In a new cover story for Guitar World magazine, Trey Anastasio touches on the history and future of Phish and takes a look back at his Fare Thee Well shows with the Grateful Dead back in June and July.
The Phish frontman shares an interesting story with interviewer Alan Paul about “Attics of my Life,” the final song of the five-show Fare Thee Well run, which featured the Dead’s core four — Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — as well as Jeff Chimenti, Bruce Hornsby and Anastasio.
“Here’s one that even Bobby [Weir] and Phil [Lesh] don’t know.” Anastasio says in the interview, according to JamBase. “The three of us sat down to discuss what to play and Phil said, ‘All I know is, I want to end with ‘Attics of My Life.’ I’m like, ‘Great, I’m crying already, but when are we gonna learn the harmonies?’ Because that song modulates and it’s a capella three-part harmony! I offered to write a chart and they were like, ‘That’s kind of geeky. We’ll figure it out.’ We sat down at a piano and it was cool but I knew everyone would forget his parts and lo and behold, we tried it again and nobody was taking Jerry’s melody.”
Anastasio continues: “These guys don’t rehearse much because they don’t really hang out, so we had five days for five shows and never got to ‘Attics.’ Phil said ‘We’ll sing it in soundcheck every day.’ Soundchecks came and went, and we still didn’t know it. So I called [Trey collaborator] Jeff [Tanski] and said, ‘I need an exact transcription of the album version.’ I didn’t even tell the guys. I just handed a copy to Bruce [Hornsby]: ‘This is your part and this is my part. I’ll hit the highs and the other guys will fill in the notes.’ I was reading off the chart because I wanted someone to sing the melody!”
Anastasio and the band powered through the emotional song that many consider the highlight of the night of their July 5 show. During the live performance archival images of the band cycled through on the video screens, creating an emotional scene at Soldier Field. Watch the video of the slides show below, which features the audio from the final Fare Thee Well song.
Phish will kick off their four-night New Year’s Eve run at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 30, the same night Dead and Company will kick off a two-night New Year’s Eve stand at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Fans can order the January issue of Guitar World here, which also features a guitar and bass transcription of their classic track “Down With Disease.”