Join the Band
Vocals: Little Feat
Original Artist: Traditional
Historian: Phil Nazzaro
Not to be confused with Little Feat’s 2008 album of the same name, this traditional a cappella ditty about giving in to your musically adventurous side was used by Feat in dressing room huddles to further pre-show adrenaline and facilitate group unity.
One backstage group hug from August 8, 1977 at Lisner Auditorium in Washington D.C. preceded the live portion of the Waiting for Columbus album. Recorded over a vocally anticipatory audience, the track segues into WHFS DJ Don “Cerphe” Colwell leading the crowd in a call and response of “Thanks for being patient friends. We’ve got some great, great music for you tonight. Please help me in welcoming, well, let’s just do it... gimme an F... gimme an E... gimme an A... gimme a T” before announcing “Please welcome, Little Feat.”
It was only fitting that leading into Phish’s 10/31/10 performance of the Waiting for Columbus album, the actual Little Feat version of “Join the Band” would be played in tribute over the Boardwalk Hall P.A. Only a bit of Phish trickery followed the vocal portion of the track.
Instead of Mr. Colwell, Kevin Statesir (Trey's brother-in-law) took the mic slightly stage right and performed the following (updated) intro with the audience:
KS: “Thanks for being patient everyone. We’ve got some great, great music for you tonight. Please help me in welcoming, well, let’s just do it...give me an ‘F’...”
Audience: “P H”!
KS: “Give me an ‘E’...”
KS: “Give me an ‘A’...”
KS: “Give me a ‘T’...”
KS: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Little Feat”
Was this a backwards time warp? Are Phish fans very astute and quick on their feet? Well, we are; but the modified audience participation was the result of the next installment in the Phish Secret Language (#371 to be exact). The following 3 11/16” by 4 1/4” cheat sheet was handed out with the Phishbills on the way into the venue. Some quick studies in the audience that night led to yet another prank on a grand scale when people hearing the recordings later asked just exactly what the heck happened?