Well I'm not much for Phish reunion rumor mongering (despite my headline on this post about Phish at the Jammys and Trey's hints to Rolling Stone) but I just received an email with a rumor that supposedly originated from Jon Fishman himself...
The short version: Phish is definitely reuniting and there will be a new Phish album produced by Steve Lillywhite, who produced Billy Breathes over 12 years ago.
Stay tuned for more and keep your fingers crossed! I know I am.
UPDATE: So while this post has generated a ton of traffic and discussion on other message boards, please remember, it's just a RUMOR. It's now a fact! See update 10 below for details.
UPDATE 2 (June 21, 2008): I just read on Indie Point Unlimited Supply that Steve Lillywhite is in Dublin recording with U2 and because of this the Phish / Lillywhite rumor “doesn't look good.” Well I did a bit more research and according to U2Valencia Lillywhite is (or at least was) working with U2 in Dublin. However, per U2 soundman Joe O’Herlihythe's comments to HotPress, the band has since moved the sessions to France, though no word if Lillywhite came with them. Either way, U2 manager manager Paul McGuinness says the new U2 album is supposed to drop in late October, so even if Lillywhite works on it until the very end, he'd still have plenty of time to do a Phish album for '09 release — especially considering it only took him 15 minutes to mix New Years Day! ::refuses to let rumor die::
UPDATE 3 (June 22, 2008): Amazingly, this story was picked up by Billboard! They actually contacted Lillywhite's people and through a spokesperson he offered a “no comment” when asked if he was planning to work with the Phish again. Well I guess that's a lot better than a plain old “no.”
UPDATE 4 (June 23, 2008): The story has taken on a life of it's own. It's now been covered on such fine sites as Gibson.com and even New York Magazine! And my favorite so far... Sonic Slang has seemingly turned rumor into fact... “Billboard is reporting that Steve Lillywhite will be joining Phish in the studio for the long-awaited (but never in doubt) reunion album.” ...and didn't even bother to link here. Gotta love the Internet.
UPDATE 5 (June 26, 2008): Okay, finally something straight from the horse's mouth. Today a letter from Page appeared on Phish.com regarding the possible Phish reunion and associated rumors. Read the entire letter from Page.
UPDATE 6 (June 26, 2008): Well now we're talking! Just discovered this article on Rolling Stone with comments from Mike Gordon about the Phish reunion. First says Cactus... “The band has had a couple of dinners and they’ve just been great. We’re all just excited about the idea of doing something sometime. I can’t guarantee it, but I’m optimistic.” And then this, which I guess is somewhat vindicating though certainly not a full-on confirmation... “We talked to him, actually. [The rumor] stemmed from reality. We love Steve Lillywhite. He would bring out some great things in us. But we don’t have specific plans to work with him.” So all said, I'm thinking we might be able to put this thing to rest for a bit and wait for the REAL news.
UPDATE 7 (September 6, 2008): Alrighty then! Tonight there was a full Phish reunion at Brad Sands wedding! See the post for setlist, pics, and video.
UPDATE 8 (September 30, 2008): The details are emerging. The folks over at Merry Swankster are reporting a few-week-old rumor that Phish will be reuniting for three nights at Hampton Coliseum. They added a little texture too, suggesting March 6,7, and 8 as the dates. Got a hotel room yet?
UPDATE 9 (October 1, 2008): GAME ON! Very early this morning the Phish Hampton Reunion was confirmed on Phish.com, with the band announcing a three night run at the Hampton Coliseum in March! See you there.
UPDATE 10 (March 17, 2009): This is happening! In a recent Rolling Stone article about Phish Hampton (page 1, 2, 3) author David Fricke confirms that Steve Lillywhite will indeed be producing the new Phish album. The band already has 20 demos wrapped up and will hit the studio with Lillywhite in April to start work on the new album.
I’m not convinced we’ve made a great record yet.
— Trey Anastasio
UPDATE 11 (March 30, 2009): According to a recent post on the Austin Music Source blog, some of the engineering duties on the new album will be handed over to CJ Eiriksson. Most recently Eiriksson assisted Lillywhite on the new U2 album.
UPDATE 12 (June 24, 2009): Today Phish announced the title of the new album, “Joy,” as well as the complete track list. Get details about Phish's Joy album and listen to a live compilation preview right here on Jamtopia.