As we wind down the Phish career, it is done with both great joy and great sadness. The joy comes from remembering the incredibly good times we've experienced, the successes we've enjoyed, and knowing that even in our closing we are honoring the band. The sadness is obviously driven by the fact that something I love will not be a part of my life anymore. To me, we have been the greatest band in the world and have had the greatest fans ever.
I still love the music we make but the situation feels different to me now. I guess in my heart I've known for a while that something had to change, but it wasn't until this last weekend that my feelings really began to coalesce. I'm old enough now that I am able to look to the future without feeling that I need to balance it with my past. I find it ironic that half of my life has to go by before I am able to focus solely on the future. As a member of a successful rock band, it seems that every aspect of my profession encourages me to extend my youth as long as possible. Don't get me wrong, I like feeling young, but more importantly I need to be honest with myself.
The pressures and schedule of this work can take its toll personally as well as creatively. As someone who has recently been through a divorce, I know how traumatic change can be. But, I also know that if you are able to let go of things and embrace change there is the potential for incredible personal (and creative) growth.
If I sound unusually candid in this statement, I am able to do so because in my mind I've already moved on to the next phase of my life. This is a feeling I believe I share with Trey. I have a four-year-old daughter and there is nothing more important to me than being with her. Come August, I'm not going to have to tell her how many days 'til daddy comes back from tour. Combine that with my perception that the band's vitality is not what it once was, and it's easy to see how my mind quickly begins to move in one direction instead of a hundred directions all at the same time.
I will miss it incredibly, but I have no regrets. The pride that I feel for the band, our fans, the organization and all of our collective accomplishments is overwhelming. I love you all and know that we wouldn't be here without you.