Episode 10 - "The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday" (1987)
This week on Beast in the Maze, we're stepping into the world of Gamehendge. We'll be talking about the Phish recording The Man who Stepped into Yesterday, which though not an official studio release, is integral to the history of the band, and contains many songs which remain staples of their setlists.
A DIY recording, it was submitted as lead singer Trey Anastasio's senior project at Goddard College, and includes not only the songs themselves but narration in between explaining the plot of the story (TMWSIY is a musical/rock opera/fairy tale with a narrative). It is here that we first encounter the songs and characters of Wilson and Tela, Col. Forbin and Rutherford the Brave. While being much more lo-fi than their "proper" albums, it's an interesting glimpse into the band's formative years, and provides a sort of blueprint for what was to come.
We've provided some helping friendly links below to maximize your enjoyment:
1. The Man who Stepped into Yesterday on YouTube - This is actually audio-only. This is the version from Trey's senior project, and the version that the hosts of Beast in the Maze were listening to in preparation for the episode.
2. Trey Anastasio's thesis - This is the paper that was turned in along with the above audio at Goddard College as part of his senior project. It explains a lot of the motivation and thought process behind the construction and composition of the songs.
3. The Wikipedia article - basic info, songwriting credits, etc.
4. The Mockingbird Foundation - A Phish-inspired charity that we mention in the show which is centered around music education
We also like to give our listeners a live pick from each album we do, so here's a version of "Col. Forbin's Ascent" from March of 1992. The video quality is amateur, but the performance is chronologically not too far removed from the band's beginnings, and it may be more representative of Phish at that time than the more polished production and performance one might encounter now, close to thirty years later.
We hope you enjoy, and we hope you'll join us for our discussion on Beast in the Maze, right here, or wherever you get your podcasts.