Trey Anastasio Remembers Tony Markellis
Anastasio initially saw Markellis play on his first night in Burlington, when he visited the city as an 18-year-old to look at the University of Vermont. Tony was on bass with The Unknown Blues Band featuring Big Joe Burrell that evening at defunct Burlington club Hunt’s. Anastasio has mentioned that experience led him to attend UVM. The guitarist went on to recruit Markellis to join TAB ahead of the group’s first tour in 1999. The bassist had been a member of TAB ever since.
Read Anastasio’s note below:
Tony Markellis passed away yesterday. He was a truly remarkable human being. He was kind and had a sweetness to his personality, and he was the baddest bass player I’ve ever heard. I loved Tony, and I always will. I’m having a hard time processing this. Tony was the heartbeat to so much of my life, and to the lives of so many others. He played bass for my first dance with Sue at our wedding. We wrote First Tube and Sand together, and played so many years, so many memories.
I was very lucky to have had a very long phone conversation with Tony only a few days ago. We talked for almost two hours. We caught up on family, friends, and funny pandemic thoughts. It wasn’t often that we talked on the phone like that. I had no idea it would be our last conversation. Now it feels like it happened for a reason.
I’m so grateful today for those hours, and for all of the years together.
Tony, we’ll all miss you. Thank you for the gifts you brought to all of us.
RIP my friend.
In addition to his work with TAB, Markellis was also a member of Anastasio’s Ghosts Of The Forest project. Additionally, Tony performed with the guitarist during the sole 8 Foot Fluorescent Tubes show in 1998.