Hot Dog! A 15-foot flying frankfurter used as a prop by the band Phish is headed for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Members of the quartet rode to the stage aboard the jumbo frank (to the tune of an original song titled "Meatstick") when the performed New Year's Eve for 75,000 fans at the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Florida. Phish's marathon concerts and improvised mix of rock, jazz and other musical styles have won the Burlington, Vt., group a Grateful Dead-like following.
The hot dog made its debut in 1994, along with a side order of giant fries and an oversized cup, when Phish headlined a show in Boston.
"They were playing around with all kinds of ideas. Out of the blue, our drummer, Jon Fishman, blurted out, 'What if we flew out in a giant hot dog>' Everyone thought it was the greatest idea in the world," said John Paluska, Phish's manager.
Plans call for the wacky wiener to hang from the ceiling in the rock hall's main lobby, with the fries and soda installed on the museum's lower level. The steel-and-foam foodstuff on loan from the band indefinitely, will go on display in the spring, said rock hall chief curator, Jim Henke.
"The hot dog is in sort of bad shape," Henke said, "Some of the paint needs to be touched up and there are a few chunks missing. We're going to spruce it up a bit before it goes up.
We've been making an effort to go after items from more contemporary bands . . . The hot dog was just a fun piece to have. Obviously, it wasn't for the serious rock 'n' roll history of it."
The props were designed by artist Chris McGregor and built by Rocket Science, a scenery company based in San Francisco.
Asked why Phish's hot dog belongs in the rock hall, Paluska replied, "That's a good question."
Upon further reflection, he added, "I think Phish belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They're really serious musicians. But they understand the value of comic relief."
Jon Soeder can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 216.999.4562.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer - Monday, January 17, 2000
Entertainment Section, page 3E
Thanks to Franklin