If it wasn’t the craftiness April Fool’s Day prank played in the jam world this year, it most certainly was the boldest.
It all began on what is the most flaming message board in the world of the tour scene, Phantasy Tour.
Phantasy Tour was established as a site where fans guessed at things like tour and set openers, closers, and encore; or create a "Fantasy Tour." The premise was simple: guess right and you get bragging rights over your peers. It was fun, simple, and a great way to obsessively waste time.
While this element is certainly still a part of the site, it is largely known for its forums where terms like KYS (Kill Yourself ) are common ways of showing one’s disdain for another. Over the years the forums have grown in both strength and numbers into place that is rumor-filled, vile, disrespectful, humorous and demographically targeted ad-focused while (for the most part) maintaining a thematic base in fans’ devotion to bands featured on the site: primarily Phish, The Disco Biscuits, Widespread Panic, moe., Umphrey’s McGee and String Cheese Incident.
The Phish board contains the heaviest traffic on the site’s infamous forum.
On April Fool’s Day, the site’s users rose above and beyond most any expectations with pranks such as a link wherein the original poster claimed "Don’t mess with this kid, he is a narc." The link sent one to his own Facebook page and hence he believed, if only for a moment, that it had now become internet rumor that he is a "narc" on tour.
However, one prank put them all to shame when a message board member known by the handle "powerfulpills" (in homage to Phish’s "Fluffhead") somehow, and in clear violation of the guidelines (See here and flip the card), cracked the code to Mike Gordon’s hotline.
Though the user claims that he stumbled upon the code – 5555 – accidentally, no one can be sure. What is known is that it did happen. Admittedly, the user listened to many of the voicemails left for the Cactus prior to April Fool’s Day (stating that "invading people’s privacy is dope"), but on the day that is full of tomfoolery, he set his plan into motion by changing the voicemail code and Mike’s voice recorded message.
In a YouTube video, the entire message is played with a voice that is clearly not that of Mike Gordon (but clearly that of the infamous Trey Monkeystasio) referring to the New Year’s show and the epic "Ghost" that was played. He went on to discuss the upcoming Super Ball IX by encouraging people to get their "brahs, camping pass, and RV’s together" and going on to assert that he knows that [the fans] "will be hammering fucking blood marys, smoking blunts all day, the whole deal." He then went on to inform anyone who dialed Mike’s hotline during this time that [Phish] would be opening every set of the Ball with The Who’s "Eminence Front."
The user claims to have been emailed by a representative of Mike Gordon’s asking him to surrender the new code so that Mike could go back to hotline life as usual. In the email that he claims came from the representative, no hard feelings were expressed.
An attempt to contact the representative was not immediately returned and no statement has been issued to confirm or deny any of these stated occurrences.
The hotline now seems to be back in the hands of its rightful owner though one can never be sure as the new/old voice claims, "though this sounds like Mike, it could be the hacker with a computer generated voice that sounds like Mike." Without assuming too much, we are pretty sure that the voice is that of Mike Gordon and that all may now return to normal with dial-ins to pass the time or on the off chance that it is ever not full, leave a message.
Mike Gordon just came off of a March tour with his band. Honest Tune was on the scene in Nashville on 3/18/11. His next scheduled performance will be at Wanee festival (4/14/11). Phish’s summer tour launches on 5/27/11 in Bethel, NY.