Phish Airs Dinner And A Movie Ep. 15: May 1 ,1989

"This week, one of my favorite sandwiches, the burger." - Page McConnell

Phish will be bringing us way back into the archives for the band’s next Dinner And A Movie weekly livestream coming up this Tuesday, July 7th.

All the way back in 1989 (!) as they were readying the release of their seminal Junta LP, one of their Spring dates was at a club called the Universal Joint in the basement of Pearl Street in Northampton, MA. As Page McConnell details out below, the band just happened to have the good fortune of meeting someone that really wanted to film the band’s performance and he promised something “avant-garde” (which seemed to seal the deal).

For the next weekly livestream, they’ll be sharing the second set video from this show, the first time it was has ever been shown publicly!

Page not only shares a memory from the show but also this week’s recipe for a burger, pasta salad and millet cakes (get cooking here).

And head over to Phish.net for the setlist spoiler — we’re in for an early 1.0 treat.

Finally, the band has chosen NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association, as the next webcast beneficiary.

NIVA’s mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States. These entertainment thumbs are critical to their local economies and tax bases as employers, tourism destinations and revenue generates for neighboring businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and retail. Independent venues exist in every state across the country; they were the first to be closed, they will be the last to open. For more information, please visit here.

Read on for the note from Page and head over to the band’s official post for the recipe and whatnot.

A Note from Page:

As I recall, the video for this show came into being rather spontaneously, without too much forethought or planning. As we were setting up our gear, in a basement club in Northampton, MA, we were approached by a well-dressed, diminutive gentleman. As best I can remember, his name was René. And he was there to pitch his video idea to us. For a nominal fee he would shoot the band’s set with one camera, artistically. He spoke with a French accent, almost spitting at us in a kind of broken English, with an urgency that was quite compelling. As his pace and volume increased, he kept saying it would be “avant-garde.” And the more times he said “avant-garde” with that thick accent, the more I believed him.

Needless to say, he got the gig. And we got the video.

The audio was recorded by our friend and former manager, John Paluska. The audio and visual sat in our vault since 1989, but had never been properly synched up (the videotape lacked audio). Jared Slomoff did a great job matching them up, so you all could enjoy it this week. According to Kevin Shapiro, we have used all the existing audio, but there are still a few audio pauses and hiccups along the way. Our apologies.

Rene’s use of the fisheye lens, the “negative image” effect, the odd angles and abrupt movements…I’m not sure it all adds up to “avant-garde.” And, at times I wish he would settle down. But, he went for it, and there is no denying that Rene’s camera work brought a certain excitement to the overall shoot.

After watching some of the video, I looked to see what sort of shows we were playing back then. It was a really fun time for us. We were starting to get gigs every month around the Northeast at clubs and colleges, and still playing regular gigs in Burlington at The Front and Nectar’s.

This video captures some of that youthful energy that is nurtured and developed in small clubs like this one all across the country. Some of the places we played are still around, but many clubs are just barely hanging on now, which is why this week we are proud to be supporting the National Independent Venue Association. #saveourstages

This week, one of my favorite sandwiches, the burger. Though I’ve never really been much of a cook, over the last few years I’ve really learned to enjoy grilling. I do it all year round.

We enjoy this meal with a pasta salad, but any sides can work. Heather also included a recipe for millet cakes, as a vegan option.

Enjoy,
Page