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Trey Anastasio

Full Name: Ernest Joseph Anastasio III

This entry contains legacy content from the earler Phish.net's FAQ file and/or from earlier editions of The Phish Companion. It may be incomplete and/or out-of-date, but we hope to update it soon.

        Born Ernest Joseph Anastasio III on September 30th, 1964.

        Family: Trey was born in Fort Worth, TX and moved to Princeton, NJ in the summer of 1966. His mother, Dina, is an author and was editor of Sesame Street Magazine. Dina has written several stories and songs together with Trey. His father Ernest (“Ernie”) was the Executive Vice President of Educational Testing Services in Princeton, New Jersey, who administer the SAT and other aptitude tests. Trey's one sibling, sister Kristy, was an environmentalist and author of The Ecology of Place who directed the Phish Update newsletter before the creation of the Döniac Schvice; she passed away in 2009. Trey's dog Marley (who passed away 10/8/00) is featured on two of his guitars and toured with the band in the early days. (Phish's song publishing company, “Who Is She? Music” was named after Marley, and TPC2 was in part dedicated to him.) Trey married Susan Eliza Statesir on 8/13/94, with whom he has two daughters, Eliza Jean (b. 8/21/95) and Isabella (b. 4/22/97). He presently lives in Vermont.

        Education: Attended Princeton Day School for junior high (5th through 10th grades) where he met future friend and songwriting partner Tom Marshall; performed as “Frederic” in the 8th grade production of The Pirates of Penzance; was a tenor in the award-winning a cappella Madrigal Singers; was in the jazz band; and (in 9th grade) was the drummer in the Princeton Day School performance of Carnival at the Circle in the Square Theater on Broadway. Attended The Taft School for high school (starting with 10th - yes, a repeated year), where band Space Antelope formed, and graduated in 1983. Declared as a Philosophy major at the University of Vermont (fall 1983 to spring 1986, except for spring 1984), where he met Ernie Stires and hosted a morning radio show (Ambient Alarm Clock). Received a Bachelors of Arts degree from Goddard College (fall 1986 to spring 1988), where he wrote The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday for his Senior Thesis.

        Nicknames: Trey (as in the French “tres” meaning three; he’s a “third”); Giuseppe (his middle name in Italian, e.g. on The White Tape and in 2002 Radio Interviews); Skinny Guinea; Shaggy; Big Red; The Bad Lieutenant; The Good Lieutenant; Crimson Dago.

        Previous Bands: Red Tide; Space Antelope.

        Instruments: Electric guitar; drums (from age 7 to 17, and with Phish when Fishman comes to the front of the stage); percussion mini-kit (used by Trey summer 1995 to spring 1997); drumsticks (on any surface, including his guitar, such as at 5/6/93); megaphone (the verses to “Fee” from 11/19/92 to circa 8/96, occasionally during “BBFCFM,” fall ‘94 through ‘96, spinning it in circles with his arm extended, adding feedback as in the “David Bowie” 11/26/94, and in “I Didn’t Know” 6/15/95); fiddle (e.g. “Butter Them Biscuits” 11/18/94 and 11/19/94, “Long Journey Home” 11/19/94), beer bottle (“BBFCFM” 6/6/96); slice of pizza (11/16/91); acoustic guitar (usually for “Horse,” occasionally for the opening of “My Friend My Friend,” and in “Acoustic Army,” and more recently for "Driver,” "Mountains in the Mist,” “Inlaw Josie Wales,” “Spices,” and on his solo tours); a Yamaha AN1-X keyboard (notably during “Sand” and often during fall ‘99); piano (during “Walfredo” and “Rock A William,” and on his May ’99 solo tour); and Matterhorn (on Oysterhead tour).

        Wrote: The majority of Phish songs (along with partner in time Tom Marshall), including all of the songs on TMWSIY and Farmhouse; and co-wrote others attributed to the full band. First published song for which he was paid was “Close Your Eyes,” on a children’s album as part of a series by Macmillan; he (for the music) and his mother (for the lyrics) received $300 each, and wrote three more songs together for the series.

        Key Side Projects: Jazz Mandolin Project, 1993; Bad Hat, 1994; 8 Foot Fluorescent Tubes, 4/17/98; Phil Lesh and Friends, April 99; Vermont Youth Orchestra, 2/2/01, 2/4/01; Oysterhead, Fall 2001; Dave Matthews and Friends, winter ’03-’04; Trey Anastasio “solo” (commonly known but never officially coined ‘Trey Anastasio Band’ or ‘TAB’), first in February and then May ’99 with acoustic/electric setup, then again in winter ’01 with horn section and growing incrementally to the 10-piece ensemble from October ’02 forward.

        Key Side Albums: Surrender to the Air, 1996; Ernie Stires' Samson Riffs, 1997; solo effort One Man’s Trash, 1999; with Tom Marshall Trampled by Lambs and Pecked by the Dove, 2000; Oysterhead's The Grand Pecking Order, 2001; self-titled solo effort Trey Anastasio, 2002; live solo Plasma, 2003; solo Seis de Mayo, 2004

        Attire: typically t-shirts, e.g. a black one that says NEEHAN, probably from Japan, and occasionally some that were seized in the lot

In October 2000, Trey introduced himself as Skinnie Minnie and lifted his shirt to show his stomach (Bjrobe72@aol.com 10/2/00). His wife Sue calls him The Relentless Communicator (Aspen Times, 6/23/06).

See also: Trey's role in Phishstory, and His mother worked for Sesame Street, and listen to the audience sing him "Happy Birthday" on 9/30/30.

 

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