The Ballad of Curtis Loew
Music/Lyrics: Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant
Original Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Original Album: Second Helping (1974)
Historian: Craig DeLucia, Mockingbird Staff
"Curtis Loew" is the story of a lonely old guitarist whom the narrator, as a young boy, would pay to play the blues. From 1987 through 1990, the song was a regular second set number in the Phish repertoire. The song disappeared, though, after 10/30/90, and was not heard again until 3/14/93 when the band dusted old “Curtis” off during the soundcheck and then played the song in the second set. It was played two more times and then was buried again after 8/2/93.
“Curtis Loew” remained one of the most frequently requested covers on tour through the hiatus and all the way up to Phish's break-up in 2004. For many eager fans, hearing the song at an occasional soundcheck (for example, at Big Cypress in 1999) only made matters worse. At Fenway Park on 5/31/09, Phish rewarded many fans' patience with a breakout performance after an absence of almost sixteen years and more than 600 shows. Happily, the Fenway version was not a one-time bust-out, and "Curtis" has seems to have made his way back into the rotation (check out 6/12/10, 8/13/10 and 6/18/11 for examples).
"The Ballad of Curtis Loew" 5/29/11 Bethel, NY
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