Steven Page Biography
Steven Jay Page is a Canadian musician born June 22, 1970. Along with Ed Robertson, he was a founding member, lead singer, guitarist, and a primary songwriter of the music group Barenaked Ladies (BNL). He left the band in 2009 to pursue a solo career. Page was born in Scarborough, Ontario. After skipping first grade, Page was enrolled in Scarborough’s gifted program at Churchill Heights Public School. Page’s father, Victor, was a drummer, as is his brother, Matthew. As a child, Page would attempt to play songs on the piano, while his dad would keep the beat on the drums. Page took ten years of piano lessons (though claimed he did not learn to play). He also was a member of the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir.
During childhood, Page had his best friend “stolen” by a schoolmate, Ed Robertson, and resented Robertson for some time. The two went to high school at Woburn Collegiate Institute but steered clear of each other until Page spotted Robertson at a Harvey’s restaurant after a Peter Gabriel concert and was surprised to find that Robertson was also a fan. This led to Page and Robertson talking, becoming friends, and ultimately, forming BNL. They were both counselors at the Scarborough Schools Music Camp in the summer of 1988, where some of their early collaborations in music were born. Page wrote songs with his friend Geoff Pounsett and made tapes of those songs; Robertson had obtained a tape the two had made, and knew some of Page’s songs. Page was flattered by this and the two eventually became good friends.
Steven Page Career
Robertson invited Page to perform with him at a charity show under the name Barenaked Ladies in 1988, and ultimately the show led the pair to full-time careers in the band. Page attended York University in the English program with a minor in theory and choral studies,but dropped out to focus on the band’s rising success.
Page was a main songwriter from the band’s inception. A majority of the band’s material came either from Page alone, or co-writing with Robertson. All but one of the songs on the band’s first album had a songwriting or co-writing credit for Page. He is credited on every song from both Maroon (2000) (other than the album’s hidden track) and Everything to Everyone (2003). In all, 97 of the 113 songs on the band’s primary studio albums during his tenure (not including its holiday or children’s albums) are credited or co-credited to Page. Though his level of credit remained steadily high, the contribution of initial song ideas became more evenly distributed to Robertson, and later other bandmates Kevin Hearn and Jim Creeggan; though Page continued to contribute his skill in completing or just polishing lyrics.
Page had also been the band’s main lead singer since the beginning, though he always shared some of the lead vocal duty with Robertson. This stemmed, in part, from the band’s common practice of writing for one’s own voice; as Robertson came up with more song ideas, he would sing lead on more songs. All of the singles from the band’s first three albums featured a Page lead vocal (not including “If I Had $1000000” which featured a call and answer lead vocal from both Robertson and Page), and nine of the 11 songs on the band’s first live album, Rock Spectacle, featured a Page lead. Following the success of “One Week”, the band’s first single with a Robertson lead, songs with a Robertson lead became selected equally as singles from that point on.
Page played acoustic and electric guitar (and occasionally other instruments) for the band both in the studio and live. Most of the time, he played rhythm parts on songs he wrote, allowing Robertson to play more of a lead guitar role; but occasionally, he played a lead guitar role to Robertson’s rhythm guitar. Page sometimes assumed guitarist duties on tracks he did not sing on, though never to the exclusion of Robertson on guitar as well.
In 2002, Page won an International Achievement Award at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto for the song “Pinch Me” he co-wrote with Ed Robertson.By 2004, Page was having reservations about his contributions to the band. He has indicated that he participated in the recordings of Barenaked for the Holidays and Snacktime! despite being opposed to the recording of both albums. Concerning Snacktime!, Page indicated, “it was a lot of fun to do, but it wasn’t my idea. I was along for the ride.”
Other Activities and Interests
Page has been an avid member of the New Democratic Party, and has been a notable supporter of former federal NDP leader, the late Jack Layton. He performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Layton’s funeral.
As of August 31, 2008, he was a member of the board of directors marketing and events committee for World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada).
As of July 2007, Page was a member of the WindShare co-op that built/owns the wind turbine at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto.
Page owns a farmhouse near Toronto. At some point prior to the recording of Barenaked for the Holidays, he invested in building a recording studio at his farmhouse, which he has named Fresh Baked Woods. The band’s first record there was the aforementioned Holidays album. The band also used the studio for the recording sessions for the Barenaked Ladies Are Me / Barenaked Ladies Are Men albums. Page acquired the console from Le Studio, where the band recorded Gordon (among the many famous albums recorded at that studio), and integrated some of its equipment into the console at Fresh Baked Woods.
2017, Touring Canada as part of The Trans-Canada Highwaymen with Chris Murphy (Sloan), Moe Berg (The Pursuit of Happiness) and Craig Northey (Odds)
Steven Page Age
Steven was born June 22, 1970.
Steven Page Personal Life
Page has been married twice. His first wife was a Toronto musician and teacher Carolyn Ricketts, whom he married on December 28, 1993. The two separated in February 2007, and divorced in 2009. Together they have three sons: Isaac born in November 12, 1996, Benjamin born in December 15, 1998, and Jonah born in April 16, 2001.
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Page purchased a house in Fayetteville, New York with then-girlfriend Christine Benedicto in 2009, and splits his time between there and Toronto, where his children reside. Page married Benedicto on July 23, 2011, and the couple spent their honeymoon in Paris.
Page stated publicly in 2011 that he suffers from bipolar disorder. He said that he has gone through periods of self-medicating in order to relieve the symptoms. Since leaving Barenaked Ladies, he has been able to focus more on managing and treating his illness and has cited his sons as being his source of strength for keeping healthy and continuing treatment.