a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Jamming Chart


Music: McCarty/Miller

Lyrics: Phish

Vocals: Trey, Fish

Original Artist: Steve Miller Band

Original Album: Book of Dreams (1977)

Albums: Amsterdam

Debut: 1997-07-02

Historian: Martin Acaster

Last Update: 2016-02-05

"Wormtown," a bizarre hybrid of Steve Miller’s “Swingtown” and Trey’s post-show hallucination in a canal-side urinal the previous evening, emerged ominously from the tail end of an energetic “Llama” in the second set of the 7/2/97 show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. The song included improvised lyrics from Steve Miller’s “Swingtown” begging the musical question “Do You Know Where You Are?” Trey followed with a disturbing warning that audience members should take care when they leave the show that night. He cautioned them that if they were to use the small green urinals on the side of the road they might get sucked down one and spend the rest of the night riding on the backs of the giant worms that live in the canals. He was apparently serious, claiming that it had happened to him the night before. Trey’s experience was likely a product of an overactive imagination and some rather potent tea that could be found on the menu at the Paradiso, but who can say for sure. It is hard to tell fantasy from reality when you’re riding on the back of the worm.

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