Venue #10: Goddard College

Photo Credit: Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Address: 123 Pitkin Rd, Plainfield, VT

Shows at this venue: 4/21/85, 10/26/85 (Unable to play), 11/23/85, 3/6/87, 9/4/87, 9/19/87, 5/14/88

Notable song debuts: None (explained below)

Status: Still standing

Can you visit it? Yes. Goddard College campus is open to visitors.

Goddard College is unique because of the school’s approach to education. Founded on the former Martin family farm in Plainfield, Vermont, it was purchased by Tim Pitkin in 1938 to start a “college for living” where interacting with community would be the lessons. The current Adult Degree Program began in 1963. In lieu of structured classes and majors, students at Goddard are free to study whatever they choose working with faculty advisors to a final project through independent study.

Goddard College looms large in Phish lore. Its unique approach to education lured Page McConnell to transfer from Southern Methodist University. Page then made $50 each encouraging Trey and Fish to transfer in 1986. Only Mike finished at UVM. This allowed Trey, Page, and Fish to study Composition, Improvisation, and Drumming respectively at their own speed. Its art program was also the alma mater of Jim Pollock, who would become Phish’s most identifiable visual artist later on.

Trey’s work at Goddard is the most known. He worked with advisor Ernie Stires on learning composition, finishing with a rock opera as his senior project. This rock opera officially titled “The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday” and unofficially as Gamehendge. Ernie tight Trey ways to sneak the concepts of classical music into rock and roll to great effect. Page’s senior project is “The Art of Improvisation.” Fish had “A Self-Teaching Guide to Drumming in Retrospect.”

This entry focuses on the shows not linked to the two major venues played by Phish on campus. It focuses on the cafeteria, pictured above in the former silos. This is why Mike described the “fishbowl” and round room that the band played during his “epiphany” gig on 11/23/85. Mike had his 2nd peak experience during this show and knew that he wanted to make music for the rest of his life. Other shows don’t have many notes. Clearly, the more important shows took place in the Haybarn Theatre and the Sculpture Room