Trey Anastasio of Phish was featured on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. Thanks to CBS Television for putting the full piece online, which you can watch below:
The interview focuses on Anastasio's work for the Broadway musical Hands on a Hard Body, which opens on March 21st. It also delves into his career with Phish and a battle with drug addiction that forced Trey to spend 14 months on house arrest as the band took a long break between 2004 and 2008. Anthony Mason does a good job broaching these difficult topics and it's good to see Trey smiling and enjoying what he's doing. In the piece, fans are also treated to some nice early footage of the band and a rarely seen picture of Trey's home studio in his dad's basement.
Hands On A Hard Body is the first time in the 48-year-old's career that he's worked in the Broadway style of musical theatre, but quirky stage productions have been a big part of Phish's schtick over the years. Check out New Year's Eve 2012-2013 for synchronized golf carts, dancing midgets, and other hijinks.
Many Phish songs are rooted in a Rock Opera (The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday and better known as The Story of Gamehendge) that Trey wrote at Goddard College in 1987 as a senior Thesis. You can hear the original Gamehendge it in its entirety on youtube:
If that recording leaves you wanting more, here's a heady nugget with better audio quality, more songs, and audience participation - although it may lack some of the storytelling charm in the the original version. During their first concert in West Virginia, Phish transported their fans to Gamehendge at the Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, WV on 6/26/94:
Setlist: Kung Chant, Llama, The Lizards, Tela, Wilson, AC/DC Bag, Colonel Forbin's Ascent, Fly Famous Mockingbird, The Sloth, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, The Divided Sky
In this excerpt with Anthony Mason, Trey explains how he deals with some of the bad press the band received:
"We always felt like lepers... We would just get lambasted by the press regularly... I'm not gonna lie and say it's a pleasant experience, you know, being told 'you suck'... but I was at the concerts and people were having a great time."