In celebration of PhanArt’s 2nd Anniversary of being published, this week we are sharing excerpts from select articles written exclusively for PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish. To read more of this article and other great reviews of the Phish community and unique style of art, pick up the book here
An excerpt from ‘Inaugural Ball’ by Amy Pedatella, originally published in PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish (2009, Allegra)
The year was 1996 and I was quickly becoming a Phish fan. As winter ended, the band made the announcement that they would be hosting a weekend festival in northern New York. The show was slated to be called The Clifford Ball and scheduled for the end of summer, without hesitation I was “in” and anxiously awaited ticket sales. Talking this phenomenon up with my friends, I found two eager participants. We purchased our tickets, made preliminary preparations and awaited mid-August.
Apparently my friends were not as into Phish as I was, and purchased H.O.R.D.E. Tour tickets for the Friday of that same weekend. Wanting to forgo the H.O.R.D.E I was unable to find any takers for their tickets. I was left no choice but to attend the show at Randall’s Island, New York with them and immediately following travel directly to The Ball. Halfway through the Spin Doctors set, my friend decided to pass out and land in First-Aid after ingesting who knows what?
Always the optimist I thought, ‘she’ll shake it off.’ This is the point when my other friend at the show decided to piss in my Cheerios and pull the plug on the whole operation, taking our other friend home.
The H.O.R.D.E. was had, the hour was zero, and I found myself under the Triborough Bridge with three Clifford Ball tickets, a station wagon and nobody up for the mission. I had to beg and plead with anyone who will listen in a futile attempt to gain candidates. I had no choice but to go it alone. My rather straightedge brother had been at the H.O.R.D.E. also and got wind of my antics. Being the supportive older brother that he is, my brother refused to let me travel alone and decided to join me. He and I had seen Phish about three weeks prior in Rome, Italy, as part of an audience of less than 200 as they opened for Santana. He would have liked people to believe that he was going to escort me, but I knew better. He had experienced