The extended Phish family lost one of its own on Sunday when former crew member Leigh Fordham was killed in a truck accident. His death was reported in a Facebook post by a friend.
Trey Anastasio shared some memories about Fordham in an Instagram post. You can read Trey’s tribute to Leigh Fordham below:
I was so sad to hear about the passing of our friend and beloved former crew member Leigh Fordham. Leigh was truly a great guy, funny and cool, and he and I spent some long late nights hanging out on tour, and I have such great memories of those nights.
I wrote the lyrics to 46 days on one of those nights, and I think I was just tapping into the feel and the spirit of those hangs, but I always felt a little weird singing that line, because the honest truth is that not only didn’t Leigh ever sell me out, he was probably the last guy on earth who would ever sell anyone out. He was a truly cool guy, and he asked about it a couple times. He was Australian, so I think he said something like “Hey Mate, I never sold you out!” and I replied, “but it’s such a cool line!” so we laughed and it stayed in.
Leigh’s spirit was a huge part of our Phish family when he was on the road with us. He always made me smile when I’d see him at soundcheck. He will be missed. Our love goes out to Leigh’s family today.
Phish – “46 Days” – 7/23/16
Leigh Fordham’s name popped up in the Phish vernacular well before “46 Days” was debuted in 2003. On Halloween 1995, Fordham appeared onstage as part of Phish’s Quadrophenia costume set, where he sang Keith Moon‘s part on “Bell Boy”. The following year, during a supremely weird performance in Omaha on November 16th, 1996, Fordham’s name came up onstage once again. After an always-bizarre “Catapult” (featuring a scarf-waving interpretive dance from Mike Gordon), the band led into arena anthem “Axilla”, which ended with eerie shout-outs to the light crew that dwelled particularly long on one crew member—Leigh Fordham. The “Harry Hood” that followed continued the Leigh Fordham vamps (alternating with cheeky laughs from the band), in addition to a truly remarkable stretch where Trey wielded his noted Jedi powers to sustain a single note for nearly three full minutes, prompting uproarious cheers from the crowd.
Phish – “Harry Hood” Featuring Leigh Fordham Shoutouts – 11/16/96
Rest in peace, Leigh Fordham…