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Performances Song History

Undun

Vocals: Fish

Original Artist: The Guess Who

Original Album: Canned Wheat (1969)

Debut: 1989-03-30

Historian: Erik Swain

"Undun" was one of the first Fishman routines. This flute-driven pop tune from the Canadian combo The Guess Who hit #22 on the Billboard charts in 1969. Its cheesy arrangement, bombastic vocals and oblique lyrics (it could be about suicide, mental illness or a bad LSD trip, but it appears not to matter to singer Burton Cummings) made it a perfect target for Fishman dementia.

The earliest documented performance by Phish occurred in the second set of a three-set show at The Front on 3/30/89. It appeared a handful of times throughout the year, the last known rendition closing the second set on 12/7/89. Fishman apparently decided to play it on that night after a few vociferous fans called for him to sing Frank Sinatra. “Where’d you people come from, and how did you know we sing Frank Sinatra?” he deadpanned. “This is an old Frank Sinatra song covered by The Guess Who. If you listen to the words, it’s obviously Frank.” He then proceeded to sing the song in a Sinatra croon, or at least Joe Piscopo’s idea of a Sinatra croon.

After it took a bow on 12/7/89, Phish came very close to breaking out the song three-and-a-half years later. On 5/2/93, after Fishman came to the front of the stage for his “routine,” he hemmed and hawed about what to play. If you listen very closely to the recording, you can hear Trey say, “how about ‘She’s Come Undone [sic],’Fish?”

“If only I could remember the words to that one!” Fishman blurted, before calling for "Cracklin’ Rosie.”

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Recommended Versions: 1989-03-30, 1989-10-22

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