Trey Anastasio (born Ernest Joseph Anastasio III on September 30, 1964, is an American guitarist, composer, and vocalist most noted for his work with the rock band Phish. He is credited by name as composer of 152 Phish original songs, 140 of them as a s...
Trey Anastasio (born Ernest Joseph Anastasio III on September 30, 1964, is an American guitarist, composer, and vocalist most noted for his work with the rock band Phish. He is credited by name as composer of 152 Phish original songs, 140 of them as a solo credit, in addition to 41 credits attributed to the band as a whole. He was ranked as number 73 on the Rolling Stone List of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003.
Anastasio began playing the drums as a youth, turning to guitar while a teenager. His father was an executive with Educational Testing Service. Anastasio's mother Dina, with whom he wrote songs as a child, was an author and the editor of Sesame Street magazine. He attended Princeton Day School for junior high school, where he began to write music with some of his classmates. Some of these songs (for example, "Golgi Apparatus") would find their way into the Phish repertoire, and many other Anastasio compositions refer to these early experiences. For senior high school, Anastasio attended The Taft School along with The Dude of Life, who helped pen such Phish compositions as "Suzy Greenberg", "Fluffhead", "Run Like an Antelope", "Slave to the Traffic Light", and "Dinner and a Movie". At Taft, Anastasio founded his first two bands, Red Tide and Space Antelope.
After Anastasio completed high school, he enrolled in the University of Vermont, attending from fall of 1983 to spring of 1984 as a philosophy major. It was here that he met Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Jeff Holdsworth, who founded Phish in 1983. In December 1983 the group formed to play an ROTC dance. They played a setlist of cover songs, including "Long Cool Woman" and "Proud Mary" which was performed twice. The band was very primitive at this time and used hockey sticks as mic stands. After the band had performed one set, Michael Jackson's Thriller album was put on by a partygoer to drown out the band. The band wouldn't return to play but were still paid for the performance. While at the University of Vermont, Anastasio hosted an early morning radio program, Ambient Alarm Clock.
Anastasio was eventually suspended from college for an entire semester after he broke into the science building and stole a human hand and a goat's heart. He sent it to his friend as a prank with a note that said "I've got to hand it to you, you've got heart." During his suspension, Anastasio attended classes at Mercer County Community College while living at home and while there met up with old friend Tom Marshall. Also attending Mercer was Marc Daubert who would officially join Phish as percussionist from September 1984 to February 1985. After seeing a Phish show, pianist Page McConnell joined Phish in the autumn of 1985. Anastasio, along with Jon Fishman, transferred to Goddard College, which he attended from fall of 1986 to spring of 1988.
During this time Anastasio also began a lifelong association with composer Ernie Stires, who taught him techniques for composition and arranging. While at Goddard, Anastasio assembled the song cycle The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday as his senior project. These songs would become mainstays of the Phish catalog. Anastasio graduated from Goddard in 1988 with a degree in creative writing.
On August 13, 1994 Anastasio married Susan Eliza Statesir. They have two daughters, Eliza and Isabella.