Warning: this is where Templeton admits that she was once, sort of a Phishhead, but she'll try not to disappoint anyone
It wasn't just Phish. It was Cat Stevens, Portishead, Pink Floyd (where there was too much acid), the Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Journey (when there was too much beer), among others. But since most of them are dead or don't tour much anymore, for us in Virginia from 1993 to 1997, when it was live, it was Phish. Dave Matthews Band came out just an hour away, in Charlottesville, and all around the US, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden made the scene. We had brought with us to college our favorite 80's cheese bands, the music our parents might have gotten high to when they were our age, or, in my case, the classic country and rock and roll from the 50's and further back.
I got high almost every day for at least four years, on the average, while I was in college and after I graduated. I'd almost say that to have gotten high so regularly for a reputable length of time is almost required for the motivation for this node, since it is only through a sequence of years where memories with music are made.
There is a lot of music in my collection that have survived those years, and to listen to it is almost like getting high. But I don't get high anymore. At least, I try not to; I'm no saint here. And sure, if I smoked pot now and felt alright with it, and it was around, taking a few hits while listening to say, A Live One, would not be a negative thing. But I don't need it to enjoy what I hear.
Music has always had the ability to trigger memories, just as any other sense. When we hear it, and allow ourselves to be, we can be transported back to the times where it fit in more with our lives. I do that even with some of the saddest memories I have, because sad as they were, they taught me something. They are a part of me and as valid as any other, and I try to respect all parts.
When you attended Phish shows as regularly and as enthusiastically as I did in college, you adapt that white person dance, which entails more gestures with you head and arms than with your entire body altogether. Usually, your feet won't come off the floor. Nowadays, when I have been dragged to a show and seen people around me dancing like this, it is now embarrassing to me. But when I'm alone in my room, as I am right now, I allow myself a little silliness.
I had my water bottle. I'm wearing my plaid pajama bottoms and a tank top, my hair all furred up and my glasses on, doing the white dance in front of a mirror. The alarm for tomorrow is set, and I have no beer left in the house, so I could even taper off the silliness with a minor buzz if I wanted to. And I'm sure you can tell by now, I don't.
I guess even when I was into Phish I was embarrassed to be associated with Phishheads, especially after their followers became more of the yuppie persuasion. It was the one part of me that allowed itself to be stereotypical for the time, the one time I admitted I was just like everyone else.
It takes a little more effort to like Phish without pot. It takes more time and devotion. You don't just hop into it and expect things to be the same. They never are. But I smile now to certain songs just like I did then, and I remember friends of mine and favorite songs they had. I remember the crazy road trips we took to go to shows, and all the times we should have had run ins with the law but didn't. Just like with coke, I am simply thankful that we got off so lucky and therefore don't want to push my luck now. But it is fun to remember when I wasn't so careful, when I was allowed to be rebellious.
I don't think there's anything wrong with recounting the past, even if you've moved past it to get to where you are. Even from when I was hooked on coke, there are times from that period where I can have a good laugh at myself, since those times when we are most rebellious we are also usually taking ourselves way too seriously. We think the sky will fall at any minute, and even when it does, it's seldom. You get by. You get over it. You move on.
But you never really forget.