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42 Degress Art

The Story Behind that Picture of the Africans in Phish shirts

In case you were ever wondering about the picture in the upper right hand corner of the PhanArt, we have the original story behind the picture and how it came to being.

Phish fan Christine Rontal was a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin from 2000-2002, and while over there she contacted Phish to tell them what she was doing and how much she had always loved their music.  Even the villagers now loved their music as a result of Christine’s presence!

As a result, they sent a box of t-shirts for her neighbors in the village and this picture was taken shortly after. She sent one of the two originals to Phish and the other she kept. Every once in a while she would come across it online, as one scan of it led to the image going viral.

The other side of the story is that after Phish sent the t-shirts, Trey sent Christine a handwritten post card and two free tickets for their New Years comeback show that year. What a guy!

So there you have it: the story behind one the picture turns out to an awesome bit of Phish fans spreading the love and music.


Comments

2 Responses to “The Story Behind that Picture of the Africans in Phish shirts”

  1. Brandon Purcell says:

    I especially love this story because I served with Chrissy in Benin and remember when she received the box of shirts- she actually gave me one and it’s the only Phish shirt I own since I gave the rest of my Phish wardrobe to my neighbors in Save, central Benin.

    In Benin, it’s customary for families and close friends to wear outfits made from the same fabric (tissu, as they call it) on special occasions to celebrate their solidarity. So, when I came back from the Peace Corps I had shirts made from a trippy butterfly fabric for my group of friends who attended Big Cypress. We now sport the butterfly shirts at each show. If you see any of us, come say hi!

  2. Peter Banta says:

    I used to be the Manager of Phish Dry Goods for a bit, back when it was in VT. And we used to donate quite a few shirts each year to some charities that provided clothes to 3rd World-ers, like this example above. We LOVED the idea of villagers like these in Phish gear! This picture made my day! :D

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