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Published: 2013/11/06

Phish and Darius Washington Sr. Share the Story Behind "The Line"

Phish debuted new material during their Halloween show at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. That new batch of tunes from their forthcoming release Wingsuit, included “The Line,” a song written about former University of Memphis basketball player Darius Washington Jr., who infamously missed two free throw attempts against Louisville in the 2005 C-USA tournament.

Now, in an interview with The Memphis Flyer, Anastasio commented on the inspiration for the song. “Darius Washington Jr.‘s story was incredibly moving to all of us in Phish,” Anastasio wrote in an email. The song paints a picture of overcoming adversity, as Washington soon had to after missing two free throws in a big tournament game. And much like the Phish frontman had to following his 2006 arrest. “It really spoke to me on a personal level, because I’ve gone through some difficult moments in public, too. You learn a lot about what’s really important in life when something like that happens,” Anastasio said.

Darius Washington Sr. also chimed in about the tribute from Phish, first admitting he wasn’t aware of the Vermont jam kings. “Is he a famous country singer?” Darius Sr. asked. “I don’t know them.” However, Washington did add that he’d love to be a part of a potential upcoming video. “If he decides to do a video, tell him to call us.”

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