Jon Fishman Performs With We’re Bionic In Burlington

I’ll never forget the feeling of walking into Albany’s Knickerbocker Arena on December 12th, 1997 an hour-and-a-half before Phish was scheduled to take the stage and going into a state of panic when I noticed the house lights were down and heard music coming through the P.A. It took me a little while to finally figure out what was going on. Longtime Phish friend from their Burlington days, guitarist J. Willis Pratt, was the evening’s surprise opening act along with his band – We’re Bionic.

[Fish and J. Willis by John Kasiewicz]

Pratt and We’re Bionic played for about 45 minutes as extremely confused Phish fans entered the building to hear a heavy metal band on stage. Drummer Jon Fishman has stayed in touch with Pratt, aka “The Heavy Metal Brat,” and somewhat regularly performs with him. On Saturday night Fish played as part of We’re Bionic at Burlington’s Radio Bean. Bassist John Kasiewicz and guitarist Arthur Lafreniere made up the rest of We’re Bionic, besides Fish and Pratt, for the Saturday evening performance.

We chatted with Pratt about the gig and he shared some additional information. “(Fishman and I) met in the mid ’80s and recorded three albums. I met him at Goddard College. When I played Wild for Fish, he dug it and then we became band mates. Some Phish Heads didn’t like us, fuck them. I thought we did o.k. We only got to play for about 20 minutes, but I had a lot of fun as many old Goddard fans and friends came to see us at Radio Bean.” J. Willis also advised us that the next We Are Bionic CD may be recorded in September and that his next gig is on June 1st at South Side Tavern in Barre, Vermont.

Two clips from Saturday’s gig have surfaced on YouTube…

This Could Be Love

[Photo by Aimee Dufresne]


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14 thoughts on “Jon Fishman Performs With We’re Bionic In Burlington

  1. nich Reply

    heavy metal?

    I guess if “Crowd Control” counts as metal then sure

  2. Jimbo Reply

    Damn these guys suck. Don’t quit your day job fish.

  3. jwillis Reply

    we rock fuck thous who say we suck

  4. Tim Reply

    This is so bad I cant take it seriously — is this a joke? So bad, terrible …… terrible.

  5. jwillis Reply

    the joke is you moreons that wouldnt know good music if it hit you in the face

  6. Brian Reply

    To everybody who says this sucks, how many of y’all have played, toured, or hung out one-on-one with Fishman? You can say all this shit about technical playing, but I’d rather hear someone putting their soul into their music than someone who knows every chord progression and has perfect rhythm but plays by the numbers instead of their heart. There’s something to be said for someone who gives 100% to what they’re playing… that’s what it means to Rock Out!

  7. jwillis Reply

    my rhythm has goting better if they could only watch they may learn baybe lol

  8. Esme Reply

    Willis is one of the greatest, truest rockers I have ever known, and always will be.

    • jwillis Reply

      thanks esme

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