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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, drums, guitar|
|Associated acts||Phish, Vida Blue, Tenacious D, Phil Lesh and Friends, Spam Allstars, Travis, Porter Batiste Stoltz|
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 debut solo album, Page McConnell 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, Volunteers in Medicine, that is 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," "If I Told You." and "Things People do." 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. In 2001, McConnell appeared on Tenacious D's debut album. That fall, he joined the band on stage for a show at the Higher Ground nightclub in Winooski, Vermont. With Oteil Burbridge and Russell Batiste, McConnell was the founding member of Vida Blue.
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, California. 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 Hammond B3 organ with a Leslie 122 speaker (modified with individual percussion and chorus output knobs for a more tuned effect)
- a rare 44 key 1970's restored Wurlitzer 106P with modified speed control for vibrato added
- 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)
- a Moog Little Phatty (sometimes switched out for a Prophet '08)
- a Yamaha CS-60 polyphonic synthesizer
- a Moog Liberation (since 2009; formerly owned by James Brown) when playing Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" with Phish
- Nord Stage 2
- Leggett, Steve (2010). "Page McConnell Biography". AllMusic AMG P-103556. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Phish.net Setlisths:1985 Accessed: August 4, 2011.
- "The Phish Companion". Mbird.org. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- Metzger, John (May 2007). "A Fresh Start with Page McConnell". Music Box Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-21.