Limb By Limb

ThunderBurn on January 13, 2012 18:52


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    In 7 Sets

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    Tags: phish

    This song...where to begin? We were in a Vermont Farmhouse near Stowe in March 1997. Just Trey and myself. Paul and Carini had left us there with a bunch of recording equipment, beer and Flatbread pizzas. It was the end of skiing season so not bitterly cold, but it wasn't warm either. This session yielded Ghost, Velvet Sea and Piper among several others. We had 3 days together and we were writing machines. Trey had brought this incredible drumbeat with him. I have to explain this better. The drumbeat that eventually became Limb by Limb arrived with Trey on a drum machine. But it's not like he just created a random beat. Trey had listened to a National Geographic Music of the World cassette with street drumming from a festival in Rio de Janeiro and painstakingly assembled a beat using that street fair as an influence. Trey also loved to create beats that would challenge Fishman. Other songs where he created challenging beats for Jon were Wedge, Bouncing and Twist. Jon ALWAYS stepped up to the plate and learned the almost unplayable beats perfectly. He is incredible that way. Another special mention should be the song Demand. Trey wrote every single note of that drum part down musically. Jon read and learned the entire part flawlessly. The last thing to say about Limb by Limb is that apart from all the lyrics to Chalkdust, Trey's favorite lyrics of mine are in this song: "And I am taken far away...Lingering slowly melting away, tossed with the salad and baled with the hay, pooling like water that drips from above, trampled by lambs and pecked by the dove." I remember Trey telling me that "he got the joke" in the song. I had no idea what he meant. The "joke" it turns out is that violence is done to the narrator by the two gentlest members of the animal kingdom. I know the feeling...I once got mugged in the most peaceful city in the world: Burlington Vermont. Maybe that influenced this song...I don't know. Note: this song (and others I will occasionally re-release) are from the album Trampled by Lambs and Pecked by the Dove which is available on


    2 timed comments and 3 regular comments

    • Kenbabbs
      Kenbabbs at 1.07 on March 21, 2012 23:50

      Its interesting reading what Tom says about the joke. 97 or 98 Gorge I was 18 and came unglued when they played this, landed to reform strapped to a chair in the med tent. There was a crew of is in there. I remember the drops being brownish red (amber).
      After that I got the joke. It was after that experience I could enjoy L and the shows with no confusion. That song and that venue are imprinted in me. It was scary but wouldnt change a thing. Ive never missed a gorge show

    • DJD$
      DJD$ at 2.41 on February 10, 2012 14:54

      pooling like water that drips from above...

    • chefbradford
      chefbradford on January 14, 2012 04:29

      Thanks for continuing to share all of these behind-the-curtain glimpses, Tom! It's nice to hear the stories that go with these tunes. The "Hydrogen" you uploaded is absolutely beautiful.

    • Marc Soucy
      Marc Soucy on January 13, 2012 22:28

      Whatever machine he used, I'm just happy that he uploaded it to the Fishman drum machine.

    • DJ Russo
      DJ Russo on January 13, 2012 19:09

      nice story Tom. just curious, do you know what drum machine Trey was using at the time?

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