Vocals: Trey; Jim Carrey (6/24/99)
Original Artist: The Beatles
Original Album: Abbey Road (1969)
Historian: Phish.net Staff
Last Update: 2011-12-08
Taking its name from a slogan Timothy Leary had created for his mock gubernatorial campaign, The Beatles recorded “Come Together” as they were in the process of splitting apart. The original begins with John Lennon muttering “Shoot me” (presumably with a “warm gun”) over an interlocking bass and drums groove. Fans have speculated that the song’s cryptic lyrics reference each member of The Beatles or, alternatively, a single, mysterious protagonist. Depending on which point of view you subscribe to, that would either make “Come Together” a last-ditch effort at reconciliation among the Beatles, or a more abstract call for generational unity. By either of those measures, the song is a failure. But for those less inclined to dwell on the deeper meanings of lines like “he got monkey finger, he shoot Coca-Cola,” the song is probably best viewed as the last great song John recorded with the Beatles.
Given the song’s place in the Beatles’ history and the fact that Lennon described the track as one of his favorite Beatles tunes, it’s perhaps appropriate that Phish chose it as an encore on 12/8/95 in Cleveland, along with “A Day in the Life.” At the start of the encore Trey announced that they wanted to send a little love out to John Lennon, who was murdered on that day exactly 15 years prior. The song was resurrected three and a half years after the debut on 6/24/99 at the so-called “Fifth Ball,” a private show played by the band at Trey’s barn in Vermont, with – believe it or not – actor Jim Carrey on vocals. Most fans probably assumed “Come Together” was long forgotten when it emerged out of a second set opening “Rock and Roll” on 9/4/11. Clearly unrehearsed, this incomplete version of the song would be embarrassing, if wasn’t so much fun. These moments of pure spontaneity are, of course one of the best parts of seeing Phish live.
Phish, “Come Together” – 9/4/11, Commerce City, CO