Phish’s Trey Anastasio Joined Billy Joel On Stage At MSG Years After Alleged ‘Cover Band’ Comment Ignited A Feud

Trey Anastasio and Billy Joel perform together at Madison Square Garden

Getty Image / Taylor Hill/WireImage

Faces were melted on Saturday evening when Phish singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio joined Billy Joel for a few songs at Madison Square Garden. Heads were rolling because just a few short years ago, there was reason to believe Billy Joel hated the band Phish and its members.

This apparent feud began years ago and details of the rumored animosity are scant but there reason to believe there was bad blood at one point. The gist of it all is Phish had booked Madison Square Garden for 4 nights over New Year’s Eve, as they do most years over the past decade and a half, and it’s alleged that Billy Joel was angry he couldn’t play there on NYE during his famous MSG residency that saw him perform 150 shows.

It is rumored that Billy Joel called Phish a “second rate cover band” in response to not being able to get the NYE dates at MSG. These rumors seemed to be confirmed with Tom Marshall, Trey Anastasio‘s best friend who has co-written many of the band’s songs and is the virtual 6th member of the crew (I’m counting Kuroda as #5) tweeted this on December 31st, 2013, a night I was actually seeing Phish at MSG on NYE:

“Phish, 4-nights MSG, all originals, no repeats, put THAT bread in your jar piano man!” seems like a pretty clear shot at Billy Joel. So when Bill Joel invited Trey Anastasio out on stage this past Saturday night it certainly had some heads rolling in the jam band community. It was also incredible to see the two guys that virtually own MSG on stage together:

They also played ‘Sleeping With The Light On’ together:

And ‘Layla’

Was there bad blood between Billy Joel and Trey Anastasio at one point? Evidence suggests that there was at least on Billy’s side but evidently that is all in the past for now. As two of the most prolific acts at Madison Square Garden, it only makes sense for them to peacefully coexist.