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Bathtub Gin Reviews

05-26-89  Valley Club, Rutland, VT
10-26-89  The Wetlands Preserve , New York City, NY
10-31-89  Goddard College, Plainfield, VT
11-02-89  Memorial Union Building - UNH, Durham, NH
11-03-89  Tree Cafe, Portland, ME
02-23-90  Haverford College, Haverford, PA
03-08-90  Aiko's, Saratoga, NY
02-15-91  Colonial Theater, Keene, NH
05-10-91  Student Center - Colby College, Waterville, ME
10-28-91  Elk Ballroom, Telluride, CO
04-18-92  Wilbur Field - Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
04-25-92  The Rec Center - Evergreen College, Olympia, WA
05-12-92  St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
12-30-92  Symphony Hall, Springfield, MA
08-02-93  The Ritz Theater, Tampa, FL
12-30-93  Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME
10-14-94  McAllister Auditorium - Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
12-28-94  Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, PA
06-26-95  Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
11-24-95  Pittsburgh Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
12-29-95  The Centrum, Worcester, MA
07-12-96  The Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10-17-96  Bryce Jordan Center - Penn State, University Park, PA
11-07-96  Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
12-29-96  Corestates Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
02-17-97  Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
07-25-97  Starplex Ampitheatre, Dallas, TX
08-10-97  Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IA
6-28-00 --

While we hope to include reviews of Bathtub Gin from as many people as possible, Benjy Eisen has written the vast majority of these reviews for his GinFiles series.  Here are a few words from him:

Looking back on rating 5/28/89's Gin a 60 Proof: Given its status as an infant, it's probably unfair to rate this version against, say, 12/5/95. However that a problem present with anything that has established a "Historical Legacy" and/or archive; I'll justify rating even the earliest versions by claiming that the very reason for rating them to begin with is, in-part, to chonicle the song's dynamic growth and sonic trends over its lifespan. Luckily, Bathtub Gin is something which, by its very nature, just gets tastier and stronger with age and certainly goes through clear and distinct growth periods -- I think rating them all with a uniform system will best demonstrate this.

As for the rating scale - yes, I am well aware that in terms of an actual beverage's alchololic content, 200 Proof is the highest you can go, (as opposed to 100 Proof.) The Proof is the percentage doubled. This is for viable drinks only though and not metaphoric romps through song analysis. WARNING: DO NOT TRY TO *ACTUALLY* DRINK ANY OF THE BATHTUB GINS reviewed. That is my disclaimer; keep it in mind :)

Several people recently suggested that this 100 Proof roof was due to the WATER from the FAUCET being mixed with the GIN and this is a rumor which I will neither confirm nor deny (I'm not disposed to discuss).

BathtubGin Ratings are to be loosely defined by the following guidelines:

100 Proof is the single most potent and highest rating a Gin can get. To be 100 Proof every single note must appear to be laid out *perfectly* in the composed sections leading up-to the "Water from the Faucet" segment (ie, the start of the "jam" section). The jam must appear to be seamless in its improvisational wizardy, seamless in its execution in accordance with intent,
and inspired in its overall presentation.

50 Proof is the lowest a Gin will recieve for all practical purposes, although in theory I suppose a 0.0 Proof is the lowest possible.

Proof numbers are to be read like Grade Percentages. (100 Proof = A+, <60p = F, etc.) and are meant to loosely represent (IN MY OPINION) the following sentiments:


100-90 An absolute Must Have Gin unless you have an unconditional aversion to excellent music. Both the composed section and the improvisation following must be performed with a certain integrity and Phish-standard of excellence.

80-90 A Gin that will definately get yer rocks off, and still do a good job of impressing your non-Phish diehard or first-time listener. Highly recommended but not of historic consequence to the history of the world at large.

70-80 An average Bathtub Gin. There is no doubt that most Gins that earn anything in this C range are TYPICALLY ENJOYABLE Bathtub Gins. These are not "desert-island" versions but they are keepers for collectors, and pleasantly enjoyable all the same. Well-liked but not loved.

60-70 Um...not recommended but not hurtful to the ears or anything nearly that severe.  Sometimes a Gin with this rating could contain meritous moments but they are overshadowed by mistakes, flubs, botches, butchering, etc. and sometimes these versions may just lack imagination.

50-60 It's not very likely that a seasoned Bathtub Gin conniseur will find these to be the least bit enjoyable, entertaining, or engaging. Although a first time listener with a naturally low-tolerance level, may still feel the effects of this mild shot of Gin. Not all Gins to be given a rating in this range will "suck" per-se but don't be surprised if it does.

N/A = Non-alcoholic. An experimental Gin which I may love, or I may hate but which I feel is completely unfair to rate (often due to an extreme Type II excursion). Less than 5 of the 102 Gins out there will most likely fall in this category.

A note about "Rhapsody in Blue":

While listening to classical music on a Continental Airlines commercial, somebody commented, "That piano solo sounds alot like Page's solo in Bathtub Gin. Am I just hearing things?"

If this is you, you ARE, in-fact, hearing things....George Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" to be precise. I don't use words like "Rhapsodic" or "reverts back to Gershwin" in my BathtubGinFiles for pure word-play: Page's opening "jumping in the tub" and both of his fills during the lyrics segment are based on "Rhapsody in Blue" at least 90% of the time... There are exceptions, but
they are few and far between.

The usual course, over the past few years anyway, has been for Page to use "Rhapsody in Blue" as a spring-board or launch-pad: That is, he starts either with the literal or implied Rhapsody theme and improvises from there.

He *rarely* sticks exclusively, note-for-note, to the Rhapsody just as he rarely excludes Rhapsody references altogether...

Of course, he only does all of this while carrying a martini made of Bathtub Gin. :)

As always feedback on these reviews are always welcomed (

Walk with light my friends,

Email submissions and comments to Dan Schar at
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