Jimmy, I have some bad news...
What is it Dad?
It's about your cat, Poster...
You mean Poster Nutbag?
Humphries House (The Zoo)
You may want to start this one by listening to the end of the “Love You” track that precedes it on the tapes as Trey has a bit of fun messing with the crowd, melding the oom pa pa with other song titles after someone shouts out “Whipping Post!”, leading to a bit of Trey banter trying to get folks to join in for the hand gestures he just made up. Once that fun is over, we are into what ends up being quite the unique little tale. Fair warning, this is the last of the “Full Moon Party” shows at this collegiate “venue” and the first time Phish had ever played on the ever clever stoner holiday, 4/20. So you know things were a bit loose that night.
Trey starts with the standard “once upon a time there was a dog named Harpua” intro, but gets sidetracked quickly bringing up the true story of his dog (Marley, of course) who had been shot in the ass the prior week by some obnoxious person. Page laughs and says “sorry, not funny”. Trey mentions how he wasn’t joking and then tries to restart the story. He mentions that Harpua has a non-shot ass (“one thing you can say about Harpua is that he was never shot in the ass…” and cue the Call To Post tease) as does Jimmy and even the cat has a non-shot ass too. Next, we get a quite detailed description of the cat’s non-shot ass before Mike yells out “let’s hear if for non-shot asses!”, which sends the band into a rave up swell chanting “NON SHOT ASS!”
Returning to the story, Harpua is walking down the street and at the same time the cat decides he wants to go out, so Jimmy opens the door. A few steps later, the cat and dog come face to face (as they do) and Harpua has a shock of recognition and says to himself “Holy Shit!” which Mike voices for the titular spastic dead-eyed hound. Trey asks the band to drop out except for the bass, and Harpua then says to himself (voiced by Trey in a quasi-Valley-Girl-meets-bad-British accent) “oh my gaaawwwwd” before building the full name reveal up with Mike and Trey shouting out “OH MY GOD!” over and over in various iterations while the band plays Gimme Some Lovin’ underneath.
Eventually we get the payoff “MY GOD IT’S POSTER NUTBAG!!” and Trey tries to move to the fight but Mike keeps the Gimme Some Lovin’ going and then shifts to the Walk This Way bass line for a bit, distracting Trey from the tale. After a bit Trey carries on, relating the fight we all know by heart and heading into the coda.
Tonight’s coda has some extra sauce too as when Mike and Page are playing the Dad and Jimmy roles Trey interjects more “OH MY GOD!!”s which gets Mike riled up again as they head off into the end Page solo
Fight Locale: The Town
Method of Death: Standard vicious dog tearing a cat apart stuff.
Song(s) Teased: Call To Post (traditional), Gimme Some Lovin’ (Spencer David Group), Walk This Way (Aerosmith), and supposedly The Price Of Love (Everly Brothers)... but I really can’t hear it if it is there.
Show Fun Facts:
As mentioned above this was one of the Full Moon Party shows at The Zoo at Amherst College that John Paluska got the band to play and which contributed to him eventually managing the band.
The Bowie that ends the first set has some very familiar if perhaps not really seasonally appropriate teases, not to mention more teasing in a few other songs (which is pretty common for the era).
During the second song Fluffhead someone pulled the fire alarm (really funny, frat guys!). After that was cleared up the band jammed ACDC’s You Shook Me All Night Long (only time ever before the 09.29.2000 full version that was part of the “unique” sit-in by Kid Rock that night) and then finished Fluffhead. The fire alarm stunt was later mentioned as Trey dedicated Fire to the “brave men who turned off the fire alarm”
Well, this was where I learned that Marley had been shot in the ass, so that’s one thing we got out of tonight. The other big thing I suppose is playing a 4/20 show for a frat crowd on a full moon may just result in a quite wild night of revelry and fun. So let’s hope that happens again, right?!?