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Steven Page leaves Barenaked Ladies

The Barenaked Ladies will be hitting the recording studio this spring - without one of their founding members.

The Barenaked Ladies will be hitting the recording studio this spring - without one of their founding members.

Steven Page has left the popular band he helped form in Toronto more than 20 years ago. The band's website said Wednesday that Page will be parting company with the remaining members of the band to pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities. The other band members, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart will go back in the studio in April and out on the road in the fall.

The news comes months after drug charges against Page were dropped in the U.S.

Page wished them the best in the future.

"These guys are my brothers," he said. "We've grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future."

The band also wished Page well in all of his endeavours.

"It's the start of a new chapter for all of us," Robertson said. "Here's to the future!"

Page, his girlfriend and her roommate were charged with drug possession in July after police found cocaine at a Fayetteville, N.Y., apartment.

In late October, all three secured a deal that will result in their charges being dropped if they stayed out of trouble for six months.

In December, the band members joked about a tough 2008.

Robertson told a sold-out crowd at Toronto's Massey Hall that he felt a little neglected last summer when his personal crisis was overshadowed by the turmoil in Page's life.

"I survived a ... plane crash and it barely made the news," Robertson said with tongue in cheek.

"(Everyone said), 'Who cares, what's going on with Steve?"'

Just two months after the May release of their children's album, "Snack Time," Page was arrested.

That album is now nominated for a Juno, for children's album of the year.

The image of Page's dishevelled mugshot flew around the world on the Internet and the charges forced the band to bow out of a Disney charity show and stay below the radar for months.

The band's second scare came in late August when Robertson crashed his float plane in a wooded area north of Bancroft, Ont.

Luckily, he walked away unhurt along with three other passengers.

The Barenaked Ladies went on last fall to mount a mini comeback with a series of concerts and TV appearances.

Page told fans on his blog that he was "doing great," and feeling healthier after shedding 40 pounds.

He said he looked back at 2008 as a year with a lot of positive experiences among the really bad ones.

"Yes, it's been a terrible year for the band, and for me personally, but there have also been many things to be happy and grateful for," he wrote.

"Falling in love, a renewed sense of peace, the best health of my adult life, some amazing creative and artistic opportunities, and the chance for a renewed and fruitful relationship with my band, friends and loved ones."

The band's recording of their own version of the old "Hockey Night in Canada" theme song for TSN also brought them back into the spotlight.

Page played guitar for the band, which he helped form and shared lead vocal duties with Robertson.

His distinctive vocals are featured prominently in many of the band's hits, including "One Week," "Brian Wilson," "If I Had $1,000,000" and "Jane."

 
 
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