The Phish Story of Gamehendge

Gamehendge is a fictional land created by Phish guitarist and lead vocalist Trey Anastasio as the setting for his senior thesis project at Goddard College in 1987. The project, titled The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, is a collection of songs and narration that tell the story of Colonel Forbin, a retired man from Long Island who discovers a portal to Gamehendge while walking his dog, McGrupp.

Upon arriving in Gamehendge, Colonel Forbin meets a variety of characters, including Rutherford the Brave, a knight on a quest to overthrow the evil dictator Wilson. Colonel Forbin becomes involved in the quest, and along the way, he learns about the history and culture of Gamehendge. He also learns more about himself and his place in the world.

The Gamehendge story is a complex and nuanced one, but at its core, it is a story about good versus evil, redemption, and the power of music. It is also a story about the importance of following your dreams and never giving up.

The story of Gamehendge is a complex one, but it can be summarized as follows:


  • Colonel Forbin, an aging man from Long Island, one day finds a secret door that leads him to Gamehendge. 
  • In Gamehendge, Forbin meets Rutherford the Brave, a knight who is on a quest to save the people from the fate that lies before them. 
  • Forbin learns that Gamehendge is ruled by a tyrant named Wilson, who is using the Helping Friendly Book to control the people. 
  • Forbin joins Rutherford on his quest, and they eventually succeed in overthrowing Wilson.

Llama: This song introduces the character of Colonel Forbin, who discovers the land of Gamehendge while wandering in the wilderness.

The Lizards: Colonel Forbin meets the evil dictator Wilson, who has enslaved the Lizards and taken control of Gamehendge. The song tells the story of the Lizards’ rebellion against Wilson’s rule.

Tela: Tela is a princess in Gamehendge who is kidnapped by Wilson. The song describes her capture and her connection to Colonel Forbin.

Wilson: This song is sung from the perspective of Wilson, the oppressive ruler of Gamehendge. It highlights his tyrannical nature and lust for power.

AC/DC Bag: This song is about a mysterious traveler who arrives in Gamehendge with a bag that contains a powerful force, represented by the “AC/DC Bag.” The Bag plays a crucial role in the story.

Colonel Forbin’s Ascent: Colonel Forbin decides to confront Wilson and liberate Gamehendge. He embarks on a journey up a mountain to find the helping-giving Sloth.

Fly Famous Mockingbird: This song describes Colonel Forbin’s encounter with the Famous Mockingbird, a mythical bird that helps him in his quest to defeat Wilson.

The Sloth: Colonel Forbin meets the Sloth, who agrees to help him in his mission to overthrow Wilson.

McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters: This song tells the story of McGrupp, Colonel Forbin’s faithful dog, who watches over the sheep of Gamehendge.

Possum: Possum is a song about the capture and imprisonment of the rebel Lizards. Colonel Forbin’s mission is to free them from Wilson’s grasp.

Divided Sky: This song symbolizing unity and hope in the face of oppression, as Colonel Forbin looks to the sky for guidance in his quest to overthrow Wilson and free the Lizards.

Phish has performed the Gamehendge story in its entirety on a few occasions (5), most recently in 1994. However, the band often plays Gamehendge songs throughout their live shows, and the Gamehendge story continues to be a source of inspiration for fans and musicians alike.

The Gamehendge story is a unique and important part of the Phish mythology. It is a story that has resonated with fans for decades, and it continues to inspire people to follow their dreams and never give up.

Here is The Full Story with narration from Municipal Auditorium – Charleston, WV – June 26th, 1994.

This is actually more than that, this is what has been called the “GameHoist” Show, as the first set was the entire Gamehendge Saga, while the 2nd set was the entire Hoist Album played in it’s entirety.

Or you can download the MP3s of the entire show for free from Concert Downloads

(which also has the other full versions from 3/12/88, 10/13/91, 3/22/93, and 7/8/94)

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Author: guyute