Walls of the Cave

ThunderBurn on October 19, 2011 00:31


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    In 6 Sets

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    This one holds a great deal of significance for Trey and myself. It was a dark period in both our lives. It was a dark period for the country. I wrote this poem for my son...it read almost like an epitaph for my own grave. It was depressing. Trey and I also (due to my work situation which was dire) were holed up in a dark, miserable NJ hotel right near Newark airport. But one thing we knew how to do was write and record songs. Trey liked these lyrics, and with me essentially on the sidelines, he created this entire song...piece by piece. The most impressive to me was his piano intro. He's quite a good pianist, and he uses it as a compositional tool very effectively. Those chords just kept building and building...heck, the song has FOUR intros if you count them like I do...until finally a bed for the lyrics appeared. And he sang them...I didn't get involved, he was on a mission from god. I just handed the lyrics to the song-machine and my job was done. Later I found that people thought this was a tribute to the World Trade Center...WTC = Walls of The Cave=World Trade Center. So is it? Trey says yes. I say probably...but unintentionally on purpose. [this continues in COMMENTS below]


    8 timed comments and 16 regular comments

    • b00g3r
      b00g3r at 0.37 on January 16, 2014 00:57

      glad that intro got worked out :p

    • UV Course
      UV Course at 5.12 on September 24, 2013 00:37

      Listen to the silent trees!! Thanks Tom!

    • msgisgoodforyou
      msgisgoodforyou on October 06, 2012 13:04

      This is one of my favorite Phish songs, lyrically, and musically, and although most of my interpretations are wrong, I like to think of this as the final Gamehendge song....as if years later, another explorer ventures through the door to find a message from Forbin about the fate of the Lizard people...

    • Chris Metaxas
      Chris Metaxas on January 27, 2012 21:51

      @ThunderBurn: I might have a pic or two from some of these sessions....

    • Brigitte Bard
      Brigitte Bard on January 27, 2012 18:10

      @ThunderBurn: Love the back stories Tom... maybe a little late for the older stuff, but if you ever need a behind the scenes photographer or documentarian, i make a good cluster fly on the wall, or as i prefer, firefly on the wall w/a camera... ;) Keep 'em coming!

    • Guy Forget
      Guy Forget on January 20, 2012 20:53

      Tom, thanks for confirming the Walls/WTC connection! Can you please confirm the other part about which fans have long speculated -- namely, that the O in Walls OF the Cave stands for Osama? It would provide particularly sweet closure now that the man is dead. Thanks!

    • cyruspapyrus
      cyruspapyrus on January 20, 2012 18:44

      Nice Tom. Thanks for sharing. That song gives me chills every time I hear these eloquent lyrics:
      I know you heard the question
      But you didn't make a sound,
      And when it fell you caught my heart
      Before it hit the ground.
      But if you ever need the names
      Of those you couldn't save,
      You'll find them on the walls of the cave.
      You'll find them on the walls of the cave.
      Look at me and time stands still
      A mountain here is now a hill.
      Look away,
      Look away,
      The time goes past.
      These rocks will fall away at last.
      Look away.

    • ThunderBurn
      ThunderBurn on January 20, 2012 17:43

      Thanks for all the comments -- they make me remember MORE stuff about the sessions, and make me realize that people actually appreciate getting a behind-the-scenes look at the songwriting process as it were. I only wish I had been a better photographer or a video guy. it would be so good to have a visual remembrance of all these "studios" we created over the years. One thing that the Twitter guy @PhishQuotes reminded me of today when he posted "Listen to the silent trees..." was the story behind that particular quote. Actually...this isn't the story behind the quote, as in "what does that quote mean?" because I don't really know myself...see above song description, and no, I wasn't referencing Dixie on purpose with the "Look away" line.....INSTEAD, this is the story of the aftermath of playing the song the first time (12/31/2002) and what happened. When Phish first played this song, Phish fans, always careful listeners, took the "Listen to the Silent Trees" instruction literally, and began to search the web...what they found was a defunct band in Finland that still had a website up. Phish Inc, at Trey's request, got in touch with the webmaster and he was happy to have someone explain to him the sudden surge in popularity in his site. What Trey wanted was a bunch of their T-shirts so he could wear one on stage and really get people wondering about the secret message in the song. Unfortunately the guy was completely sold out and the band was long gone. This didn't stop Trey though -- he had about 10 shirts made with a Silent Trees logo, with a Finnish flag in the middle. Then he had those shirts washed over and over until they looked old. THEN he wore one onstage....and asked me about the inevitable mass hysteria that this should have caused among the fan base. Well...it turned out...no one noticed! No one got the joke. It completely backfired. The joke was on us!!! Needless to say, I grabbed two of the shirts, and gave one to my pal A.G., and kept one. I'll Tweet a picture of it right now @TomMarshall111.

    • Kidfrogger
      Kidfrogger on January 17, 2012 00:47

      Some friends and I had a close friend pass away at a Phish show in 09. Since he had no living relatives we were given his ashes. We decided to sprinkle some of his ashes at every outdoor venue we attend. The first venue we brought his ashes to sprinkle at was Deer Creek. We had all been to numerous shows there through out our lives (G.D, Phish Allmans, Santana etc...) As soon as the time felt right we group hugged and began to sprinkle our friends remains onto the lawn we had all danced on sooooo many times. At the same time we opened the little glass vial containing the ashes, Page began playing the piano intro. I believe it was the first time played in 3.0

    • jwilliams89-1
      jwilliams89-1 on December 16, 2011 22:46

      so.....you carry all these obscure instruments with you, or just a serious synth?

    • DJD$
    • letherer
      letherer on October 26, 2011 19:18

      Thanks for sharing Tom, this is kick-ass. When you say, "song writing machine" you're not kidding. I've been listening since '87 and the songs that come out of Trey is mindblowing, he is tapped into something. Plus, this reservoir of 100 songs!!!
      I don't know if you remember what I thought this song was about, with the Beatles theme? We talked about it in Albany over a beer before the Trey show. I'm glad you had an outlet for the difficult time you were having and as with everything, this too shall pass, and it seems to have.

    • 3one
      3one at 0.30 on October 24, 2011 18:05

      always loved wotc but it has so hit me this year. portsmouth version was pure magic. thank you!

    • minnytangles
    • yeahello
    • icculus99
    • mcary
      mcary on October 19, 2011 14:21

      Thanks Tom. This is like an early Christmas getting new stuff everyday.

    • bryontreece
      bryontreece on October 19, 2011 13:52

      "Unintentionally on purpose"....nice!

    • ggddttrrffbb
      ggddttrrffbb on October 19, 2011 11:46

      This is SO exciting to follow - can't wait to hear what comes next - thanks so much for sharing the stories as well!!!

    • Jonathan Fitch
      Jonathan Fitch on October 19, 2011 03:32

      one of my most favorite newer phish tunes.... love it live.... and I love your words tom!

    • Tanya Sperry
      Tanya Sperry on October 19, 2011 03:14

      "Look Away." Were you referencing Dixie or coincidence?

    • Marc Soucy
      Marc Soucy at 4.53 on October 19, 2011 02:16

      This part would be great if they played with a drum ensemble live.

    • bickersmith
      bickersmith at 3.36 on October 19, 2011 00:55

      look at you! love this section.

    • bickersmith

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