Message From Phil
January 5th, 2006

"Don't worry up your mind
People are sick and mean sometimes
They're only words
They're only words"

Happy New Year, Heads!

So you all want answers. I'm here to provide some.

I am responsible for asking to take down the message board on Philzone. Until now, I have felt that the boards are your turf to trample as you will; but right before New Year's Eve one of my employees received a very threatening email from a frequent poster on Philzone. In the process of dealing with this I was shown that the discussions sometimes cross the line. For example - Bob Weir is dead; so and so (fill in the name of the musician you most love to hate) is a junkie/child-molester/wife-beater/asshole/sucks, etc.
Our attorneys are dealing with the threatening email, but they are concerned that is perceived to be an official site. We will be working with the Philzone team to clarify the distinction between the two.

I would like to start the New Year with some healthy communication, so I've asked my man JC to scour the message boards so I can respond to some of your questions and concerns.

Some questions from the TOO Board -

Subwoofer: "I will say this.... it's all very odd. Herring leaves under "interesting" circumstances.... so does Sipe.... Molo bows out for a bit but triumphantly returns....Ryan Adams is the most talked about "poor decision" that he's made, and yet he backs this RA like he's the second coming.... and he finally finds a gem with Barry Sless(too bad he couldn't keep David Nelson around a bit more!). But it's all very mysterious to me....and I'd think that Phil's fans would be questioning his motives."

Phil: Jimmy Herring and I had been growing apart musically since the December 04 shows. It seems we worked better together in the context of the Q. We discussed this after the December shows, after Mardi Gras, after the Colorado shows and we both still felt that it wasn't right after Vegas. Clearly, it would be a mistake to head off on a month long tour together, so rather than forcing the relationship we agreed to go our separate ways sooner than planned. At that point I decided to ask John Molo to do NYE instead of Jeff Sipe as he had more experience with the material- although Jeff will be joining me again in February.

Thinman: "Couldn't Phil sing Terrapin at least??"

Phil: Ha! If you insist, but you have to take the blame when everyone complains… I'll just direct everyone to your email address, OK?

From the Ryan Adams fan site -

(Rev Buddy Greene is a regular philzone poster who felt the need to go to the Ryan Adams fan site and trash him. He ends his rant with this): I want everyone to know that I am not a troll I am a music fan.

Phil: Hey Buddy; since you're a music fan, how about some intelligent musical observations, instead of writing what could be an article for Star magazine? Just for you, here are some musical (and some not) reasons why I love playing with Ryan. I love playing with Ryan because he's fearless; because he doesn't have to do anything the same way twice; because every idea he throws out in a jam is a little gem that cries out "polish me"; because he has about nine hundred voices that he can use like a Bene Gesserit; because of his huge heart and enormous talent.

I like it that we deconstruct the songs so that verses are transposed, or the bridge comes in early, or the jam leads back to a verse instead of a chorus. I like it that we have to be on our tippy-tippy toes to make the acute left turns and abrupt changes that Ryan likes to spring on us. I like to spring those kind of changes too- what do you think I'm doing when I talk into my mike and you can't hear me? I love playing with Ryan because he takes me back to when the Grateful Dead were young, fearless, crazy and didn't give a shit about what other people thought we should do. If what you desire is the perfect rendition, there are many excellent bands that perform Grateful Dead songs- but I have never been about perfection and never will be. I do promise that I will always do my best to follow my weird. I hope you will join me, but I do understand if your path takes you elsewhere. I will also say with no hesitation that Jerry would have loved Ryan and his fearless interpretations of his songs. It's funny, but I feel Jerry close to me whenever I am around Ryan.

Phil: JC tells me that everyone wants to know about the Dead and

The Dead - The Dead is a big rusty machine that takes awhile to crank up. I am completely open to doing a Terrapin Station weekend and hopefully we will get it together for this summer.

Archive - I had two conversations with Cameron Sears, our CEO at GDP, regarding Archive, starting when our material first showed up there. I told Cameron that I was fine having the audience tapes up there, but that he should talk to everyone, including Bob Hunter and John Barlow, regarding the soundboards. A year later when I had not heard anything about the boards, I mentioned to Cameron that I felt by not doing anything we were making a decision about the boards and that I was fine with that. Again I urged him to talk to everyone. I was caught by complete surprise when, right before Thanksgiving, the recordings were pulled. I feel that Bobby was not updated properly and unfairly took most of the heat. A lot of our business disagreements are the result of poor communication from advisors. Bobby is my brother and I love him unconditionally; he is a very generous man, and was unfairly judged regarding the Archive issue.

In the end, what we want or enjoy in life comes down to personal preference; the best and the bravest will always follow their own path in their listening, in their reading, in their thinking, without any concern for the opinions of others.

Words of comfort whispered to the injured,
words of courage whispered to the scared,
words of encouragement whispered to a child,
words of love whispered to the sky.

Words have great power; use them wisely.


From Philzone Admin: We have put the the discussion board back up and we hope you all take Phil's words to heart moving forward.
Go to board.

Over the next couple of days, Phil will be answering some questions from registered discussion board members only. Please email your question to You must include your name, discussion board username and your real email address. Of course Phil can't answer all your questions. We will post Q&A updates periodically. Serious questions only please!