From: Yance Davis
Harpua Files: 2/12/93

Someone ended an email to me a while back with "well, until Poster finally beats Harpua..." as in "well, 'til it snows in Hell.." Unfortunately, that is not the best phish idiom to use as it has already happened. This one is a filler on my 6/23/95 Waterloo tape, so I can't review the whole set, though from looks alone it doesn't look too attractive. As always, with Phish you can never tell, so I'll keep my mouth shut and review what I DO know as opposed to what I don't. This show was the night before my first show at the University of Delaware, which also doesn't have a breakthru setlist, but dammit if that one didn't have me impatient as hell for Phish's next visit to town. Opening is standard. It's always standard. They rarely flub it, but by the same token they rarely jam it either, so they balance each other out nicely. I like this story not just for the twisted ending, but also for a little fun with the band and history of the song as well. After the usual trilling, Trey steps up to the mic "Thank you so.. as you send us off on our merry way for three months driving around in the bus... First of all, lemme ask you guys if you wanna get in on a little bet we've got going her for this particular tour. And um, lemme just tell you that Fish here is ALWAYS late for the bus every day, so he has now bet everybody in the crew and the van a Thousand Bucks that he won't be late for the bus One time the entire tour. (loud snaring from Fish over the applause in the audience) "So anyone who wants to get in on that bet come talk to Fish after the show and line up your money there..." (fun drumplay from Fish going on the entire time Trey talks) "Yes that's right, this song is something that uh, Fish and I wrote together a long time ago. Of course it all starts far up on a hillside, all way up in the distance here in a different land and this green kind of scraggly hillside and there's ..weeping willow trees around and a pond in the distance and this little dome hut, and in the little dome hut is an ugly little man who lives there. And he lives there with his aweful little dog.. His aweful little mangy dog Harpua. And Harpua on this particular day decides he's gonna walk into town and he starts to feel.. He's feeling deja vu.. this kind of thing, he's been through this before. It's one of these things he feels like he caught in one of these Kurt Vonnegut sort of time warp things where he keeps finding himself walking down this damn hill into the town and everything.. It seems to be the worst every time but he always seems to come out okay, so everything's alright he decides 'well, alright, I'll just do it again.' "So he's walking along, he's walking down into the town, he's going down and he leaves the ugly little man behind and he walks down the scraggly hill, past the pond and past the willow tree, down onto the dirt road, down the dirt road for a couple miles, onto the paved road, down the paved road walking around until finally he starts to come into this suburban area and meanwhile... in one of the houses in the suburban area there's another little boy.. and his name.. is Jimmy. "And Jimmy on this particular day is sitting back on his couch and watching his TV and he's watching the Superbowl.. and he's watching the halftime show. And he Turns it Up!... (From here, they go into a "Black or White" jam, as in the old Micheal Jackson song. For those keeping count, this would make Micheal Jackson the number one Harpua tease, after the Halloween '95 "Beat It". I even remember this Superbowl, where Micheal Jackson came out, not fully mutated yet and did a medley of his hit songs of the day, one of which being "Black or White." "So he's watching the halftime show.. He's watching this other strange little man. This guy's a strange thin.. sort of pale-skinned man. He's standing with steam coming up between his legs and stuff. And he's watching and he looks down and his little cat and he says "I love watching the Superbowl with you my kitty, cuz you've my best friend. I love petting your fur and watching Micheal Jackson up there wiggling his butt around. I makes me feel so GOOD! PET your Fur and watch Micheal Jackson ath the same time! Aaaaah YEAH! I LOVE PETTING YOUR FUR AND WATCHING MICHEAL JACKSON! AAH, YOU'RE SO SMOOTH AND, AARRGH SOFT! It's Beautiful and that's Why I NAMED YOU.. ***POSTER NUTBAAAAAG***!!! (quick post-Poster jam, to celebrate the Name...) "So, he's petting Poster Nutbag and he's watching Micheal Jackson on the TV. Poster Nutbag isn't really like Jimmy; he doesn't like Micheal Jackson, so he decides he's gonna go our for a little walk and Jimmy gets up and opens the door and Poster Nutbag goes walking outside, and he too, he feels like.. like he's been somewhere before. It's a dream or something like time has come.. some circular wheel that's turning round and round and over and over again and he thinks "gee, I can't go through this again. Something.. something's telling me that something bad's gonna happen but he can't stop himself, he feels his paws pulling him forward... pulling him forward, down the driveway, out onto the sidewalk, walking forward, he doesn't know where he's going, he turns around a tree and suddenly...He sees Harpua.. walking towards him. Harpua.. Harpua is looking at him and he remembers.. there's gonna be an aweful fight and they're looking at each other with hatred in their eyes and Harpua's got an evil grin cuz he knows he always kicks Poster Nutbag's butt in a fight, and they start looking at each other. Poster Nutbag looks at Harpua. Harpua, Poster Nutbag. Poster Nutbag, Harpua. Harpua, Poster Nutbag! Bag, 'Pua..'Pua, Bag..Bag, 'Pua 'Pua Bag Bag 'Pua 'Pua BAg until Poster Nutbag lets an evil drop of saliva drip onto the ground.. Harpua looks up at him. The fight is about..! They're going...and finally.. they're fighting, they're fighting each other and teeth sinking into.. and and.. !! OH MY GOOOD!! POSTER NUTBAG **KILLS** HARPUA!!! (Maddening scream both from those in the audience who know what's going on and those that don't but want the first group to think they do...) "AND HE'S LOOKING DOWN ON HARPUA'S BODY AND SAYS 'AFTER ALL THIS TIME, I'VE DONE IT! I'VE DONE IT! HARPUA IS FINALLY... I'VE KILLED HARPUA!!' And he's so excited, that-he-has-a-heart-attack-and-dies. The last part after 'excited' is said faster and more rushed than the rest, for comic effect, following all the suspense leading up to it. There's a pause even for a second while the audience takes it in before they start to crack up in unison, with much applause. You can really tell Trey's cracking himself up too, which adds to the humor. The story basically ends there, with "look, the storm's gone" coming in after a brief pause. This was definitely one of the funnier Harpua's, and the 'trick' ending was great too. A must-have for Harpua fans everywhere. One important part of Harpua's that I've been leaving out is every time, right before Page's final jam, Trey has some special way of introducing Page that's usual humorous or at least entertaining (well, many times at least). On this occasion it's "One final groove.. from the Groovemaster." Total time on 2/12/93 Harpua: 13.18 About average Harpua length