Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio received a very special Christmas gift from his daughter, Bella, and a few hundred fans.
After asking members of the “Phish Chicks” Facebook page for photos and Phish-related memories, Bella pooled together hundreds of contributions to create a book that tried to encapsulate the effect her father’s music has had on so many fans.
Posting on Christmas Day, Bella shared pictures of her dad flipping through the finished project and wrote, “Your pictures and stories were so heartwarming and beautiful…This was an effort to somehow begin to express the immense gratitude I, and I know many of you, feel towards this band, and I know Dad felt that gratitude today. He was speechless and tearing up the entire time reading it. He’s excited to show the rest of the band over the New Years run!”
On New Year’s Eve, Trey followed up with his own thank-you message explaining how emotional the collection was and noting how “all the photos of weddings and friends and laughing and kids and family were so powerful, and mirrored [the band’s] lives and experience so closely.”
Bella titled the book “We Are Happy: A Thank You to Phish,” as a reference to a couple of Phishheads who held a sign with the same message during their wedding.
Read Trey Anastasio’s full “thank you” note below:
Dear Friends, Family and Everyone who so kindly took part in Bella’s book project…
I’m sitting here at home, on New Year’s Eve looking at all the pictures in this book yet again, as I have every morning before the last three shows. I wish there was some way that I could convey even a fraction of how much this book means to me, and what it meant of the other three guys when I showed them at band practice on the 27th.
There were many tears when I first saw it, and I had to actually stand up and leave the room for a moment, and there were more tears from Page, Mike and Fish at band practice.
None of the four of us have ever actually seen Phish, or stood in the crowd, so our perspective can be skewed, and all the photos of weddings and friends and laughing and kids and family were so powerful, and mirrored our own lives and experience so closely.
We all met our wives and friends thru Phish. Sue and I met at Nectars in the 80’s, Fish and Briar, Mike and Sue, Page and Heather. Last night I was backstage hugging Amy Skelton right before the second set, and we were laughing so hard, pals for 35 years. I first met Amy at the Doolin’s happy hour Phish shows in the early 80’s..she used to stand in the front row, when there was literally only two people at the entire gig. We are still lifelong friends. While we soundchecked yesterday there was a row of kids on scooters zipping around the arena… four of Fish and Briar’s kids, Mike’s daughter Tessa, two of Page’s daughters (his third is here too, but not on a scooter) and lots of their friends. My two daughters were in the building, Fish’s Dad was standing by the side of the stage, as well as my parents, stepmom, my nephew Jason, Mike’s aunt and uncle, and tons of friends, milling about… threads in a vast tapestry.
We are all so moved, so grateful, to be connected to all of you in this way. For us, the personal connections are the best part of this adventure, the best part of Phish. To be able to share these experiences over the years. I thank you all from the depths of my soul for sharing this deeply meaningful gift. I will cherish it.
Happy New Years to everyone on the Phish Chicks Facebook page and to everyone who so kindly took part in the creation of this Helping Friendly Book.
Read the fuckin’ book!!! Read it!
Yeah my children are old enough to do something so thoughtful and kind. Whoa…
And for all these years I thought it was written by the great and knowledgeable Icculus, but it was written by the whole beautiful Phish community all along. Who knew? The Book of Life..eternal joy and never ending splendor.. the trick was to remember that we’re all connected. Part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
Thank you 🙏
Happy New Year to you all!