ADDRESSES: Home—Burlington, VT. Agent—c/o Author Mail, St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Music journalist, editor, and magazine writer. Vermont (magazine), managing editor.
AWARDS, HONORS: Best feature of the year award, New England Press Association, 1996.
Run like an Antelope: On the Road with Phish, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Contributor to magazines and newspapers, including Yankee, Sail, and Creative Living.
SIDELIGHTS: A fascination with the jam band Phish lured magazine writer and editor Sean Gibbon into writing the book Run like an Antelope: On the Road with Phish. Gibbon and the band both make Burlington, Vermont, their home base, and in 1999 Gibbon decided to trail the group on their summer tour along with Phish's cult following of fans. Dubbed "Phishheads," these fans spend months following the group from show to show, in a phenomenon similar to that of the Grateful Dead's legendary fans. The author set out to discover why Phishheads embrace the grubby existence of road life, which typically involves pot smoking, poor accommodations, lousy food, and infrequent bathing. The most hardcore of the fans subsist within a "parking-lot economy based on selling T-shirts, grilled-cheese sandwiches, and drugs to get enough money to buy gasoline and concert tickets," observed Jane S. Drabkin in School Library Journal.
Some reviewers of Run like an Antelope believed the book is most readable when Gibbon's own interest in the band comes to the forefront. Writing in Booklist, Dan Winslow commented: "It is when the fan in Gibbon takes over that the narrative is most interesting and entertaining." Winslow described Gibbon's experiences as humorous and occasionally surrea, and recommended the book to Phishheads, surmising they would not be bothered by either the drug references or the coarse language. Other reviewers noted Gibbon's lack of interest in his fellow fans and his apparent dislike of the traveling involved in following the band on tour. Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Ann Limpert stated that "our narrator isn't much of a wanderer." A Publishers Weekly critic called Gibbon "self-absorbed" and maintained that the author "does little to highlight the intriguing aspects of the band or its horde of followers." More impressed, Drabkin called Run like an Antelope "insightful and absorbing," concluding that it may make potential itinerant devotees and band-followers reconsider the merits of joining their favorite band on the road.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2001, Dan Winslow, review of Run like an Antelope: On the Road with Phish, p. 896.
Entertainment Weekly, March 9, 2001, Ann Limpert, review of Run like an Antelope, p. 76.
Publishers Weekly, January 22, 2001, review of Run like an Antelope, p. 318.
School Library Journal, September, 2001, Jane S. Drabkin, review of Run like an Antelope, p. 260.
JamBands.com,http://www.jambands.com/ (February, 2001), David Steinberg, review of Run like an Antelope.*