‘Long May They Run’ unpacks Phish’s music career and legacy

Music October 25, 2021
Listen to ‘Long May They Run’

Audacy’s C13Originals “Long May They Run” is a documentary series about the band Phish. Music journalist Dean Budnick hosts this podcast to delve into Phish’s history and explore how they have been one of the most successful touring acts, consistently selling out arenas and holding their devout fanbase’s utmost attention for decades. Starting in the 1980s, they rose above any musical genre limitations and created a scene of Phishheads, similar to the jam-band vibes of the Grateful Dead‘s community.

For the podcast, Budnick interviewed over 50 people including the band, previous managers, and fans. Budnick is editor-in-chief of Relix, and also dug into his interview archive for the podcast.

Budnick unpacks the impact Phish has left on music culture. Among the band’s many accolades, Phish is known for front-running multi-day music festivals, which they produced themselves, ahead of what we now appreciate as festival culture.

The band developed a unique form of pre-social media fan-engagement culture that is now ubiquitous with the internet. Their techniques included newsletters, playing chess on-stage, a language signaled by musical cues, hosting a “Big Ball Jam” where fans could be the band, and more. In recent years, the band created a LivePhish app. Across the podcast’s episodes, the Phish lifestyle is explored and interviewees positively liken it to a cult in the best way.

In eight+ hour-long sets, seldom repeating songs, Phish once drew a crowd of 100,000 people to Florida’s Big Cypress Reservation for their own innovative festival, a pioneering moment in America modeled after European music events like Glastonbury Festival in England. They handled ticket sales themselves. This event inspired festivals such as Bonnaroo in the 2000s.

Budnick also spoke with promoter Ron Delsener, Phish’s “first fan” Amy Skelton, photographer Danny Clinch, Superfly and Bonnaroo co-founders Rick Farman and Kerry Black, poster artist Jim Pollock, NBA star and Phish super-fan Bill Walton, along with other Phish enthusiasts.

Budnick co-wrote Blues Traveler frontman John Popper’s memoir Suck and Blow: And Other Stories I’m Not Supposed To Tell. He also wrote Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped, among his various publications.

So, hop on the tour bus, and tune into “Long May They Run!” All 10 episodes are now streaming.

Listen to ‘Long May They Run’

New shows we love...

Join Our Newsletter

The best podcasts to listen to next, delivered right to your inbox every week.

By clicking Submit, you acknowledge you have read and agree to our Website and Digital Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.