The famed Phish Hot Dog which appeared at NYE 1994, 1999 and 2010 has been reported to be lonely and scared while hanging in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
Fans admiring the Hot Dog could see the hot dog shaking, nervous that the wires holding it suspended 20 feet in the air would snap, plummeting the steel and foam wooden stage prop to its bitter end. “Heeeeeee…….hellllllp me”, could be heard uttered quietly above, seemingly from patrons of the museum, but even late at night security guards noticed the cries from above.
“Its been like that since mid-January, just not doing well I tell ya”, observed Duncan Crenshaw, assistant curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “That thing has been here for years now, then it gets taken to New York for some New Years Eve gig. I figure it was happy to get out, stretch, hang out with Phish again with the band, after ten years of nothing but token ‘Hey, I was in town and thought I’d stop by’ visits from Trey and the others. They took the hot dog to Vermont, went out on the town, had a nice meal or two, went skiing and caught up with the hot dog. It was just like old times.”
Things took a turn for the worse when the hot dog was loaded back up on the truck and prepared to head back for Cleveland. “Well, I figure I wouldn’t want to head back to Cleveland, let alone be forced to go back there after hanging out with Phish for a week. I’d go kicking and screaming just like the hot dog did. But it’s here and it isn’t happy.”
The hot dog seemed desperate to get down to the ground level, near the iconic fries and shake that accompanied the hot dog on the stage at NYE 1994 in the Boston Garden. Previous interviews with the hot dog on January 1st, 1995 by The Phunion showed a different attitude: “Oh this is so amazing! I feel so alive! I love this band so much! I can’t wait for what’s next.”
What’s next was storage, but with the fries and shake, the hot dog wasn’t alone. For four and a half years, they bonded. Then, in late 1999, the hot dog was taken out of storage and brought to Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation for Phish’s millennium concert. Centerstage once again, the hot dog was on top of the world while Phish was on top of him. This would be the last time the hot dog would be heard from for over 10 years.
“I call those the dark years,” said the hot dog (after The Phunion scored him a zannie bar; we’re good like that) noting that he fell into a deep depression when he was moved, along with the fries and shake, “because I dont really remember anything. Nothing happened. Fries and Shake and I said goodbye to the band, we were packed up, moved off to Cleveland and sat in storage while they ‘figured out what to do with us.’ Creepy shit man. We had no idea what to expect. Then, one day, we were wheeled out to a big open area and unloaded onto the floor. Fries and Shake had a nice setup off to the side of the foyer, but then some guys drilled holes into me, which hurt like a motherfucker. I mean seriously!”
“Then, I kinda blacked out and came to, hours later, hanging from the ceiling. I was confused, scared and in pain. I wound up falling into a coma for many years. I woke up when Trey and some other band he plays with stopped by, but he didn’t come up and see me. He just waved from the floor. I was hurt. I fell into a deep depression.”
“One day last fall, they started taking me down and then told me I was off to New York City! Oh I had never been and I was so happy! And I was part of New Years Eve again! That’s my night to shine! I was packed up, had a cold ride to New York, although I was so excited I stayed warm. When I saw the band, I cried. Page got mustard on his shirt. I felt bad but so happy. We did the stunt, caught up, went to Vermont for a week and hung out. It was so great. The five of us, back together.”
“And here I am, sent back to the museum to dangle 20 feet in the air. Awesome. Fucking awesome. Is it wrong to say that I just want them inside me again? Can’t I go on tour too? It could be a thing, where I come out every show or two, they ride in on me, I dance The Meatstick dance. Oh the potential. But no, they nixed that and reminded me they were a four-piece band.” The hot dog wept. “That was the saddest point of my life.”
While the hot dog is hanging in the museum, thousands of fans each week take pictures of the hot dog as well as fries and shake. Still, the hot dog longs to be on the ground floor of the building. “The fries and shake are way down there. Why can’t I be down there too? People can’t even touch me up here. Put me down, set me near the fries and shake, I at least want to be near them. All I long for is some contact, any contact. I get maintenance every month but that’s nothing.”
For now, the hot dog remains a fixture in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, hanging 20 feet high in he atrium of the museum. And it waits its next go around with Phish. The sooner, the better for this hot dog.