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Döniac 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.

Wait, you wanted to know what "döniac schvice" really means? Too bad.

The Döniac Schvice was a newsletter published by Phish from late 1993 to Spring 2000. Subtitled "from the fish to the tongue," the little picture under the title (which was in a fancy Germanic font) looked like a tongue with an eye and a mouth.

It contained several sections, most notably Fish's Forum and Mike's Corner, with band news and poetry and other writings by band members and friends. The last page or so had a calendar of the band's touring schedule as well as ticket info. Another section listed a few merchandise items for sale, usually a neat T-shirt or two, a poster, and a copy of the latest side project release. There was a section where Mike would answer questions mailed in, usually with silly answers — one writer commented that in Vietnam, where he was with the Peace Corps, farmers ate dog meat on their birthdays and wanted to know what the band members liked to eat on their birthdays. Mike didn't really answer the question, but replied that Marley, the band's dog, got to eat Vietnamese farmer meat on his birthday.

In July 1997, Page said in an LA Times interview that the Schvice was distributed to one to two hundred thousand people, six times a year.

There was also a tiny version of the newsletter — the Mini Schvice, if I remember correctly — that was tucked into the liner notes of CDs around 1997 and 1998.

Back issues from March 1997 to August 1998 are available from Phish's Dry Goods store at www.phish.com.

Stats and some other facts from Phish.net, the rest is from memory.

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