Jam Bands and the Phony War on Drugs


Is it worth the trouble to go see a band like Phish and risk getting busted by the cops for using recreational drugs? Is it worth it to venues and to communities?

When Phish played near my house this past summer, the sound was overwhelming. To hear Mike Gordon play scales going nowhere and to hear the throb and hum of their improvisations is unpleasant enough but I can't imagine how much of a buzzkill it would have to be to end up getting frisked and taken away over the same drugs everyone uses at every other show. This sort of band isn't my thing, but I have to sympathize with the fans who use the lion's share of their dwindling disposable income to go see them, only to end up scratching around for bail money.

It's a phony war on drugs. A sitting Congressman can get busted for buying cocaine and go to rehab; a Phish fan can get busted for molly and spend the night in jail and have to go to court. What a scam.

No one uses drugs when they go see Arcade Fire? Really? And this isn't about making easy arrests at a jam band show?

Please.