Tim “Frenchie” Gazaille, also known as “Naked Dude,” “Naked Guy,” and “Boots,” a beloved member of the Phish community who made a lasting impression on the band during a rain-soaked concert at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, has passed away after a long battle with lung cancer.
Frenchie became a viral sensation within the Phish community after he remained on the Dick’s field sans clothing long after the area was temporarily evacuated due to inclement weather. Frenchie kept the mood light despite the rain delay, making a spectacle as he frolicked around in nothing but his boots while thousands of fans cheered him on from the stands.
Phish later referenced the episode in the band’s 2022 New Year’s Eve gag when a seemingly endless parade of dancers dressed to look like the nude Frenchie emerged from the band’s 40th birthday cake. The Frenchie clones ran around the stage trying to avoid capture by “venue security” until the frustrated officers ultimately disrobed and joined the Naked Guy army in dance.
Phish – New Year’s Eve 2022 Gag & Countdown – 12/31/22 – Full Video
There was initially some dispute among fans as to whether Frenchie was in fact the Naked Guy being referenced in the gag, as there were have been various notable Phish Naked Guy incidents in 1998 and 2009, but all doubt was dispelled when Trey Anastasio thanked Frenchie in a heartfelt note:
“Lastly, we want to thank the star of the show Frenchie (aka The Naked Guy) from Steamboat Springs, Colorado,” Trey wrote before adding a message addressed directly to him. “Frenchie, we heard that you are going through a serious health journey, and we want to send our love and best wishes to you.”
In addition to being a fan, Frenchie was a dedicated musician and a beloved member of his community.
Rest in peace, Frenchie. You will be missed.