Heather McDougal Talks ‘Beacon Jams’ Dedication On ‘Phemale-Centrics’ Podcast

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A special moment took place during the latest installment of Trey Anastasio‘s The Beacon Jams livestream series, when Trey read a note from Heather McDougal, a nurse in Maine. Anastasio was so moved by what he saw he came up with and led his band through a performance of the impromptu “Heather McDougal Song.” Heather McDougal discussed her Phish fandom, her experience witnessing the song in her honor and more on the Osiris Media podcast Phemale-Centrics.

Phemale-Centrics host Dawneebee started the chat by asking Heather about her first Phish show. McDougal revealed she initially saw the band at Big Birch on July 13, 1994. Heather said she’s been a huge Phish fan ever since.

Heather McDougal spoke about her experience as an operating room nurse at Maine Medical Center during the pandemic. “I love what I do, but it has been really weird and scary,” Heather said. “We didn’t know what to do, we didn’t know how to do it. We didn’t know how to keep ourselves safe, our patients safe, our familes. As it’s gone on, we’ve dialed that in. So I don’t feel as worried going to work, although this second surge is getting us a little worked up again.”

McDougal revealed they play Phish’s music at her job all the time, including “Full Album Friday.” Heather recalled the note she penned on Twitch that led to the performance of “her” song, which read, “I’m a nurse in Maine and these shows have been getting me through these last few weeks. You guys keep killin’ it and I’ll keep savin’ it.”

Heather described the scene after she pressed send:

[Trey] did that big inhale he does with the things he reads [certain] things and then he said my name. He stumbled my name and I went, “oh my god he said my name.” I’ve reached the pinnacle of my Phish life, he said my name. And then he sung my name, and he kept singing my name! I’m losing it. I literally fell off the couch and I screamed at the top of my lungs to my daughter to come out — she’s 13-years-old — and it was like no scene you could ever imagine. My whole body was flailing around and I was breathless.

Anastasio went on to reprise the “Heather McDougal Song” following “Let Me Lie,” giving the nurse yet another thrill. The nurse said it took “four seconds” for her phone to start blowing up with messages from friends. “The whole thing, it’s just so cool and so amazing,” McDougal added. Trey went on to share a video starring Heather McDougal on Instagram with the caption, “real life hero.”

Listen to Heather McDougal’s appearance on Phemale-Centrics below:

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