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Highway to Hell

Highway to Hell has not been seen in 553 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2009-08-16.
It was played at 3.84% of live shows.
It has been performed live 77 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Scott/A. Young/M. Young

Original Artist: AC/DC

Original Album: Highway to Hell (1979)

Vocals: Trey (lead), Mike and Page (backing)

Debut: 1989-10-01

Historian: Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty)

The title track of the most successful album put out by the original lineup of AC/DC was eerily prophetic. Less than a year after the release of “Highway to Hell,” lead singer Bon Scott was found dead in a friend’s car after a long night of excess at an English pub. Sadly, he had indeed cashed in his season ticket on that one-way ride. We can only hope that his friends were in fact there to meet him.

Watch Highway to Hell on YouTube AC/DC, "Highway to Hell"

“Highway to Hell” had been one of the most played songs in the Phish arsenal of cover tunes, at one time bested only by “Loving Cup,” “Fire,” “Funky Bitch,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Good Times Bad Times.” Following over seven years on the bench, the classic rock gem has plummeted down the ranks of the times played list. “Highway to Hell” made its debut as an encore to a show at the Front in Burlington (10/1/89). For the next two years it was played often, usually as an encore or set closer. “Highway to Hell” was shelved for all of 1992, yet returned for a second heyday, which peaked in 1994. In the following years it was played very infrequently, appearing in two shows in 1995 (6/20/95 and 10/21/95), three in 1996 (6/6/96, 10/31/96, and 12/1/96), and only one in 1997 (2/26/97). A frequent juxtaposition of “Highway to Hell” with “Amazing Grace” as a two-song encore (e.g. Binghamton, NY 4/9/94) was a constant reminder that Phish has a great sense of humor.

The Halloween ’96 version, released on LivePhish 15, deftly bridged the gap between the show opening “Sanity” and the “Down with Disease” that followed. Since 1997, the on-ramp to the “Highway to Hell” has remained closed... though certainly not for repairs. An off-speed and disjointed tease of the tune’s opening licks (on 12/2/03 at the 20th anniversary show in Boston) suggested that this seasonal-use-only road may once again be paved with good intentions. This foreshadowing finally came to fruition during Phish's 6/12/09 Bonnaroo set. The entrance to the “Highway to Hell” reappeared at SPAC (8/16/09)... perhaps a veiled reference to Trey's traffic infraction in nearby Whitehall and his resulting visit to purgatory. The highway has however remained closed since.

Watch Highway to Hell on YouTube Phish, “Highway to Hell” – 10/21/95, Lincoln, NE

Albums: Live Phish 15, Live Phish Downloads 6-20-1995


(Scott/A. Young/M. Young)
© J Albert and Son Pty Ltd (ASCAP)

Living easy
Loving free
Season ticket for a one way ride
Asking nothing
Leave me be
Taken everything in my stride
Don't need reason
Don't need rhyme
Ain't nothin' I would rather do
Going down
By the time
My friends are gonna be there too, eh

I'm on a highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell

No stop signs
Speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel
Gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me 'round
Hey Satan
Paid my dues
Playin' in a rockin' band
Hey momma
Look at me
I'm on my way to the Promised Land, wooh

I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell

Mmm, don't stop me

I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
Highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
Highway to hell

And I'm goin' down, all the waa-ay-aay, wohh
I'm on the highway to hell

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