10 Years Ago Today: “Naked Guy” Crashes Stage at Charlottesville Phish Show

Jake May on December 5, 2019
10 Years Ago Today: “Naked Guy” Crashes Stage at Charlottesville Phish Show

Photo by Charlie Timberlake

On this day ten years ago, during Phish’s Dec. 5, 2009 performance at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va., a fan committed the brave (but arguably criminal) act of running onstage fully nude.

Phish had just begun “Ya Mar” when the man – later dubbed “the Naked Guy” by guitarist Trey Anastasio – appeared. He ran in from stage right and went straight up to Anastasio to give him a hug. In a moment of mercy, the flustered guitarist actually hugged the streaker back. The Naked Guy then weaved between Anastasio and bassist Mike Gordon, evading security for an impressively long time. The interruption understandably distracted the band members, with the exception of drummer Jon Fishman; seemingly unfazed, he kept the signature “Ya Mar” groove going throughout the entire ordeal.

Once the security guards finally wrangled the Naked Guy, Anastasio gave him a shout-out. “Let’s hear it for the Naked Guy! Took a lot of balls, what he just did,” he exclaimed.

The band continued to reference the naked antics throughout the show. Later in “Ya Mar,” Gordon changed the lyrics to “he was a naked pa.” During the set-two closing “Run Like An Antelope,” Anastasio changed various lyrics in honor of the Naked Guy, which led to the entire band singing, “you’ve got to run like a Naked Guy out of control!”

Watch a fan-shot montage video of these moments below, courtesy of YouTube user Sol Stan.