Cover artwork for Phish's album 'Slip, Stitch and Pass'
Storm Thorgerson recalled 'The most impressive thing about Phish was going to see them live and discovering first hand that they did not have a set list, no set list! horrors, how do they know what to play! Well, like the best jazz combos, as I have imagined, they play what comes to mind, once someone starts a song, say the pianist then the rest follow easily. They told me later that they once did an entire set in a club of Beach Boy variations using only percussion and none of their own songs, not something they ever anticipated. The second impressive thing about Phish is the degree of improvisation in their concerts and improvisation is what I was trying to represent in this design. I thought of improvisation as a large ball of string (a melody as yet unravelled) and the improvisation as the unravelling, wherein each musician took the melody, ran with it and passed it on to the next musician, a bit like a runner in a relay passing the baton. A little fanciful you might say, but not quite as fanciful as trying to construct a giant ball of string - giant, because after all how long is an improvisation until finished, how long is a piece of string? The most fanciful part of all of this is that a giant ball would require giant string, namely rope, the kind of rope that ties a ship to a dock, which made the ball very heavy and a complete nightmare to transport and carry down rocks and onto a beach, it seeming relevant to put Phish near the sea.'
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