David Calarco, a.k.a. “Mr. Miner,” is perhaps the most well-known Phish blogger. Since 2008, Dave has been blogging about Phish on his very popular Phish blog, http://phishthoughts.com/, though he got his start writing about the band in 2000, reviewing Phish shows from Japan (and elsewhere) forJamBase.com. Dave’s opinions on shows are highly regarded by many fans and, whether you enjoy reading his work or not, “Mr. Miner” knows his Phish, having seen hundreds and hundreds of shows since his first show in 1995. As you likely have already heard, Dave has published a 600+ page book,Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts, and he agreed to speak with me about it. It is available for purchasehere, and it would make a great gift for the Phish fan(s) in your life. Happy holidays. -charlie
How is the book structured? I believe you told me that it is written and compiled in such a way that one doesn’t have to read it start to finish, but can jump around to different sections.
First off, the book has two main sections. The first chronicles the comeback through 2010, and the second is split into subsections of historical essays—Tours & Eras, Shows, Songs & Jams, and Culture—that look back at the band’s career.
However, the book also contains an internal navigation system as well. With such an extensive anthology of writing, I had to think of a way to unify the pieces, and what resulted were “connections,” or the “choose your own adventure” format. Let’s say you are reading an essay that describes a scorching “Reba,” or a facet of the old days such as tape trading. Through these connections you will be guided to other essays that touch on similar subjects, and thus your journey begins. Here’s a specific example taken from the “How-To” section of the book:
The essay, “A Portrait of Post-Hiatus,” about the band’s 7/30/2003 Camden performance, contains four different connections. The first is to an essay in the “Tours and Eras” section” entitled, “Summer 2003: A Return to Glory.” The second connection brings the reader to an essay in the “Shows” section of the book called “The Tower” that chronicles Phish’s “secret set” at 2003’s IT festival. The third connection takes you to an article entitled “The OPhishal Welcome Back Party” that appears within the section of the book, “2009: The Return.” This piece examines the band’s return to Camden in their comeback year of 2009. Finally, the fourth connection is to a piece in the “Song and Jams” section called “The Nassau Tweezer,” a closer look at one of the post-hiatus’ peak moments. Then, once you choose which essay you’d like to read, you will be presented with a new series of topical connections that will continue to take you through the book however YOU choose to read it! Just as Trey sings, “The only rule is it begins.”