Greg Page (musician)

Gregory John Page, AM (born 16 January 1972)[1] is an Australian singer, musician and actor. He is best known as the original lead singer and a founding member of the children's band the Wiggles from 1991 to 2006 and then again from 2012 to 2013. Page has also recorded several solo albums.

Greg Page
Page (left, yellow shirt), with the Wiggles in 2004
Page (left, yellow shirt), with the Wiggles in 2004
Background information
Birth nameGregory John Page
Born (1972-01-16) 16 January 1972 (age 48)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresChildren's, pop, rock, country
Occupation(s)Singer, musician, actor
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, drums, keyboards
Years active1991–2006, 2009–present
Associated actsThe Wiggles
Websitegregpage.com

CareerEdit

1991–2006: Music and the WigglesEdit

While still a teenager, Page was a roadie for and sang with the Australian band the Cockroaches during their final years. On bandmate Anthony Field's recommendation, he enrolled in Macquarie University to study Early Childhood Education.[2][3] While students, Page, Field, and guitarist Murray Cook, along with former Cockroaches member and keyboardist Jeff Fatt, combined their music backgrounds and teaching skills to form the Wiggles.[4]

The youngest member of the group, Page was 19 years old when he began touring with the group. Field described him as "the perfect straight man", with a "big friendly smile and easy stage manner" which made him engrossing for both children and adults. Also according to Field, Page "has an authoritative, though not overbearing, tone when he speaks to children and is a relaxed and clever emcee".[5] When performing with the Wiggles, Page wore a yellow shirt. Like the other Wiggles, Page had a shtick, which was doing magic tricks. The Wiggles' high point was in 2000 when they partnered with Lyrick Studios for American distribution of their films and songs. After HIT Entertainment purchased Lyrick in 2001, the Wiggles were partnered with HiT for 6 years before moving their distribution to Warner Home Video in 2007.

His 2005 solo album, Taking Care of Country, reflects Page's interest in Elvis Presley's music. It was recorded with the TCB Band, Elvis' back-up band. In spring 2003, Page performed in Las Vegas with the TCB Band. In 2002, Page sang back-up with Australian Elvis impersonator Mick Gerace.[4] His second album with the TCB Band, Let It Be Me, was released in 2012. Production of the album began in 2004, but was interrupted due to Page's medical issues.[6]

2006–2012: Illness and retirementEdit

On 29 November 2006, the Wiggles announced that Greg Page would leave the group due to poor health.[7]

Page had experienced health difficulties since December 2005, when he underwent a double hernia operation and withdrew from his group's U.S. tour after suffering repeated fainting spells, slurred speech, fatigue, and trembling.[8][9] Although Page was missing for virtually all of the late 2006 U.S. tour, audiences were informed of Page's absence at concerts moments before the curtain went up.[10]

At first, Page was told that he had seven years to live,[9] but he was diagnosed with a non-life-threatening form of dysautonomia, a difficult-to-diagnose chronic illness. Page experienced symptoms such as orthostatic intolerance, fatigue and loss of balance. Specialists believed that Page had mild episodes of the illness going back twelve years, and that his symptoms worsened after his hernias. It was decided that Page would retire from performing with the Wiggles to better manage his health.[7] As part owner of the Wiggles, Page received a payout of about $20 million for his share in the business.[11] Page was succeeded by Sam Moran as a full member of the entertainment side of the group (although still an employee, rather than a partner, in its business side).[7]

By late 2009, Page had recovered enough from his illness to begin touring with another country rock band, but with a more limited schedule than the Wiggles. He had also started his own foundation, the Greg Page Fund, to raise funds and educate the public about orthostatic intolerance.[12]

While in retirement, Page was a presenter on Sydney Weekender.[13]

2012: Reunion with the WigglesEdit

In January 2012, and amidst a great deal of controversy, the Wiggles announced that Page had regained his health and was returning to his role as the Yellow Wiggle. It was reported that he would return to touring with the group in March of that year.[11][14]

However, on 17 May 2012, it was announced that Page, along with Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt, would again be retiring from the Wiggles at the end of the year. He was to be replaced by Wiggles cast member Emma Watkins, the first female member of the Wiggles. Page eventually revealed that he was only asked to return to the group until August 2012, "to help transition from Sam [Moran] to a new Yellow Wiggle," but once Cook and Fatt decided to retire at the end of the year, they asked Page if he would extend his stay with the group until then so he would leave alongside them, to which he agreed.[15][16] Page and the others expected to remain involved with the creative and production aspects of the group, though Page no longer would have a share in the company, having forfeited it in 2006 when he left.[17]

2012–present: Post-WigglesEdit

Shortly after leaving the Wiggles, Page joined the cast of the children's educational television program Butterscotch's Playground. Page helped develop the show with its creators.[18] From time to time, beginning in 2016, Page performed with the Wiggles for reunion shows and charity fundraisers. In July 2020, six months after suffering a heart attack, he and the classic Wiggles appeared in The Soul Movers music video "Circles Baby".[19][20][21]

Personal lifeEdit

Page was born in Sydney, Australia. He owned the fourth-largest collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia in the world,[22] including clothing, marriage certificate, guitar, piano, the last Cadillac owned by Elvis, and original TCB Band necklaces.[23] In 2008 he donated the collection, reportedly worth $1.5 million, to a new Elvis museum in Parkes, New South Wales.[24]

Page has been married twice. His first marriage broke up during his retirement from the Wiggles; by 2011, he had remarried. He has four children.[25][26]

Page was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2010: "For service to the arts, particularly children's entertainment, and to the community as a benefactor and supporter of a range of charities".[27]

On 17 January 2020, Page suffered cardiac arrest at a Wiggles reunion show that was raising funds for bushfire relief efforts.[28] He collapsed on stage and stopped breathing; off-duty nurse Grace Jones, who was in the audience, performed CPR with Wiggles drummer Steve Pace and band staff member Kimmy Antonelli, and used a defibrillator three times before Page was transported to the hospital.[28] The cardiac arrest was caused by a blocked artery, which was treated, and Page made a recovery.[29] He later posted a video explaining the situation and expressing his gratitude to those who saved him, including Dr. Therese Wales, registered nurse Grace Jones, drummer Steve Pace, Wiggles staff member Kim Antonelli, and other members of the Wiggles’ crew.[30][31]

Solo discographyEdit

  • Greg Page (1998)
  • I Believe in Music (2002)
  • Greg Page Live in Concert (2003)
  • Throw Your Arms Around Me (2004)
  • Taking Care of Country (2005)
  • Let It Be Me (2012)
  • Here Comes Christmas! (2015)

BooksEdit

  • Page, Greg; Cadigan, Neil (2011). Now and then: the life-changing journey of the original Yellow Wiggle / Greg Page. Sydney: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0732289263 (paperback, 341pp.), ISBN 978-0730497295 (e-book, 352pp.)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Jan. 16 celebrity birthdays". Orange County Register. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  2. ^ Eng, Dinah (23 January 2010). "How The Wiggles became an empire". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  3. ^ (Field 2012, p. 28)
  4. ^ a b Troedson, David (27 May 2002). "Interview – Greg Page of The Wiggles". Elvis Australia. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  5. ^ (Field 2012, p. 46)
  6. ^ "Let It Be Me—Released July 2012". Greg Page.com. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Greg Page leaves The Wiggles". The Wiggles Homepage. 30 November 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  8. ^ Associated Press (30 November 2006). "The Wiggles' lead vocalist to stop performing". Today.com. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Yellow Wiggle Greg Page talks of his illness". The Daily Telegraph. 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  10. ^ Crooks, Michael (29 November 2006). "Illness forces Greg Page out of the Wiggles". Who.com. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  11. ^ a b Washington, Stuart; Erik Jensen; Glenda Kwek (21 January 2012). "Yellow Sub: Greg Resurfaces". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  12. ^ Maddox, Gary (12 September 2009). "Wounded Wiggle starts to get his groove back". The Age. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  13. ^ "The TV show where our stars began". www.dailytelegraph.com.au. 22 August 2014.
  14. ^ Kwek, Glenda (19 January 2012). "How 'Salaried' Sam Lost His Wiggle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Meet the new Wiggles!". 702 ABC Sydney. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  16. ^ Greg Page Remembers...or Tries To! (Part 11) (Video). YouTube. 23 July 2018. Event occurs at 18:13. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  17. ^ Quinn, Karl (19 May 2012). "Wiggle Room: The Brand Played On". The Age. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Butterscotch's Playground". Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  19. ^ https://au.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-soul-movers-live-original-wiggles-lineup-13187/
  20. ^ McClintock, Alex (26 February 2016). "Jeff wakes up to a surprising lack of irony at the Wiggles' adults-only reunion show". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  21. ^ Mercuri, Monica (7 January 2020). "The Original Wiggles To Reunite And Raise Money For Australia's Bushfires". Forbes. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  22. ^ Braithwaite, Alyssa (7 January 2009). "Collector finds wiggle room among kings of memorabilia". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  23. ^ "My obsession – Greg Page". Collectors. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  24. ^ Dunn, Emily; Gary Maddox (31 December 2008). "Elvis is alive ... in Parkes". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
  25. ^ Selinger-Morris, Samantha (17 July 2011). "Wiggly road to recovery". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  26. ^ Triggs, Charlotte (2 April 2012). "Greg Page: Battling My Way Back to the Wiggles". People. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Greg Page AM". Australian Government. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  28. ^ a b "The Wiggles' Greg Page collapses after cardiac arrest during bushfire relief concert". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  29. ^ Drevikovsky, Janek (22 January 2020). "Yellow Wiggle Greg Page released from hospital after cardiac arrest". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  30. ^ "Greg Page thanks first responders after suffering a heart attack". Sky News. 18 January 2020. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Retired Yellow Wiggle Greg Page 'eternally grateful' to those that saved his life, vows to learn CPR". PerthNow. 7 February 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.

Works citedEdit

External linksEdit