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

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  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Sunday, February 17th
    “Schitt’s Creek (the show):
    Up Close and Personal”
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, February 19th
    Gang of Four
    Minibeast
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Wednesday, February 20th
    J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
    Luluc
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 21st
    It Looks Sad.
    Lost Film
    Dewey
    @ O’Brien’s Pub


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Argo Arkestra
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Julia Holter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, February 24th
    Rhett Miller (Old 97s)
    Mike Gent (the Figgs)
    @ City Winery Boston


    Sunday, February 24th
    Deerhunter
    Mary Lattimore
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, February 28th
    Ty Segall & White Fence
    Axis:Sova
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 28th
    Bad Bad Hats
    The Beths
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, February 28th
    Lloyd Cole
    “The Retrospective Tour”
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, March 1st
    Wicca Phrase Springs Eternal
    Angel Du$t
    Guardin
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 1st
    The Monochrome Set
    The Very
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, March 4th
    Mike Krol
    Savak
    Earthquake Party
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, March 8th
    Tokyo Police Club
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, March 11th
    Teenage Fanclub
    The Love Language
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, March 14th
    The Flesh Eaters
    Porcupine (w/Greg from Hüsker Dü)
    @ City Winery


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, March 22nd
    Jawbreaker
    War on Women
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, March 26th
    The Antlers
    “Hospice” LP 10-year
    Anniversary Acoustic Tour
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, March 27th
    Swervedriver & Failure
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, March 28th
    Spiral Stairs (Scott K. from Pavement
    & Preston School of Industry)
    @ O’Brien’s


    Thursday, March 28th
    Better Oblivion Community Center
    (Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst)
    Lala Lala
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 29th
    Vundabar
    Sidney Gish
    Future Teens
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, March 30th
    Delta Sleep
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Sunday, March 31st
    & Tuesday, April 2nd
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ TD Garden


    Monday, April 1st
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Jeff Tweedy (Wilco)
    Buck Meek
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 7th
    Charlotte Gainsbourg
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Mott The Hoople ‘74
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Patty Griffin
    Ruston Kelly
    @ Sanders Theatre


    Thursday, April 11th
    Mark Eitzel
    (American Music Club)
    @ an Allston living room


    Thursday, April 11th
    Nick Lowe
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, April 13th
    Telekinesis
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, April 14th
    Spiritualized
    @ the Wilbur


    Monday, April 15th
    The James Rocket
    @ ONCE Lounge


    Friday, April 19th
    Foals
    Preoccupations
    Omni
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    April 19th & 20th
    Todd Rundgren
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 21st
    Laura Jane Grace &
    the Devouring Mothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, April 22nd
    Black Lips
    Fucked Up
    Wooing
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 23rd
    Girlpool
    Hatchie
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 24th
    Camp Cope
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Thursday, April 25th
    Pup
    Diet Cig
    Ratboys
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 27th
    Jennifer O’Connor
    Thalia Zedek & Chris Brokaw
    @ an Allston living room


    Saturday, April 27th
    The Proletariat
    Moving Targets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, April 27th
    Foxing
    Now Now
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, April 28th
    The Mountain Goats
    @ The Wilbur


    Monday, April 29th
    Tyler Ramsey (ex-Band of Horses)
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, April 29th
    Snow Patrol
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, May 2nd
    Son Volt
    @ the Paradise Rock Club


    Friday, May 3rd
    Stephen Malkmus
    (Pavement/The Jicks)
    solo electronic set
    @ the Armory, Somerville


    Saturday, May 4th
    The Drums
    Tanukichan
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, May 7th
    The Dandy Warhols
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, May 9th
    Nitzer Ebb
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 9th
    Movements
    Boston Manor
    Trash Boat
    Drug Church
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, May 11th
    Pedro the Lion
    John Vanderslice
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, May 11th
    Graham Parker
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, May 13th
    The Mark Lanegan Band
    (of the Screaming Trees)
    with Simon Bonney
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 14th
    Damien Jurado
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Cursive
    mewithoutYou
    The Appleseed Cast
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Jessica Pratt
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, May 16th
    Meat Puppets
    Sumo Princess
    Stephen Maglio
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, May 17th
    Guided By Voices!
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 18th
    The Felice Brothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, May 18th
    Pup
    Ratboys
    Casper Skulls
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, May 19th
    Mono
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    Laura Stevenson
    Kississippi
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    American Football
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Passion Pit
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Filthy Friends
    Dressy Bessy
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, May 24th
    Undertones
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 25th
    Slayer
    Lamb of God
    Amon Amarth
    Cannibal Corpse
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, May 29th
    Glen Hansard
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday & Friday
    May 30th & 31st
    Local Natives
    Middle Kids
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, June 6th
    Coheed and Cambria
    Mastodon
    Every Time I Die
    @ the Pavilion


    Friday, May 31st
    Lady Lamb (full band)
    @ the Royale


    Friday & Saturday
    June 14th & 15th
    Jawbox
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Lemonheads
    Tommy Stinson (Replacements)
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Specials
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, June 17th
    Dido
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, June 21st
    Spencer Krug
    (Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown)
    @ Cafe 939


    Tuesday, July 2nd
    Jackson Browne
    @ the Pavilion


    Monday, July 8th
    Third Eye Blind
    Jimmy Eat World
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, July 13th
    Belle & Sebastian
    Ex Hex
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, July 17th
    Heart
    Sheryl Crow
    Elle King
    @ Xfinity Center


    Sunday, July 21st
    Weird Al Yankovic
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, July 27th
    The Faint
    Ritual Howls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, August 1st
    Iron Maiden
    with The Raven Age
    @ Xfinity Center


    Monday, August 5th
    Bryan Ferry
    performing Roxy Music’s
    “Avalon” & more
    @ Boston Opera House


    Thursday, August 15th
    Beck
    Cage The Elephant
    Spoon
    Sunflower Bean
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Vampire Weekend
    @ Agganis Arena


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Jethro Tull
    @ the Chevalier, Medford


    Friday, September 13th
    The Who
    @ Fenway Park


    Thursday, September 19th
    King Crimson
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Sunday, September 22nd
    Mac DeMarco
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    October 3rd, 4th, & 5th
    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 5th
    Mudhoney
    Pissed Jeans
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday & Saturday
    October 18th & 19th
    The Town and the City Festival
    returns to Lowell, MA!


    Saturday, October 26th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ the Paradise