From: Yance Davis
Harpua Files 7: 6/23/95

I unfortunately had to miss this one, hearing an evil recap of it the following night at the Mann Music Center. The trouble with hearing about a show like this the night after it is that no one had really heard the tapes yet and it's one of those shows you come from that at the time seem as though they MUST have been the greatest Phish show Ever, though after some thought and some listening, it's only an Above Average show (awww). People brought this up around the Clifford Ball saying that that wasn't the first unfinished Harpua, as this one isn't done either, but Please don't even Try to compare the two. This one goes off into a harmonica Jam with John Popper which flows melodiously into Llama, and then Popper stays on to grace Good Times Bad Times. The story itself is slightly unfinished, but still long enough to paint a vivid picture, and still long enough to include all the characters and have some interesting moments. Don't forget some inspired jamming in Runaway Jim and Antelope beforehand and The Wedge, which I never hear much about, but am a Big fan of for a non-jam tune, and you've got a fatty second set. But on to the song... Listening to it now, I just noticed something I've never heard before and quite honestly, it's fucking hilarious! Right before the Oom-Pa-Pa's, you can hear a large portion of the audience chanting "Guyute...Guyute... Guyute..." over and over and over. After about 3 or 4 Guyutes though, Fishman (I think) begins whispering into the mic "sucks" over and over following 'Guyute.' Certainly a new take on the band's (or at least Fishman's) opinion of the song, and maybe part of the reason it had such a long hiatus at the time. This vocal jam of sorts segues beautifully into the opening Oom-pa to Harpua, though I don't know if I'd label my tapes Guyute sucks chant->Harpua or not. Nothing really impressive as far as the intro to the song goes. Some fine but typical keys from Page perhaps and no flubbed lyrics, but so far only the 8/20/93 intro has really moved me musically "Welcome everyone, the concert. Hope everybody's havin' a good time. (loud applause of course) I'm gonna tell you a little stoy here because this happens to be a Very special night. A little bit different from the rest of the nights on the tour for those of you who have been going from show to show. And uh, it's because we're in a very special place tonight here to be at the Waterloo Concert tonight is very special ...because.. and it's reminding me of this story because Waterloo happens to be the closest venue on this particular tour to um, a very special spot to myself and all of us, and probably all of you, and that's a place called The Rhombus. I don't know if you guys know about the Rhombus but.. (decent applause signifies at least Some of the folks do..) "..I've been hearing from talking to people that there's a quest for the Rhombus. Yes the Rhombus is real and we happen to be near the Rhombus, so it reminds me.. this place.. makes me want to tell the story because the Rhombus brings me to the whole land of Gamehendge which probably you know.. (sounds like the same people who applauded for the Rhombus do so for GAmehendge) "..A lotta stuff kinda went down in Gamehendge and there's this kinda one little tucked away corner in Gamehendge and whenever we're near the Rhombus I like to kinda tell the story. It happened a long time ago. It was a summer night sorta like this in this one particular part of Gamehendge there was this old man. The old man had been.. he was sorta chastised from the town and he had been.. Pushed out of the rest of town because he was a little bit different than all the other people.. so, this particular old man had a dog who he liked to travel with and uh, because he was different, he had been pushed up into the woods and he lived up in the woods overlooking this very quaint little town, not unlike some towns around here. Every day he would sit up in the woods there and he would look down and he'd think about how mean the townspeople were to him and he'd look down and kinda wish that he could go back into town and .. this one day was very strange because what happened was, he's standing there and he's leaning on this tree and he's uh looking down on the town and he's thinking "I really wish, with all my heart that they'd accept me, they'd take me back, ya know. I've been living up in the woods turning into this grumpy mean old man. My dog down here is very mean too, very awful and wants to go and eat people." Of course that dog is none other than the um.. The one and only Harpua! (loud evil guitar riff drowning out screams of the audience) "..Yes Harpua.. So uh, he's leaning there. He's leaning against this tree and he's looking down at his dog Harpua... and this mean tree and the strange thing is he's leaning on this tree and as he's leaning there he's holding onto this low-hanging branch. And uh he's thinking to himself "Man, uh, I really wish that I could go.. hang out down in the town with the people." As he starts to wish he realizes that sometimes wishes come true and the branch sorta slowly starts to move back and forth and it's flying back and forth and suddenly he feels it sorta tugging at him. The next thing you know he's.. he's hanging onto this branch and suddenly he feels it sorta tugging him forward and the next thing you know his feet are sorta sliding agaisnt the ground and suddenly he feels the branch is suddenly attached to this sort of magical tow rope and the next thing you know he finds himself skiing down this hill and then being dragged by the giant wire.. going faster and faster and he's cruising down the hill, the dog running behind him. Faster and Faster! Past all the buildings! Past the church! Past the houses! FAster! Until.. he's going behind the school and suddenly.. he finds himself.. cruising into this little suburban neighborhood. And he finds he's back down in the town. And as he's going down this particular street, he looks up and he sees this one little suburban house. And he realizes he's standing outside of the house of a young boy named Jimmy. "Now Jimmy is inside the house right now and Jimmy has always been very scared of the old man but he's... The old man has been gone up in the woods for so long it's not really a very big problem. So on this particular day, Jimmy is sitting in his house relaxing and he's kinda flipping through his album collection and.. he decides he's going to pop on.. he looks down and suddenly he sees this album that he hasn't played in a long time. He thinks to himself "Wow.. This is great! It's's.. it's my old ABBA record." And (Trey starts to laugh over his words for a second) he.. he pulls out his old ABBA record and he.. he puts the ABBA record on and he cranks it up.. he's like "It's a day for ABBA!" At this point the guitar builds up louder and louder until Trey starts to sing in a very high-pitched voice with the others on backup. Now, I don't know the song "Waterloo" very well, so transcribing the song there are a few words I can't make out, but here's the jist of what they sing. It's awful by the way, but awfully funny as well.. My life I've only known (something) never to surrender Oh yeah I'm livin' in a destiny in quite a simple mystery pulled from the shelf This song is repeating itseeeeeeeeeelf! Waterloo How does it feel that you walk the walk (??) Waterloo Promise You'll love me forever more Waterloo Couldn't escape if I wanted to... Waterloo (something)(something)(something)(something) (The last line is really mumbled.. "Walk the walk" must be wrong too methinks) Anyway, Trey goes back into the story almost from the last verse.. "So he's listening to this ABBA record and then he starts thinking "This is really Shitty music, ABBA! I hate ABBA! I can't believe I used to listen to this crap!" He thinks "What can I do to make this a little bit better?" So suddenly he thinks "Maybe if I added a little rockin' harmonica to it or something it'd kinda tighten it up a little bit.." At his point, the tempo increases a bit and from the burst of applause moments later you can tell when exactly John Popper comes onstage to wrok his magic. It's a fun little jam as Popper/Phish jams go and lasts for a while, getting faster and faster until it's about Llama tempo, and as if on cue Trey jumps magnificently into Llama, though confusing Popper just a little it seems from his playing, though not for too long. There's a good Llama tease about ten seconds before he actually does it, so you can feel it coming the first time you hear this tape. Good Times Bad Times is pretty fun too. Time for this one I stopped at the opening notes to Llama: 10:44 Short for Harpua, but longer and more jam-packed than other short 'puas of the past. AND mention of the obscure, hidden rhombus (I finally saw a picture of it and it wasn't at all like I expected) which is a nice plus. Yance