Catching Up With The Dude of Life

Was there ever a more polarizing figure in the history of Phish special guests than The Dude of Life? The man born into the world Steve Pollak, a childhood friend of Trey Anastasio from Taft Boarding School, wrote the lyrics to some of Phish’s most popular songs including Suzy Greenberg and Fluffhead. While some loved the Dude’s quirky appearances, others thought it was Meh City.

I saw somewhere around 140 Phish shows before I got a chance to see the Dude sing one of his signature originals with the band on the night after Thanksgiving in 2003. While it wasn’t an epic performance, as a student of the history of Phish, I was happy to finally see the Dude sit in with his old friends. Most people thought the Crimes of the Mind the quintet played sucked and was a waste of an encore, but I disagree. How many times can you see Phish close with Velvet Sea or Friday? Steve played a major role in the formation of the band, so I was glad to see him get his due before they imploded less than a year later.

Five years ago the Dude of Life set off on a kinda different path when he entered the teaching profession. New York Press’s Becca Tucker caught up with Pollak as he took his two children on a trip to the Westchester Mall. Tucker offers a terrific overview of the Dude’s connection with Phish and finds out what he’s up to now. The only question that remains was pondered by our friend Wilson: “I wonder if he busts out into She’s Bitchin Again when his wife starts nagging him, because that would be awesome.”

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