|Originally Performed By||Phish|
|Vocals||Trey (lead), Mike, Page (backing)|
|Historian||Chris Bertolet (bertoletdown)|
“Dr. Gabel” is reported to be one of the early outputs from Trey’s resurgent collaboration with Steve Pollak, a.k.a. The Dude of Life. The song was written at least a year before its appearance, and probably more, according to some accounts.
The day of its debut on 6/22/10 at Great Woods, in the early afternoon Trey sent a text message to the Dude and asked him to email “the Dr. Gabel stuff” they’d worked on. The Dude sent Trey the music and lyrics, which Trey quickly re-learned and taught to the band during sound-check.
Considering the way “Dr. Gabel” was so trustingly blurted onto the stage before 20,000 fans, it’s fitting that its lyrics recall the narrator’s soul-baring couch session with a therapist. In that sense, the song fits neatly into a handful of confessional post-breakup Phish songs that examine mid-life struggles with excess and self-betterment (see “Kill Devil Falls,” “20 Years Later,” etc.), but musically it stands on its own. Initial reactions noted similarities to Rubber Soul-era Beatles or Tommy-era Who, but at the end of the hour, “Dr. Gabel” is pure Phish.
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