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Performances Song History

One Meatball

Vocals: Sydney Ellis

Original Artist: George Martin Lane

Debut: 1997-02-25

Historian: Ellis Godard

Phish's first show in Munich was at a venue called the Incognito, an apt name for where Phish went in its first set. Even the opening “Runaway Jim” and “My Soul” sounded more like the Grateful Dead – slower and more sloppy – than Phish. Then they busted into a three-song suite that was a dead ringer, or at least a more authentic approximation than their riotous Dead covers in the mid-1980s. Sydney Ellis, an American blues singer-songwriter living in Germany, joined the band on vocals.

Of that suite, the first and last parts (“Red Rooster” and “Got My Mojo Workin’”) are better known by American audiences than this middle piece. Jerry Garcia would have been proud of the selection, once a staple but since faded from glory. “One Meatball” is a goofy ditty, recorded in the 1940s, a half dozen times in 1945 alone, from Josh White to the Andrews Sisters, and later by everyone from Lightnin’ Hopkins to Pigpen

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