McConnell with Phish at Red Rocks Amphitheater
July 30, 2009
|Birth name||Page Samuel McConnell|
|Also known as||The Chairman of the Boards, Leo|
May 17, 1963 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Genres||Alternative rock, rock, jazz, electronica|
|Instruments||Keyboards, piano, theremin, upright bass, Hammond B-3 Organ, drums|
|Associated acts||Phish, Vida Blue, Tenacious D, Phil Lesh and Friends, Spam Allstars, Travis, Porter Batiste Stoltz|
Page Samuel McConnell (born May 17, 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American multi-instrumentalist most noted for his work as a songwriter and keyboardist with the American rock band Phish. He plays on stage right which is referred to by fans as "Page Side, Rage Side."
In addition to being a member of Phish since 1985, McConnell has had several other musical liaisons during his career, including a trio named Vida Blue. He released his first solo album, featuring original compositions, in 2007.
McConnell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1963. By age four he was learning to play the piano, and when his family relocated to Basking Ridge, New Jersey, in 1969 he continued his musical studies, eventually playing in bands with friends by his seventh grade. His father, Dr. Jack B. McConnell, worked at McNeil Laboratories and helped to develop Tylenol and the MRI. The elder McConnell then started a free health clinic for kids that was staffed by retired health workers in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
McConnell spent a year at Gill St. Bernard's School, in Gladstone, New Jersey before moving. McConnell spent his senior year of high school at Lawrence Academy, a boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts, and then attended Southern Methodist University from Fall 1982 to Spring 1984, where he joined Kappa Alpha Order. McConnell transferred to Goddard College that fall and graduated in December 1987. This is where he met his mentor, Karl Boyle, and wrote his senior study, The Art of Improvisation under Boyle's guidance.
McConnell joined Phish in 1985 and played with the band for the first time on May 3 of that year. McConnell has written a number of Phish originals including "Cars Trucks Buses," "Magilla," "Army of One," "I Been Around," "Windy City," "Halfway to the Moon," and "If I Told You." He has also coauthored numerous other songs with the band.
Other musical projects
In 1997, McConnell played keyboards on the title track of Scottish band Travis' debut album Good Feeling. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, who also produced Phish's 1996 Billy Breathes album.
After a two-year hiatus from the music industry during Phish's hiatus, McConnell returned as a solo artist, recording an album of all new material in 2006. This eponymous album was released April 17, 2007 through Sony/BMG’s Legacy Recordings. On signing with Legacy, McConnell has stated, "I know a lot of people on the internet, and that's certainly an option — especially these days and especially if you're catering to the Phish fans who already know who I am. But I wanted a little bit more than that... I was proud of the record, and I wanted as many people as possible to hear it when I was done with it."
McConnell headlined the High Sierra Music Festival in July 2007, which was held in Quincy, CA. His touring band features multi-instrumentalist Jared Slomoff, guitarist Adam Zimmon, bassist Rob O'Dea, and drummer Gabe Jarrett. Said McConnell, "I have a really good feeling about this group. It feels like a band, although it's in its infancy right now. It really does feel like there is a collective consciousness."
Page McConnell's current rig includes:
- a Yamaha C7 concert grand (7'6") piano (since 2.3.93),
- a 1969 Fender Rhodes Silver Sparkle Top Suitcase 73 Model electric piano,
- a Hohner D6 Clavinet (often used in sync with a wah-wah pedal),
- and a Yamaha CS-60 polyphonic synthesizer.
- In 2010, Page brought back his 106p Wurlitzer electric piano to his live rig
- In 2011, he brought back his theremin for the first time since 1997
-In 2013, he added a talk box to his touring rig.
Page also plays the melodica though not with Phish.
The Rhodes as well as the clavinet are sometimes played through a Maestro Phase Shifter (recently changed to an MXR Phase 90).
Page played bass on Phish's one-off cover of Little Feat's Willin' & the Phish original Rocko William, though it has not been performed since 1997. He also played upright bass during the band's acoustic bluegrass numbers, though not since 1994.
He also plays drums on the Phish song Walfredo.
- Leggett, Steve (2010). "Page McConnell Biography". AllMusic AMG P-103556. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- Phish.net Setlisths:1985 Accessed: August 04, 2011.
- The Phish Companion
- Metzger, John (May 2007). "A Fresh Start with Page McConnell". Music Box Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- [dead link]
- pagemcconnell.com - Official Website
- Phish.com - Official Phish Website
- 'The Art of Improvisation' - Page's senior study from Goddard College
- Jack B. McConnell, M.D