: Fish

Original Artist: The Guess Who

Original Album: American Woman (1970)

Debut: 1989-03-01

Historian: lumpblockclod

“American Woman” probably the most well known song by The Guess Who (who, of course, are actually Canadian). Though the song’s author’s have denied the song was intended to make any political statement, the lyrics seem to indicate otherwise. Regardless, it’s not so much the lyrics as the infectious guitar riff – that ranks up there with the best of Keith Richards – that draws most people in. Phish (or, more accurately, Fish) performed the song once, during the so-called “Little Equipment Gig” at Gallagher’s. The story goes that during Phish’s many previous visits to the Waitsfield, VT venue, the owner would chide them for the fact that the ambition of their stage setup seemed to outpace their less-than-rock-god standing. Returning the joke, Phish showed up for what would prove to be their final Gallagher’s gig on 3/1/89 with vastly scaled down “toy” instruments. No doubt inspired by their unique surroundings, Phish played perhaps the most unique encore of their career that night, which included Fishman lending vocals and trombone to this Guess Who classic. So just how far gone was their rendition of this classic rock classic? If only we knew... sadly, the show does not circulate.

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