Phish keyboardist Page McConnell celebrates his 56th birthday today. Known to fans as “Leo” and “The Chairman Of The Boards,” McConnell has been a member of Phish since joining the group in 1985, supplanting himself as the anchor of “Page Side Rage Side.”
Back in the early days of Phish, the band incorporated a few Grateful Dead covers into their setlists, but eventually dropped those songs from their repertoire. Phish honored Jerry Garcia by covering “Terrapin Station” on the anniversary of his death in 1998 and in April 1999, Phil Lesh enlisted McConnell and Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio to be part of a Phil Lesh & Friends lineup also featuring guitarist Steve Kimock and drummer John Molo.
That fall, Phish welcomed Lesh for an extensive sit-in, which was followed in 2000 by Bob Weir sitting-in. Weir also joined the group again in the fall of 2016. Earlier that year, Page took another turn as a member of Phil & Friends alongside Phish drummer Jon Fishman, The Infamous Stringdusters, guitarist Anders Osborne and Furthur/JRAD drummer Joe Russo at the 2016 Lockn’ festival. Most recently, Page joined Bob Weir and Wolf Bros during their show in Miami this past March.
Click through the YouTube playlist below of McConnell playing Grateful Dead songs over the past several years:
[Video credits: Worchester2003, tdunski, Relix, Lockn, LazyLightning55a, M G, Fred Ramadan.]