John Popper Tried To Steal Phish’s MSG Booking In 1997 By Using Strippers

first_imgThe histories of Blues Traveler and Phish are certainly intertwined, but a new interview reveals some of the more outrageous, behind-the-scenes antics between John Popper and the jam band from Vermont. As Popper has a new memoir, he recently shared a number of anecdotes with the New York Post to build up some anticipation.While he refers to Trey Anastasio as “our Mozart,” he did send him a semi-trailer full of diapers to commemorate the birth of his first daughter. He also stayed under a tarp for the entirety of a Phish show, before making an appearance for one song back in 1993. However, one of the best stories from the interview happened behind the scenes.Apparently, Phish had a hold on Madison Square Garden for New Year’s Eve of 1997, but Popper wanted Blues Traveler to have the spot. “They had what’s known as a ‘first hold,’ and we had decided to challenge them for it… We put up half the money — it was over a half-million bucks — and they had 48 hours to respond, when they had to put all their money down.”Popper also timed the challenge to coincide with Phish’s trip to Europe, and the band and a majority of their representatives were in Scotland for the 48 hour window. The band’s accountant, however, was in town. Naturally, to distract him, Popper “sent a stripper every 15 minutes for eight hours to his office to read from Sammy Davis Jr.’s ‘Yes I Can.’ ”Through some frantic work, Phish’s accountant was able to muster up the $600,000 to reserve the gig with only two hours to spare. According to Popper, he never told the band who kept sending their accountant all the strippers. Cat’s out of the bag now!Thankfully, Phish was able to play the New Year’s Eve run, producing some great tunes from a peak year in the band’s career. Listen to the NYE show below, courtesy of fromtheaquarium:For more about Popper and his new book, be sure to read the full interview in the New York Post.last_img

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