Hold Your Head Up

Originally Performed ByArgent
Original AlbumAll Together Now (1974)
Appears On
Also Known AsHYHU
Phish Debut1987-08-21
Last Played2023-07-29
Current Gap32
HistorianMark Toscano


Though the band has never actually played this song in full, it remains a staple of their live repertoire. It all started during band practice early on in Phish’s career. Knowing that Fishman hated this Argent song, Trey, Mike, and Page would start playing it just when they were about to get down to some serious practicing. Although the three of them found it hilariously funny, Fish apparently did not, and he would often storm out of band practice. In a live context, the song first appeared during the “Mike’s Song” jam on 8/21/87, and then again on 5/14/88. The following year, on 10/1/89, the band performed the first official Argent torment of Fish as he took center stage to perform “If I Only Had a Brain.” Fish hated it, the band started doing it regularly, and the rest is history. The song was briefly replaced by a similarly arranged version of Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice” during part of 1992, but the Argent tune eventually returned, apparently the winner of the “Fishman’s Most Hated Song” award. Actually, the version of “Hold Your Head Up” they play is usually nothing more than a few bars of the original tune’s verse and chorus on organ, bass, and Trey on drums. Sometimes it has been jammed out like the aforementioned 8/21/87, but most memorably so on 5/7/94, during which Trey turned the drums back over to Fish after “Purple Rain” without ever letting the beat drop.

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