My first contact with Scott Phillips was at a college in Western Massachusetts where I briefly went to school, but got stuck in the comparative psychedelics department for a semester before leaving the institution.
My second night in the dorm room, a gang of dirty hippies played bongos outside my window until well past midnight. I was just 17 and accustomed to late nights, but even I thought this was outrageous. I had to get my school ID in the morning.
Scott was in that gang.
Later that month, I saw my first Dead Show at Madison Square Garden and was astounded that the floor of The Garden pulsated in rhythm with US Blues, the encore. And here I mean really moving, like 8-10 inches with every downbeat. Mind Blowing.
Upon returning to Amherst, I made friends with Scott’s bongo pal, Max, who introduced Scott and me in the cafeteria. Somehow, we determined that we’d both been at that Dead Show a week earlier. I asked him, by chance, if he noticed anything funny during “US Blues”?
Without missing a beat, he said, “Yeah, the floor was bouncing like crazy.” Simpatico.
Scott soon invited me to his “Mod,” the strange donut-shaped student housing construct where he lived on campus. Before we left to see a film or a band or a keg, he told me he was a poet and read one of his recent writings:
Bugs under my skin
Needles in my eyes,
Gotta take a shower cause I’m having a bad time
I was so proud because I knew of what he wrote.
Read more at “the fix”…