Is there some connection between the digital world and funky hygiene? (Sniff around and you’ll discover that Bill Gates was once notorious for his…aroma.) If so, maybe it makes sense that perfume-eschewing Phish phans have been connecting online since way before the lyrics to ”Fluffhead” turned up on the Web. If you want to score tickets to the next off-the-map show, or just trade tapes, here’s where to start:
PHISH-NEWS MAILING LIST
The Phish-formation superhighway starts right at the show: Phish steps onto a New Jersey stage, for example, and launches into ”Dog Log.” Phan Heather McLaughlin types the title into her two-way pager and zaps it to Phish.net webmaster Rob Johnson. By the time McLaughlin’s on her way home, the 13,000-plus subscribers on this e-mail list receive a message from Johnson with the night’s set list.
In 1992, fans made this only the fourth Usenet newsgroup devoted to a musical act. (Tellingly, the other three belonged to the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan.) It’s still popular — hundreds of messages get posted daily — and it offers the same information as the mailing list, but all the cross talk produces a lot more distortion.
The Netscape browser was still an Internet newbie when this site was started by fans in 1994. It’s nearly as official as Phish.com and has song lyrics, a detailed history of the band, Frequently Asked Questions, info on tape-trading trees, and ”The Phish.Net Helping Phriendly Book,” a vast almanac of set lists. Looking for two tickets to that Albany show? Phish handlers use both sites to make sure you get them before scalpers do.
ANDY GADIEL’S PHISH PAGE
Since Phish.net is so closely tied to the band’s management, this has become the source for rumors, gossip, and lost-and-found. (Hey, by the way, Kyle’s still looking for the prescription sunglasses he lost at Deer Creek.)
THE PHUNKY BITCHES
Boys are allowed, but this website — named after a song — was created by and for female Phish fans who wanted to meet up at shows. Read baptismal first-show testimonials or find a safe ride to the next gathering.
Die-hard phans rely on this free wireless e-mail service to have Phish-News set lists sent to their cells and pagers. Which completes the circle, in a phreaky way.