Crimes of the Mind
Music/Lyrics: Steve Pollak
Vocals: The Dude of Life; Trey (11/29/09)
Original Artist: The Dude of Life (with Phish)
Original Album: Crimes of the Mind (1994)
Historian: Craig DeLucia; Mockingbird Staff
This heavy-metal piece of machinery that invoked the memory of such acts as T. Rex and Mott the Hoople became a standard for the Dude of Life’s guest appearances from 1991 through 1994. At Phish shows, it became the most frequently played song from the Dude’s album of the same name. Of course, Phish was the backing band for the Dude when the album was recorded. Members of Phish also sat in with the Dude for his live performances of this tune several times in February 1994.
Given the Dude’s absence from the Phish stage in the mid- and late-90’s, it seemed that “Crimes of the Mind” had gone away for good. But when the Dude returned on 11/28/03 for the first night of Phish’s 20th Anniversary tour, he led the band through a “Crimes” encore. No doubt summing up the feelings of many in the crowd, the Dude noted: “Here’s to twenty incredible years of Phish. And most importantly… most importantly… here’s to twenty more incredible years of Phish!"
Most fans probably considered "Crimes" to be a song that was performed exclusively with the Dude, an increasingly rare occurrence since the early '90s. So it came as quite a shock when Phish busted out "Crimes" on 11/29/09 without the Dude. Some would say that the bigger shock was that this Dude-less version was actually quite good. But a closer listen to the jam following "Crimes" is where things really start to get interesting -- it's pretty much a straight up "Joy" jam. More interesting still, this proto-"Joy" jam also appeared in the 11/28/03 version. It's hardly the first time one Phish song sprang forth from another (the theme of the "Rift" jam first appearing in "The Curtain With" being perhaps the most prominent example), but it's hard to imagine two more unlikely candidates to share in this phenomenon than "Crimes" and "Joy."