Phish.net Compiled a Ridiculously Thorough Collection of Gamehendge Narration Transcriptions Since 1986
There’s seemingly no end to the feats that can be accomplished with a group of die-hard music fans get their minds together—for better or for worse—and an industrious group of Phish fans just unleashed a monster in that category. After a year of work, Phish.net has revealed an insanely comprehensive collection of transcriptions from the band’s various narrated Gamehendge stories included in Trey Anastasio’s The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday.
The group of fans, which includes members of the Phish.net community who sparked the idea in a forum, decided to release the collection today because it marks the 25th anniversary of what they call “arguably the purest live performance of Trey’s Gamehendge saga,” which took place on March 22, 1993 at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento, CA. As an example of the fantastic work these transcriptions represent, here’s the one from that night. And that’s just one of 173.
The Phish.net notes that, beyond the five Gamehendge performances, the narrations that have gotten the most setlist love come from “Fly Famous Mockingbird” and “Harpua,” with “Icculus” and “Divided Sky” also making it into double digits on the list, though the differences throughout the recordings and years makes for a interesting, if not exhausting, investigation:
The diversity of the content is pretty astounding. These songs represent early anchors to the band’s live performances, and the expansive journeys have helped establish powerful impressions upon first-time listeners since the beginning.
While not every one holds up to repeated listening, many versions reveal new qualities with each review. In the transcriptions, we sought to reflect Trey’s enthusiastic inflection and rambling style, while also presenting these narratives in a pleasant, readable format. We excluded at most every other “and,” which Trey uses like punctuation, and we even retained quite a bit of his other filler words for effect. The transcriptions provide good scripts to follow while listening, but we hope they provide enjoyable reading on their own.
Indeed, we view this project as a significant addition to the encyclopedic collection of resources compiled here at phish.net. We hope that it contributes to the continued erudite examination of the history of our favorite band by providing a resource to explore a vital and unique facet of the experience, while helping to promote the important charitable mission of the Mockingbird Foundation to expand access to music education across the United States.
Hats off to these folks, who have used their Phish nerdom to make something tangible and fun. Take the deep dive into all the collected transcriptions here, and listen to the Gamhendge from 25 years ago today here (don’t forget the coinciding transcription!).