The band formed at the University of Vermont. Anastasio and Holdsworh used to jam in Fishman's dorm room, and Gordon answered an ad they put up on a bulletin board.
They never play the same set twice.
Phish had a large following, but when Jerry Garcia died in 1995, many deadheads began following them and they became an even bigger concert draw.
In 2000, at the height of their powers, the band broke up. Among other things, they felt things were getting too big and they were not able to focus on music. They regrouped in 2002, but decided to limit their touring. This had the effect of making tickets even harder to get for their shows.
Anastasio has said that the band is named after Fishman, who refutes this claim. Fishman said in an interview with Relix: "When it was time to decide a name for the band, I suggested the sound of an airplane taking off - 'phssssh.' But then we thought that we needed a vowel. Imagine people saying, 'We are going to see Phssssh tonight…' We had already designed the logo and the 'I' fit perfectly in the middle. So Phish was not named after me."
They are known for their bizarre stage antics. Some of the props they used include trampolines, vacuum cleaners, and a slip-and-slide.
They appeared on an episode of The Simpsons where Homer was trying to legalize marijuana. (thanks, Amitai - Staten Island, NY)
Holdsworth left the band in 1986 and became a born again Christian. He played with the band again on December 1, 2003 at a concert in NY. (thanks, Andrew - Miami, FL)
Phish's final music festival was named "Coventry" (after the location in Vermont). It rained the day before, all the roads were closed and the airport shut down. Some people had to walk for miles to get to the show. (thanks, jono - Gobber, KY)
Phish covered albums in their entirety for several Halloween shows, including the Beatles' White Album ('94), the Who's Quadrophenia ('95), Talking Heads' Remain in Light ('96), and the Velvet Underground's Loaded ('98). (thanks, Matthew - Santa Rosa, CA)
Anastasio learned guitar in his sophomore year of high school, which is pretty late compared to other great axe wielders. He did play drums and sang in the men's glee club in high school. He took percussion lessons from a drummer who made him practice on a pillow for a full year before even getting a practice pad.
Anastasio plays is a band called Oysterhead with bassist Les Claypool from Primus and drummer Stewart Copeland from The Police. (thanks, Darrell - Kalkaska, MI, for above 2)