Music/Lyrics: Anastasio/The Dude of Life
Vocals: Fish, Trey
Albums: Live in Brooklyn, Vegas 96, At the Roxy, Live Phish 01, Live Phish 02, Live Phish 03, Live Phish 05, Live Phish 09, Live Phish 14, Live Phish 15, Live Phish 18, Live Phish 19, Sharin' in the Groove, Alpine Valley, Live in Brooklyn DVD, The Clifford Ball, The Egg, Amsterdam
Historian: Phillip Zerbo
Last Update: 2016-02-28
Oh, to be a woman immortalized in song for scorning The Dude of Life! Unlike many early Dude songs that have appeared on the Phish stage, “Suzy Greenberg” became revered by Phish fans and was not saved for guest appearances by The Dude. “Suzy” was one of the early sing-along numbers, alongside “Golgi” and “Alumni Blues.” Ever since its debut on 2/13/87 in Johnson, VT, “Suzy” has been a fixture in Phish setlists, with over 400 lifetime performances spread across three decades.
Though especially popular in the early days, the simplicity of “Suzy” – and The Dude’s middle-school mentality – can certainly wear thin. In The Phish Book, Trey went so far as to say he was “sick of" it, while also admitting that the “funky three-chord groove sure can be fun to jam over.” Even when the song was ostensibly on the shelf in ‘97 and ‘98 – the song’s two largest performance gaps of 49 and 43 shows were consecutive during this period – it still made one or two token appearances each year.
"Suzy Greenberg" – 7/20/91 - Parkville, NY
Most versions do not vary much musically – often, versions are worth hearing for Fishman’s vocal antics in the song’s breaks (particularly after the “neurologist” lyric). Still, there are plenty of strong, jam-laden, even experimental versions of “Suzy.” On 11/13/96, the band laid down an 18-minute exploration that carried the “Suzy” theme long into the jam after a false ending. Later that year on 12/6/96 we witnessed “Suzy” as the vehicle for all the stage spectacle Vegas has to offer, immortalized on Vegas 96. The 9/14/00 Darien Lake version captured on LivePhish 03 is a 20-minute romp that is required “Suzy” listening. If Phish 2.0 is more up your alley, check out the 18-minute slugfest from 6/17/04 on Live in Brooklyn.
"Suzy Greenberg" – 2/25/93 - Miami Beach, FL
No tour through the history of “Suzy” is complete without at least one horn-augmented version, as many fans feel that it was the song that benefited most from the 1991 and 1994 horns tours: 7/12/91 (LivePhish 19) and 12/3/94 Davis, CA should do the trick. Another version that benefitted from the addition of both horns and backup singers is the monster "Suzy" from the Halloween show at Festival 8 (featured in the Phish 3D movie) that was lauded by many fans at the time as the best ever. Of more recent vintage, don’t miss the 8/29/14 Dick’s offering with Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet and Natalie Cressman on trombone. Finally, check out the cover offered by Son Seals and Rebecca’s Statue on Mockingbird’s Sharin’ in the Groove CD.