Instant Karma!

Originally Performed ByJohn Lennon
Original AlbumSingle (1970)
Music/LyricsJohn Lennon
VocalsPage (lead), Mike, Trey (backing)
Phish Debut2010-06-12
Last Played2011-08-10
Current Gap489
HistorianDavid Steinberg (zzyzx)


John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" was indeed just that. Recorded the same day it was written and released just 10 days later, the karma received was reaching #3 on the charts, and far more importantly, a permanent place in the hearts of many a music lover.

While Lennon had a "just add water" approach to this song, Phish let their cover simmer. Vida Blue played this in their first show in 2001 and kept it in heavy rotation through Vida Blue's last performances to date in 2004. It was enough of a fan favorite to get the role of being the song out of "Auld Lang Syne" in Vida Blue's only New Year's Eve show on 12/31/01.

Page then left the song on the back burner. The ingredients needed time to meld, but finally coalesced during the second set of 6/12/10 at the Blossom Music Center. Fortunately the meal was worth the wait.

Like Vida Blue's versionPhish stuck close to the original. It's hard to imagine how they could really improve on it. The chorus is filled with an infectious joy that no one can resist. For five minutes it's true. We can indeed all shine on. On and on and on and on.

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