After nearly three busy months, I finally found the time to continue my series of articles about my trip to the USA. The worst thing is that I really wanted to share this encounter at the earliest but I could not. Sorry for the wait and, as this is the first article of the year (it's about time), I wish you a very good one!
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 - Noon - Philadelphia, PA
After a 2 hours drive, we arrived in Philly
at around 12:15. From there I had two options : jumping on the first bus to Atlantic City
at 12:30 or wait for the next one at 2:30 PM. I started to get hungry and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to have a walk in the streets of Philadelphia (na na naaa, naaa... na na naaa, naaa...
), so I took my ticket for the second one.
One of the fan who were with me on the bus asked me if I had a facebook or something. So I gave him my card with my name and links to my website and the EU Phans Page (By the way, go check Holger's NYE pictures).
There's some funny characters in Philly
I put my bag on top of my small rolling suitcase (what a clever idea to travel light) and at the exit of the Greyhound bus station, I decided to go left. At the end of the street, I stopped at the crossroad, looking at the city around me. When the traffic light turned green, I began to cross the road.
And suddenly, I froze, my eyes opened wide and my jaw fell on the crosswalk.
Coming the opposite way, crossing the same road as me, walked Trey Anastasio.
I tried to say something, basically just "Hi", but I couldn't make a sound. I stood in the middle of the road, staring at him. As he was about to pass me, he noticed me with my Fishman hat, my golf-ball-eyes and opened mouth. He removed his headphones, walked to me and HE said "Hi".
I couldn't believed it. I was feeling awkward with my luggages on the road so we went back on the pavement to shake hands.
What went out of my mouth at this moment was certainly hard to understand. Man I was talking to Trey Anastasio!
Basically, I told him that I came here from France specifically to see Phish for the first time after listening to then for 16 years. He asked me from what part of France I came from and I answered "Lyon". He obviously knew the city. I explained to him who gave me the chance to buy my tickets for the Halloween run and he said "Oh yeah! She's great. We love her". After talking about the show the previous night at Reading and telling about a hundred times "That's crazy", I suddenly remembered that I had a gift for the band in my luggages! I asked him if he could wait one more minute because I didn't want to bother him too much. He said "Sure!". So here I am, opening wide my luggage on the sidewalk, in the middle of Philadelphia, before Trey Anastasio's feet! What a funny sight it must have be!
While I was spelunking in my suitcase, a girl who had witnessed our conversation introduced herself to Trey. She wasn't sure he was really him until I began speaking with him. I finally found the present and handed it to him explaining it was for the whole band. He laughed and looked really surprised. "Oh wait! There's also a card!" It was in my other bag but I found it quickly. When I think back, he certainly took me for a complete loony, totally freaking out in front of him.
The girl asked me if I could take a picture of them with her phone. I said "Sure! If you take a picture of us too!". Taking a picture with an artist, as some people ask during signing sessions, isn't my thing. So I guess if she hadn't been there I wouldn't have thought to ask Trey for it, but I couldn't miss the opportunity!
After that, we thanked him and he went away. The whole encounter didn't last more than 2 minutes.
I stood there, totally in shock. I kept saying to the girl next to me "I can't believe it! That's crazy!" She asked me "Are you ok? Because I'm not! I'm shaking!"
The two pictures have been taken with her phone so she asked me my number. But as I couldn't connect to a cell phone network over there, I gave her my card with my email address and she promised me she'll send the picture. Two of her friends arrived and after a small chat, I closed my luggages and left : "Don't forget to send me the pict!"
Back to (virtual) reality
I resumed my walk in the streets, with a big smile on my face, looking for a place to eat.
Ironically, I ended in a kind of snack called Au Bon Pain ("Good Bread", in french). I found a table next to a plug on the wall so that I could refill my phone's battery. The place also had a free wi-fi access, so I quickly went online to share my story, by mail to my family, then on Twitter and facebook.
I couldn't stop smiling and thinking that I was such a lucky bastard! I chatted with Holger while eating my chicken and apple sandwich. As the minutes passed I felt more and more anxious about the fact that the girl wouldn't send me the picture. I kept telling to myself to be patient, that she'll send it to me tonight or even the next day...
But a few minutes later...Continue reading...