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 | 3 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

3 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.

Leave a Reply





  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
    - The Kids In The Hall
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Sunday, January 21st
    Tennis
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Destroyer
    Mega Bog
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, January 26th
    The Posies
    @ City Winery Boston


    Saturday, January 27th
    Red Mantis
    Silver Screams
    Wrought Iron Hex
    Greylock
    @ O'Brien's


    Wednesday, January 31st
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Night Beats
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, February 1st
    Funeral Advantage
    Teenender
    Deep Secret
    Lady Pills
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, February 3rd
    Hot Stove, Cool Music benefit
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, February 3rd
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 9th
    Girlpool
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, February 10th
    Weakened Friends
    Backwards Dancer
    Cold Fronts
    Pushflowers
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday & Sunday
    February 10th & 11th
    Ian Hunter
    & the Rant Band
    @ City Winery Boston


    Thursday, February 15th
    Major Stars
    Black Helicopter
    Henry H. Owings (of Chunklet)
    @ the ONCE Lounge


    Friday, February 16th
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, February 17th
    Porches
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, February 17th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House


    Sunday, February 18th
    X Ambassadors
    Now, Now
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday & Thursday
    February 21st & 22nd
    Frightened Rabbit
    Wintersleep
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, February 24th
    Phoebe Bridgers
    Soccer Mommy
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, March 1st
    Shopping
    French Vanilla
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, March 5th
    Ezra Furman
    Anna Burch
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, March 6th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, March 8th
    Titus Andronicus
    Rick from Pile
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, March 8th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, March 8th
    Tune-Yards
    @ the Royale


    Friday, March 9th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    Tashi Dorji
    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard


    Friday, March 9th
    OMD
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, March 10th
    Nada Surf celebrating the 15th
    anniversary of their "Let Go" LP
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, March 10th
    Pale Monsters (album release!)
    The Life Electric
    The Courters
    @ the Lizard Lounge


    Wednesday, March 14th
    Clan Of Xymox
    Stoneburner
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, March 16th
    Palehound
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 16th
    MGMT
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, March 23rd
    Born Ruffians
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 23rd
    The Music of XTC
    Mad Dogs & Janovitz
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, March 23rd
    Glen Hansard
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Thursday, March 29th
    Dean Ween Group
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, March 31st
    S. Carey
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, April 3rd
    Yo La Tengo
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, April 6th
    Superchunk
    Swearin'
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, April 7th
    Ought
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, April 10th
    Franz Ferdinand
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Waxahatchee
    Hurray for the Riff Raff
    Bedouine
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Tuesday, April 17th
    My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Ministry
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 18th
    Preoccupations
    Freak Heat Waves
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, April 20th
    The Afghan Whigs
    Built To Spill
    Rituals of Mine
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, April 21st
    Jeff Rosenstock
    Martha
    Bad Moves
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, April 26th
    Matt & Kim
    Tokyo Police Club
    Future Feats
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, April 27th
    They Might Be Giants
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, April 28th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday & Sunday
    April 28th & 29th
    Turnover
    Camp Cope
    Summer Salt
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 1st
    Calexico
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 2nd
    Dr. Dog
    Son Little
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, May 4th
    The Breeders
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, May 4th
    Panda Bear
    Geologist
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 6th
    Loma
    (mems of Cross Record & Shearwater)
    Jessica Williamson
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, May 11th
    Power Trip
    Sheer Mag
    Fury
    Red Death
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, May 16th
    Editors
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, June 8th
    Nathaniel Rateliff
    & the Night Sweats
    with Deer Tick
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, June 8th
    Eels
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, June 11th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Weezer
    Pixies
    @ Xfinity Center


    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park


    Tuesday, July 31st
    David Byrne
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    @ Brighton Music Hall