While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Music/Lyrics: George Harrison
Vocals: Trey (lead), Mike, Page (backing)
Original Artist: The Beatles
Original Album: The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) (1968)
Historian: Mark Toscano, lumpblockclod
This anthemic George Harrison track is Phish’s most-covered White Album tune, having been played several times after the 10/31/94 debut. Some sloppy, some sublime, these performances include 12/8/94, 7/2/95, 12/11/95 with Warren Haynes on guitar, 2/26/97, 8/16/98 Lemonwheel, and 9/20/00. It is most frequently found as an encore, including 6/22/95, 12/31/98, 10/2/99 Minneapolis, 12/30/03 Miami, 8/14/09 Hartford, and 8/15/10 Alpine Valley.
Phish, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" – 10/31/94, Glens Falls, NY
Perhaps most interesting is that this song has appeared with four of the most monstrously huge and legendary versions of “Tweezer” the band has ever performed. 11/2/94 (the A Live One version), 6/14/95 (Mud Island), 6/22/95 (the FLeezer), and 6/28/95 (Jones Beach) were either preceded or followed by a rendition of “WMGGW,” leading fans to merely scratch their heads, boggled at the potential connections.
Possibly the most astounding aspect of "WMGGW" is the original lukewarm reception it received from Lennon and McCartney. George felt John and Paul were simply going through the motions in recording the song ("They weren't taking it seriously, and I don't think they were even playing on it." he recalled). In response, George recruited Eric Clapton to play on the song, a power play that he knew would command the respect his more prolific bandmates and ensure that the song received the treatment it indeed deserved.