700 Phish Tapes

I knew Jed Binderman back on the east coast when he was a teenaged acting and filmmaking prodigy. I was once in a band that performed at one of his wild house parties. I took strange pride in injuring myself at the gig. Near the end of the performance our lead singer, late for a date, bolted. The band kept playing. When the music stopped I limped off with a swollen knee.

Jed’s grown up now, lives in Portland and plays drums in the band Eternal Tapestry. A blurb in the Portland Mercury writing about a show mentioned that Jed “stumbled upon a horde of 700 live Phish bootleg cassettes.” It also explained the tapes were used in the preparation of the bands latest recording Wild Strawberries. I had to know more about the find. Jed was willing to answer 3 questions from the Portland Orbit by email.

How and where and when and why did you find 700 Phish Tapes?

A friend of mine noticed a posting on craigslist saying that someone
had 300 Phish bootleg cassettes available for free. I’m not totally sure why said friend thought of me when he saw this, as I’m neither a Phish fan or THAT big of a hoarder, but he forwarded the posting to me, and before I knew it I was inside this dude’s house picking up box after box of Phish tapes. His estimation was 300, but when I finally brought them home I decided to waste the rest of my afternoon and actually count how many there were, since there was obviously more than 300 tapes. I finally counted over 700 tapes, all dubbed on Maxell-II hi-bias tapes, which are pretty expensive to acquire nowadays. At first I thought I could break them up into smaller lots and sell them on eBay, but then realized that Phish fans aren’t quite like deadheads, and they don’t pay big buxx for huge amounts of live Phish tapes. Eternal Tapestry had been throwing around the idea of renting a cabin for a week to do nothing but record music and hang out in a hot tub, and when we finally got our act together and booked the spot, I knew exactly what tapes we were going to be using, to be recorded on our cassette 8-track, for all of those days and nights.

USAA Check back 4

I know you guys are industrious in your recording methods, but did you or do you plan to record over all 700 tapes?

I think we recorded something like 50 tapes worth of music, maybe a
little less/more, but either way, it was a lot of stuff. Since then I’ve given huge stacks of tapes to other friends that use cassettes to record music, and I think the rest of them were actually given away at a yard sale at my old house, as some of them were “accidentally” left in the basement when I moved out.

USAA Check back 1

How can you record over September 14, 1999 “the snooze and you lose show?”—Do you expect any Phish fan backlash?

Unfortunately no backlash from any Phish fans who might feel that someone is really tarnishing the name of their true love, but hopefully one of these days I’ll get some hate mail that smells like patchouli.

USAA Check back 5

See more about Eternal Tapestry:


USAA Check back 6

Beer Can Bonanza

Group beer cans

When hundreds of beer cans showed up at Kenton Antique & Collectibles on North Denver Avenue something happened to me. As a recovering beer can collector it wasn’t the shakes or delirium tremens I felt, but a surge of nostalgia. So I had to know how Kenton Antiques & Collectibles owner Maureen “Mo” Bachmann got her hands on someone’s entire collection. “I didn’t find it, it found me,” Mo explained. She told the tale of a man who had been in the store and seen beer cans she’d had for sale and sensed that it might be a place where a beer can collection he and his father had shared, could find a temporary home. After asking Bachmann if she might be interested in taking a look at the collection, he presented her with three tall boxes and two giant garbage bags—around 600 cans and a trade arrangement for store credit was made.

Group beer 2

“He was just hoping to replace something that took up a lot of space with things that took up less space,” Bachmann said. She emphasized that cans take up a lot of room adding the collection “looked like they’d been in those boxes in a garage for a couple of years.” That storage method required Bachmann to spend two days sorting and hand washing beer cans. She managed to put a shine on the older steel cans which cleaned up well.

Bachmann has been selling the cans. A kid began his beer can collection with cans from the store. Someone else bought some of the Iron City Pittsburgh sports team collectible cans for a friend. A gentleman completed his Schmidt’s outdoor can series that involved cans decorated with 28 different things you can do and see in the great outdoors presumably with a beer in your hand.

beer art

For me, I enjoyed the opportunity to look at beer cans again up close and personal and in living and some times faded color. My collection, accumulated in the 70’s was boxed up and eventually donated to a bar in Vienna, Virginia. Cans like Narragansett and Narragansett 96, (96 calories!) brought back memories of dragging my parents to package stores in the New England area. Other cans like Brown Derby and the Old Frothingslosh series remained as awe inspiring in their design as I had remembered. Brands jumped out at me with names like Tuborg, Swan and Ballentine–the beer my grandfather drank with the pull top can. There were others I’d never seen before like one of Mo’s favorites: The can commemorating the 1979 Bean and Bacon Days. There’s nothing like the Kenton Antique Store for being able to visit stuff without having to bring it all home.

Old Frosh 2

Mo’s is always interested in considering people’s collectibles habit which makes it fun to chat with her about collections. “I had 53 typewriters when I moved (to Portland),” she said. “Now I’ve got four, and now I collect miniatures.” She theorizes that “you’re always going to replace one collection with another.” I was so busy talking about beer cans that I forgot to ask what happened to the other 49 typewriters.

beer can box

Ever wanted to know what happens at a beer can convention? Here’s tons of footage from 2005.


From one collection to another:


How could I leave out a photo of Bean & Bacon Days?