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Published: 2011/02/27

Oscar Special: A Look at 127 Hours‘s Phish and String Cheese Incident Connections

A 2003 interview with Ralston. Take a careful look at his t-shirts throughout

The film 127 Hours is nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song and Best Film Editing. As some readers may recall, the film’s subject Aron Ralston is an outspoken fan of jambands, especially Phish and The String Cheese Incident, and a longtime taper.

Ralston was wearing a Phish T-shirt and listening to a live version of “Ghost” when he was first trapped under a bolder in a Utah canyon. The film 127 Hours picks up on Ralston’s Phish obsession and actor James Franco wears a Fall 2000 Phish t-shirt throughout the film. Ralston also sings a few lines of Phish’s “Sleeping Monkey” early in the film and two girls he encounters during his hike joke, “you’re never going to get a girlfriend if you keep singing Phish.”

The String Cheese Incident also helped out the real Aron Ralston in the summer of 2003 by throwing a benefit concert called Aron’s Incident shortly after the accident. Below is the news story that ran on on May 15, 2003 announcing the event.

String Cheese Announces Aron’s Incident Concert to Honor Mountain Climber Aron Ralston

String Cheese Incident has announced plans for Aro’ns Incident a concert that will take place July 5th at Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre. The show is being held in honor of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who was pinned under a boulder for five days and survived. Ralston, a taper, is well-known in the SCI community, having seen over 50 shows in the past three years (his first show was at Paolo Soleri). The July 5th concert is part of the bands Gouda Causes a philanthropic and community outreach program. A silent auction will be held during the show and limited edition posters will be sold. All proceeds will be donated to the Aron Ralston Fund. Any band or organization that wishes to donate items for the auction can email


There are 4 comments associated with this post

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Smokestack February 27, 2011, 22:12:42

I was at that SCI show. Rolston “wrote”/ requested the whole 2nd set. The band was pretty hammed on patron tequila by the 2nd set. At some point they did stray from his list and things consequently started to loosen up. Ring of Fire was slamming—definatly the most poigniant of his choices.

Ct4 March 1, 2011, 19:44:19

Aron is a rad kid, who was all over the cheese scene when this went down. I went to the Ralston Incident, & by far the most moving of his selections was ‘Climb’- climb, over the mountainside, set yourself free, right to the other side, fly away… Movie seems to have taken to many artistic liberties for me to really enjoy the whole thing, Aron told me firsthand what happened, & he also did a 2-hr special on Discovery, & the plot in the movie isn’t quite the same. Oh well, I’m glad its helped Aron, one of the ‘old guards’ of the cheese.

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