Bradley’s Almanac

[In Memory of Robert Fisher] Willard Grant Conspiracy live in Cambridge MA 2006 & 2008

Posted on December 31, 2017 at 8:49 pm | 4 Comments

As this long, trying year comes to a close and the internet offers its plethora of “musicians we lost” posts, there’s been a name missing that more-than-deserves a mention. And not just a mention, but a goddamn bold-faced memorial: Mr. Robert Neil Fisher of the Willard Grant Conspiracy, who passed away on Sunday, February 12th, 2017 at the far-too-early age of 59.

As a fan and longtime admirer, I’m fortunate to live in the Boston area where he was originally-based and frequently performed. The network of talented musician friends that rotated in and out of his creative collective is rooted here, so I got to see him & them play fairly often, and each set resides firmly in my brain and heart.

When it comes to memorializing the man and musician he was in words, I’ll refer you to others: His official obituary, and appreciative tributes from Matthew at Song, By Toad, Jonathan at RPM/Life In Analog, and Loose Music on FB.

Rather than words, I’ll instead share a couple of standout live recordings of sets performed in Cambridge, Mass: One from the Middle East Upstairs in 2006 and another from the Lilypad in Inman Square in 2008. The Lilypad appearance includes a bittersweet, classic mid-set cameo from the dearly departed Billy Ruane, himself a major WGC booster. Hard to believe he’s been gone over 7 years now.

The cast of Conspiracy characters on these shows (and kindly correct me if I’m wrong) included guests Chris Brokaw & Drew O’Doherty on guitar for both sets, with David Michael Curry on viola, Nancy Delaney drumming, Dennis Cronin on trumpet, and Pete Sutton on bass at the Middle East. The Lilypad lineup, aside from the guitar assists from Chris & Drew, had Sean O’Brien on guitar, Anthony (?) on mandolin, and Peter on piano. I think.

While you listen to these, remember that the future holds more music from Robert & company: He had nearly finished his final full-length, “Untethered”, before he passed, and his friends have finished it up for eventual release. Here’s hoping the new year delivers it to us. Sleep well, Robert. We were so lucky to have you around for awhile.

Willard Grant Conspiracy
Live at the Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA
on Friday, December 29th, 2006

[ download the full set as one .zip file ]

01. The Ghost of the Girl in the Well
02. Dance With Me
03. Fare Thee Well
04. The Suffering Song
05. Let It Roll

Willard Grant Conspiracy
Live at the Lilypad, Cambridge, MA
on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

[ download the full set as one .zip file ]

01. intro
02. Drunkard’s Prayer
03. Notes from the Waiting Room
04. Massachusetts
05. The Ashes
06. Evening Mass
07. banter
08. The Trials of Harrison Hayes
09. more banter (w/Billy Ruane)
10. Ballad of John Parker
11. and more banter (w/Billy Ruane)
12. The Ghost of the Girl in the Well
13. Fare Thee Well
14. No Such Thing As Clean

Comments

4 Responses to “[In Memory of Robert Fisher] Willard Grant Conspiracy live in Cambridge MA 2006 & 2008”

  1. Scott Hamilton
    January 1st, 2018 @ 5:28 pm

    Thanks for this, Brad, including the recordings. Robert never got anything close to the recognition or appreciation that he deserved. “Missed” is an understatement…

  2. Elizabeth Fisher
    January 6th, 2018 @ 6:13 am

    Thank you so much for this <3

  3. Lee
    January 13th, 2018 @ 9:53 pm

    Thanks for those concerts and for your insightful and heartfelt remembrances and insights. It’s always shocking when someone that young (and talented) suddenly leaves our lives.

  4. Lyn
    February 21st, 2018 @ 5:56 am

    Miss you friend.

  • Handy links

  • BOSTON-AREA LIVE SHOW ACTION
    Thursday, February 2nd
    Jennifer O'Connor
    Chris Brokaw
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Thursday, February 2nd
    Ride
    The Charlatans
    @ Big Night Live

    Friday, February 3rd
    Patty Griffin
    Raul Malo
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, February 4th
    Dyr Faser
    Tequila Sirens
    Van Chamberlain
    Audrey/Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 4th
    Black Helicopter
    Cortez
    Z/28
    Mollusk
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 5th
    Major Stars
    Soft Fangs
    Nighttime
    @ O'Brien's
    Saturday, February 11th
    Kiwi Jr.
    @ the Lilypad

    Saturday, February 11th
    Maggie Rogers
    Del Water Gap
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, February 14th
    Bush
    Candlebox
    @ MGM Music Hall
    Tuesday, February 21st
    The EARFULL Series
    with authors
    Douglas Bauer & Laura Zigman
    and musicians
    Colleen Green & Positively Daves
    (featuring the Daves from 0 Positive)
    @ the Burren

    Friday, February 24th
    Waiver Wire
    Early Exit
    Paper Tigers
    Indoor Friends
    @ the Jungle

    Friday, February 24th
    Walter Schreifels
    (Of Quicksand, Rival Schools, etc)
    Kevin Rheault
    DJ Dookie
    @ Zuzu

    Friday, February 24th
    The City Gates
    Iceblynk
    The Spearmint Sea
    @ O'Brien's

    Friday, February 24th
    Elle King
    Red Clay Strays
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, February 25th
    Topsy (Hannah from "And the Kids")
    Children of the Flaming Wheel
    Audrey/Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 25th
    Gramercy Arms
    (featuring Dave Derby
    of the Dambuilders)
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 26th
    Future Teens
    Macseal
    Shallow Pools
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, February 26th
    Kula Shaker
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Monday & Tuesday
    February 27th & 28th
    The Beths
    Sidney Gish
    Hans Pucket
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 3rd
    Pile (LP release)
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Friday, March 3rd
    Arctic Monkeys
    Fontaines DC
    @ the Garden

    Friday, March 3rd
    The "Remain In Light" Tour
    with Jerry Harrison
    & Adrian Belew
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, March 4th
    Puppy Problems
    @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, March 4th
    Constant Smiles
    @ the Lilypad

    Sunday, March 5th
    Weyes Blood
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Clan of Xymox
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Runnner
    Waveform
    @ The Rockwell

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Elvis Costello &
    the Imposters
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Friday, March 10th
    The Sheila Divine
    Tugboat Annie
    Vic Firecracker
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, March 12th
    Blushing
    Pale Dīan
    Husbands
    Storax Sedan
    @ O'Brien's

    Tuesday, March 14th
    Quasi
    Bat Fangs
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 16th
    Bruce McCullouch
    of the Kids in the Hall
    @ the Wilbur

    Friday, March 17th
    Dawes
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, March 18th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Eyelids
    @ Atwood's

    Sunday, March 19th
    White Reaper
    Mamalarky
    @ the Royale

    Monday, March 20th
    Bruce Springsteen
    & the E Street Band
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, March 25th
    Bird Streets (duo show)
    @ the Village Social Club
    inside Garrison House, Brookline

    Tuesday, March 28th
    Sunset Rubdown
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 28th
    The Residents
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 30th
    The Murder Capital
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    The Church
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    Jukebox The Ghost
    @ the Royale

    Sunday, April 2nd
    Robyn Hitchcock
    Kelley Stoltz
    @ City Winery

    Monday, April 3rd
    Tennis
    Kate Bollinger
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday, April 6th
    Rick Berlin w/Orchestra Luna,
    Berlin Airlift, & Nickel & Dime Band,
    with guests The Sheila Divine,
    Hallelujah the Hills, & Nervous Eaters
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 6th
    Caroline Rose
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, April 8th
    Sleaford Mods
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 8th
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 9th
    Bikini Kill
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, April 13th
    Andrew Bird
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, April 14th
    U.S. Girls
    Jane Inc.
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 14th
    Widowspeak
    Duster
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, April 15th
    Harris
    Sidewalk Driver
    Stars Like Ours
    Aaron and the Lord
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 16th
    Peter Case
    Ben de la Cour
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Sunday, April 16th
    Dead Can Dance
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, April 19th
    Sloan
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 20th
    Black Flag
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Friday, April 21st
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 21st
    Fruit Bats
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Joywave
    Elliot Lee
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 23rd
    M83
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday & Wednesday
    April 25th & 26th
    Built to Spill
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, April 26th
    Andy Shauf
    @ the Royale
    Friday & Saturday
    April 28th & 29th
    The Town & the City Festival
    with so many artists, including...
    Buffalo Tom, Ted Leo, John Doe Trio,
    Vapors of Morphine, Rhett Miller,
    Pile, Dave Herlihy (O Positive),
    Robin Lane, Justine & the Unclean,
    and many, many more
    @ lots of walkable Lowell, MA venues

    Saturday, April 29th
    Lucius
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 30th
    Placebo
    Deap Vally
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, May 1st
    Pedro The Lion
    performing
    "It's Hard To Find A Friend"
    and "Control" in full
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 5th
    Fever Ray
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    Muna
    Nova Twins
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    David Cross
    Sean Patton
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, May 7th
    Goth Babe
    flipturn
    Yoke Lore
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, May 10th
    Natalie Merchant
    @ the Emerson Colonial

    Thursday, May 11th
    Chisel
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, May 11th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Monday, May 15th
    The New Pornographers
    Wild Pink
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, May 18th
    The Pernice Brothers
    perform "Overcome By Happiness"
    (with a string section!)
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
    May 19th, 20th, & 21st
    Taylor Swift
    Phoebe Bridgers
    Gayle
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Sunday, May 21st
    Blink 182
    Turnstile
    @ the Garden

    Tuesday, May 30th
    Crowded House
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, May 31th
    Fenne Lily
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, June 2nd
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Thursday, June 8th
    Pixies
    Franz Ferdinand
    Bully
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, June 10th
    Bryan Adams
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    @ TD Garden

    Friday, June 16th
    Steve Lacy
    James Blake
    Toro y Moi
    Fousheé
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Saturday, June 17th
    LCD Soundsystem
    Jamie xx
    Idles
    L'Rain
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Sunday, June 18th
    boygenius
    Clairo
    Dijon
    Bartees Strange
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Wednesday, June 21st
    Wednesday
    Tenci
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, July 1st
    Sparks
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 16th
    First Aid Kit
    The Weather Station
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday & Tuesday
    July 24th & 25th
    Le Tigre
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, August 5th
    Foreigner
    Loverboy
    @ Xfinity Center
    Friday, August 11th
    Glen Hansard &
    Marketa Irglova
    (of the Swell Season)
    @ the Wang

    Saturday & Sunday
    August 19th & 20th
    In Between Days Festival
    with
    Modest Mouse, Lord Huron, Metric,
    Trampled By Turtles, Sunny Day Real
    Estate, Cautious Clay, Yoke Lore,
    Blitzen Trapper, Allison Ponthier,
    Illiterate Light, Slothrust,
    Miko Marks, Weakened Friends,
    shallow pools, Kat Wright,
    Fantastic Cat, Dwight & Nicole,
    Paper Tigers, Dutch Tulips,
    Carissa Johnson, Mint Green,
    Gypsy Moths, & Sweet Petunia
    @ Veterans Memorial Stadium, Quincy

    Tuesday, September 5th
    Beck
    Phoenix
    Weyes Blood
    Sir Chloe
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday & Wednesday September 12th & 13th
    Death Cab For Cutie
    The Postal Service
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Wednesday, September 20th
    OSEES
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, September 20th
    Death Grips
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, October 11th
    The Mission UK
    The Chamelons
    @ Brighton Music Hall