a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History

Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Vocals: Trey/Jeff Holdsworth

Original Artist: The Hollies

Original Album: Distant Light (1971)

Debut: 1983-12-02

Historian: Phil Nazzaro

Last Update: 2016-02-10

"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” was always considered by fans to be the first song Phish ever played before a live audience. It seems ironic that such an All-American band like Phish would began their career with a song by a British band. Yet, The Hollies had a long history of imitating songs from the States (see their all-Dylan album). And “Long Cool Woman” especially mirrors Americana with lyrical phrases like “Working for the F.B.I.” and “Bootlegging boozer.”

”Long Cool Woman in Black Dress” – 10/30/98, Las Vegas, NV 

Exactly (well, almost) fifteen years later, the band honored their own 15th anniversary – albeit on the wrong day, back when 10/30 was, mistakenly, still thought to be the date of the first Phish show – by playing “Long Cool Woman” on 10/30/98 in Las Vegas. Then, at the 12/1/03 show in Albany – this time a day before their 20th anniversary – Phish again chose to revive the song, this time during a surprise reunion with Jeff Holdsworth, reprising his role as a vocalist and guitar player.

Perhaps “Long Cool Woman” will be reprised at Phish’s 60th Anniversary concert? Save the (wrong) date!


Submit notes/corrections

Login Register