On Sunday Evening, as more than 100 million people sit down to watch the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks compete for the NFL’s highest prize, the Vince Lombardi trophy, Phish fans across the globe will also be tuning in in droves.
Thanks to an unexpected convergence between the music of the Vermont-based improv-rock quartet and a Seahawks player named Russell Wilson, the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks and Phish are about to be forever enshrined in history. And for Phish, it couldn’t come at a more perfect moment.
Last spring, Trey Anastasio, Phish’s guitarist and primary songwriter, asked a Seattle audience to help him with a little joke; He wanted the Seattle Seahawks and their fans to turn one of Phish’s most prized songs, Wilson, into a genuine sports anthem (think: Queen’s We Will Rock You, which has graced countless stadiums over the years).
What followed over the next nine months is one of the most improbable, yet quintessentially Phish-y stories, one that became a rallying cry for the Seahawks, its fans, the city of Seattle, and their star quarterback Russell Wilson. The Wilson story eventually made its way onto ESPN, and from there, NFL Films, one of the league’s most venerable assets, captured the story, just as Phish was embarking on their most audacious — and critically acclaimed — tour since their late ’90s heyday.
The producers from NFL Films, Chris Weaver and Paul Camarata, had to work within razor-thin time constraints in order to capture this story. And they succeeded, narrating a tale of two very different cultures, sports and art rock, smashing together in stupendous fashion, all due to a coincidence over two men named Wilson.
With a brand-new Phish album on this year’s horizon, 2014 was already shaping up to be one of the biggest, baddest, deepest, and most celebrated years in the band’s history. Now, thanks to NFL Films, Phish has also become a part of this year’s Super Bowl story. Without Chris and Paul’s vision, this never would have happened.
As a gesture of our appreciation, we decided to invite Chris and Paul from NFL Films to be our guest DJs this weekend so they could talk more about what went on behind the scenes to make this story a reality, what it was like working to work with Phish, and their impressions of a band putting the finishing touches on a 30th year of making music together.
Not only did they accept, but they also sent us some exclusive, never-heard-before clips from their cutting room floor, only available on SiriusXM Jam ON this weekend. For instance, here’s Trey and Fish explaining why the WILSON chant might actually be an even better sports anthem than Queen’s We Will Rock You.
Jam ON’s Super Bowl Special, hosted by NFL Films producers Chris Weaver and Paul Camarata, premieres tonight at 8pm ET on #sxm29 with rebroadcasts throughout the weekend.
FRI 1/31 @ 8pm ET
SAT 2/1 @ 10am ET
SAT 2/1 @ 5pm ET
SAT 2/1 @ 11pm ET
SUN 2/2 @ 8am ET
SUN 2/2 @ 2pm ET
SUN 2/2 @ 7pm ET
(written in collaboration with @TheBabysMouth)
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Photo credit: NFL