Way back when (in the late ’90’s), being a Phish fan meant that you probably had the pleasure of eventually finding your way to the band’s original mail-order newsletter The Doniac Schvice.
The Doniac Schvice was an official newsletter distributed from the band’s production office (Dionysian Productoins), with the subtitle “from the fish to the tongue”. (Prior to late 1993, it was simply “The Phish Update.”) It was last distributed Spring 2000, and Phish.com reported in 2010, “The Schvice has been discontinued indefinitely.” Prior that, according to Page in an interview published 7/97 in the LA Times, the Schvice “goes out to between 100,000 and 200,000 people six times a year.”
Mike said in one issue that “Doniac Schvice is that experience when you are coming home and you hear the phone ring and you fumble for your keys to get the door unlocked – and when you finally get inside and to the phone – right then and only right then, it stops ringing.”
Some kind soul uploaded a scan of each of the Schvices that made it out into the wild; hit this link up for the full PDF download.
And now some fans have started a “Cause” petition on Facebook to bring back the newsletter now that the band is back in full swing. Most interesting to me is that they’re also asking that the “old” school Phish Tickets-By-Mail be brought back as well, a true process that was required involving the post office, a huge money-order investment and plenty of time and organizational skills. But I’m sure this largely guaranteed you access to the shows you wanted to see ahead of the general newb-and-scalper friendly new version of PTBM. The old way was a gauge of your level of commitment; now anyone can request tickets to the three-night Halloween run that few have the means to actually travel for.
Good game, phans. It’d be interesting to see if the band goes analog on this one and went back to the old mail-order days. That’d change the lottery quite a bit and I’d love to see that implemented for the impending “Leg II” announcement coming any day now. Stay tuned here for the deets.