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Seen and Not Seen

Seen and Not Seen has not been seen in 941 Phish shows.
It was last played: 1996-10-31.
It was played at 0.05% of live shows.
It has been performed live 1 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Talking Heads, Brian Eno

Original Artist: Talking Heads

Original Album: Remain in Light (1980)

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

Debut: 1996-10-31

Historian: Mark Toscano

No write-up could do justice to the incredible segue between “Houses in Motion” and this song at Phish’s 10/31/96 performance of Remain in Light. As each element of the former got stripped down to almost nothing, Mike surrendered his bass to Trey as a recliner and floor lamp were brought out on stage for him, from which he would deliver this most radio-unfriendly tune. The "almost nothing" then slowly became "almost something" as Fish played percussion, Karl Perazzo played drums, Trey played bass, and Mike played comfy chair. Comfy chair made Mike tell a story about a man and his face, and the whole audience held their faces in their hands, some in despair, some in glee. We all held our faces. Mike held his face. Listen to the story. Let it cradle your head in its arms like a comfy chair – a comfy chair telling a story through Mike’s face.

Watch Seen and Not Seen on YouTube "Seen and Not Seen" – Phish, 10/31/96, Atlanta, GA

Albums: Live Phish 15


(Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth)
© Warner Chappell Music (ASCAP)

He would see faces in movies, on t.v., in magazines, and in books
He thought that some of these faces might be right for him
and through the years, by keeping an ideal facial structure fixed in his mind
or somewhere in the back of his mind
that he might, by force of will, cause his face to approach those of his ideal
The change would be very subtle
it might take ten years or so
Gradually his face would change its shape
a more hooked nose, wider, thinner lips, beady eyes, a larger forehead

He imagined that this was an ability he shared with most other people
They had also molded their faced according to some ideal
Maybe they imagined that their new face would better suit their personality
or maybe they imagined that their personality would be forced to change to fit the new appearance
This is why first impressions are often correct

Although some people might have made mistakes
They may have arrived at an appearance that bears no relationship to them
They may have picked an ideal appearance based on some childish whim, or momentary impulse
Some may have gotten half-way there and then changed their minds

He wonders if he too might have made a similar mistake

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