This website is dedicated to the memory of Stu Page 1954 - 2013
Stu Page Biog
Born 12 May 1954 in Leeds West Yorkshire UK. Second son of Handley and Maisie Page a skilled toolroom fitter and a seamstress. Moved to the then small town of Pudsey at age six. Sang in the local church choir and was given his first guitar at the age ten.He recalls: my dad bought it for me for Christmas and neither of us knew how to tune it so as a result of this lack of knowledge we broke most of the strings. Soon after I had some guitar lessons at Kitchens music store in Leeds. This was where I learned the basics about guitar. The class of about sixteen students was run on Tuesday nights by a veteran jazz player called Len Lewis on the top floor of Kitchens music shop. I used to catch the number 72 bus every Tuesday night at age eleven and armed only with my guitar in its homemade cloth carrying case I would brave the streets of what seemed like the big city, dodging the drunks and scary characters to get to my lesson. I learned the basics at Kitchens but it was old school stuff, tunes like ( when the saints go marching in) and (Frankie and Johnny)etc. Rock and roll was here, the Beatles and the stones were exploding on to the scene but they didn’t want to teach us any of the new music they said it was a passing trend so I left to do my own thing.
By the time I was sixteen I had many paid gigs under my belt and had travelled round the UK in a three piece rock/blues outfit called the Gritt Band. It lasted a couple of years until one day I received a phone call from a sound engineer who I knew worked at the local radio station. He said he’d got some Americans in the studio who were recording some country music for the station and they needed electric guitar putting on some of the tracks and would I help them out? I said I’d be glad to and three moths later I’d quit my day job at the print factory and was flying out to America to join their band.
The American band was lead by Warren Wilkinson a country/folk singer with the right kind of voice who years later became a leading author and a recognised authority on the American civil war as well as being a talented artist but sadly is no longer with us.
Other members of the band were Jim Frechette on steel and banjo, Patric Aicholts on drums, Phil Stevens on bass and myself on guitars and mandolin. We were a fusion of styles, bluegrass, country and rock and toured mainly on the college circuit across North America.
We were together for about a year and as was the case in the seventies we found it hard to make enough money so when I was offered a job playing guitar in a soul band I knew it was time to go. My new job took me south to Massachusetts and after a few weeks intensive rehearsal I was back on the road but this time wearing fancy suits working night clubs and earning decent money. I think I learned more about guitar playing in that band than any other project I’ve been involved with. It had to be slick because the stakes were higher and if it wasn’t you could be fired on the spot and I saw that happen once or twice.
The months went on and we did ok. but the trouble with being in a covers band is after a while your just going through the motions and there is a limit to how creative you can be in that situation so eventually I decided to return to the UK.
I had been in the UK for a couple of years playing with a band fronted by a Liverpudlion singer songwriter called John Rigby and the band was called Whistler. We were recording our first album when the whole record business changed pretty much over night. New wave and punk hit the scene and feeling that musically at the time for a guitar player this was a retrograde step I moved back to Country music.
My first gig in the British country music scene was with Leeds based band Midnight Flyer. We were a six piece playing covers of Eagles, Waylon,Don Williams etc and some bluegrass material. I was married by now and driving a truck in the daytime so the extra cash came in useful with a young family.
In 1984 I went to Switzerland to work in a hotel complex as part of a duo with myself and Terry Clayton. We played there every night for seven weeks. When we returned with the money we had saved we decided to put a country music band together. It was a big gamble at the time but eventually paid off. We were together apart from a few line up changes for some twenty years. We recorded seven albums had three videos on CMT played with countless American country stars. Appeared on BBC and ITV networks toured through most countries in Europe. Recorded in Nashville and played both the Albert hall and the Palladium in our time together as the Stu Page Band.
In 1995 I needed a new challenge. Country music was going through what I considered a very uncreative period so rather than carrying on and complaining about it with the aid of fellow guitar player and band member Andy Whelan I put together an Eagles tribute band. We had always been fans of the Eagles and it soon became a success. We toured constantly for the ten years we were together from Ireland round u.k and Europe as far as the middle east.
This more or less brings us up to the present day where I’m now involved in a new exciting project. After a thirteen year gap I’m back working on the country music scene in the u.k. I’ve teamed up with my son Tom on guitar and vocals and we are playing shows together both as a duo and with our new band. So far the response has been encouraging although we have had to start from scratch but I don’t think we’ve had a bad show so far. A new album is on its way and you can download some tracks from our website better still come and see us when we’re in your town.
Best wishes, Stu page.