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Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon
Background information
Birth name Andrew Ross McMahon
Born September 3, 1982 (1982-09-03) (age 27)
Origin Concord, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Piano rock, Alternative rock, Pop punk
Instruments Piano, Vocals
Years active 1998-present (Something Corporate)
2004—present (Jack's Mannequin)
Associated acts Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin

Married To: Kelly McMahon

Andrew Ross McMahon (born September 3, 1982) is a singer/songwriter. He is the vocalist, pianist and primary songwriter for the bands Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin; McMahon also performs solo.[1]




Early life

Andrew Ross McMahon was born on September 3, 1982 in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been playing the piano since he was eight years old. He briefly lived in New Jersey and in 1991 he moved to Bexley, Ohio where he attended Cassingham Elementary School for 5th and 6th grades and became a local legend by performing piano solos before he could even read music. Andrew's family moved frequently because his father worked in retail. Around 4th grade, they moved to California to support his mother's family after the loss of her brother. The death had a large impact on the family, and Andrew even has a tattoo on his forearm in memory of his uncle. The family moved around more, but finally found themselves back in California at the start of Andrews eighth grade year. McMahon describes himself as a "pudgy, outgoing, artist little kid" who never quite fit into the California scene. He lived at his aunt's house, because things were rough for the McMahon family, and Andrew quickly learned that things can easily be taken away. Even though he lived on the west coast, he still considered himself a "Midwest kid" at heart. He made a friend in junior high who took him to many punk rock concerts. He never felt like he fit in, and certainly never thought he could play this type of music, especially on the piano. He attended Dana Hills High School in Orange County, California, and he started his first band Left Here with his high school friends and future Something Corporate bandmates Kevin "Clutch" Page on bass and Brian Ireland on drums in 1997.

Even though they won a local battle of the bands competition, they soon broke up. McMahon went on to record the self-released eponymous four-track demo CD Andrew McMahon with the aid of several friends of his, including guitarist Josh Partington, whom he had met his sophomore year in high school. Joined by rhythm guitarist Reuben Hernandez (who was later replaced by William Tell), the quintet formed the piano rock band Something Corporate in 1998.

Something Corporate

Fronted by McMahon, Something Corporate recorded their self-released ten-song demo album Ready... Break in 2000, which led to a record deal with the indie record label Drive-Thru Records. Drive-Thru released the band's nationwide distributed debut EP Audioboxer the following year. McMahon's vocals, songwriting skills and especially the incorporation of the piano earned the CD rave reviews and caught the attention of Drive-Thru's distributor MCA (now Geffen). Due to the labels' distribution deal, MCA was able to sign over Something Corporate and released their major label debut Leaving Through the Window in May 2002.

The band promoted the album by playing concerts across the United States (including the main stage at Vans Warped Tour) and supporting New Found Glory (whose vocalist Jordan Pundik used to be McMahon's roommate) on their European tour. Something Corporate released their second full-length album North on Geffen Records in late 2003 and toured with 311, Good Charlotte, Yellowcard, and Jimmy Eat World. As of 2004 (and the signing of Jack's Mannequin to Maverick Records), the band is no longer under contract to any label. However, on December 4, 2009, Something Corporate announced one reunion show at Bamboozle Left 2010. An additional show was later added at Bamboozle Chicago 2010.

Jack's Mannequin


The initial impulse behind McMahon's solo project Jack's Mannequin was "Locked Doors", a song he recorded in December 2003, which he felt was too different from previous Something Corporate material to be one of their songs. He realized that, if he would ever decide to release it, it would be on a solo album rather than a Something Corporate record.[2] The idea seemed to be off the table, until in late summer 2004 both McMahon and his bandmates were exhausted from months of touring. They decided to take a temporary break. During his time off, McMahon laid down piano and vocal tracks for a song on Hidden in Plain View's Life in Dreaming and two songs on Tommy Lee's Tommyland: The Ride.

While Something Corporate's other songwriter and lead guitarist Partington created a side project of his own called Firescape, McMahon started writing songs, knowing they would not see the light of day as Something Corporate songs. Soon McMahon would leave Something Corporate while they were starting to make it big, so he could follow his heart and go with Jack's Mannequin. McMahon took a more therapeutic approach in writing these songs, resulting in a more personal and intimate testament of his songwriting. They dealt with "coming home, and having home be way different than I had remembered it [...], abandoning a lot of people, and things, that I had normally been so attached to [...], exploring and being okay with myself, and not having to make excuses for who I am, and accepting who I am", McMahon stated in an interview.[3]

Over the next couple of months, McMahon began recording the newly written songs with producer Jim Wirt, who would play guitar and bass over sampled drum tracks, while McMahon contributed vocals and piano. They later brought in additional musicians such as Bobby "Raw" Anderson (formerly of River City High) and Tommy Lee to add to the mix. The project's name, Jack's Mannequin, originated from one of McMahon's songs called "Dear Jack", which was written about a friend of his whose brother was diagnosed with childhood leukemia, but ultimately did not make the album's final cut. In March 2005, Jack's Mannequin — now consisting of McMahon on vocals and piano, Jon Sullivan on bass, Anderson on guitar, and Jay McMillan (ex-River City High) on drums — played their first live show at Molly Malone's Irish pub in Los Angeles, California.

He then proceeded to compose his second Jack's Mannequin album, The Glass Passenger. The first single, "The Resolution", is the band's highest-charting song to date

Leukemia diagnosis

On May 27, 2005 (three months before the release of Jack's Mannequin's debut album Everything in Transit), McMahon was forced to cancel all of his upcoming concerts.[4] After a medical examination in connection with a relentless case of laryngitis, McMahon was admitted to a hospital in New York City, where he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on June 1, 2005.[5] Since the illness was diagnosed in its early stages, McMahon's doctors had high hopes for a full recovery. Over the following couple of months, McMahon received various types of treatment, all the while updating his blog to keep his fans informed on the progress of his condition. August 23, 2005 marked a very significant date for him for two reasons: Firstly, it was the day his album Everything in Transit was released, debuting at #37 of the Billboard 200 with over 22,000 copies scanned within its first week. Secondly, it was the day he received a bone marrow transplant, with his sister Katie McMahon serving as the donor.[6] As a thank-you, he wrote and recorded a song called "There, There, Katie" for her. The song finally was played live at a Jack's Mannequin concert on 7/11/2006 in Cleveland, Ohio. Katie was in attendance for the performance. In October 2005, McMahon recorded a Christmas song titled "The Lights and Buzz", which was released via the iTunes Music Store a month later.

On December 2, 2005, McMahon celebrated the 100-day anniversary of his stem cell transplant by playing his first concert in six months – a private invite-only show in a small venue in Los Angeles, California. His first public appearance followed ten days later at "Gimme Shelter '05", an acoustic cancer benefit concert at the Roxy in Los Angeles, California. Following these shows, Maverick Records finally started a promotion campaign for Everything in Transit, including TV appearances by McMahon on Jimmy Kimmel Live, One Tree Hill (in the episode "Just Watch the Fireworks"), Last Call with Carson Daly, Steven's Untitled Rock Show, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, as well as a second music video for "The Mixed Tape", which hit #1 on VH1's VSpot Top 20 Countdown on June 9, 2006. Simultaneously, Jack's Mannequin embarked on a two-month tour across the United States supporting Of A Revolution.

In July 2006, McMahon founded a non-profit charity, The Dear Jack Foundation, to raise funds for cancer research. The organization's primary beneficiaries are the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the regents of the University of California, Los Angeles.[7]

On July 9, 2006, McMahon announced at his Summerfest Jack's Mannequin concert that that night would be the last night he would have to take medication for his cancer treatment. Soon after, the second single from Everything in Transit, "Dark Blue", was released. It was followed by an opening slot on Panic! at the Disco's "Nothing Rhymes With Circus Tour" throughout the United States and Canada, starting November 7, 2006 in Florida and ending December 12, 2006 in New Mexico.

A documentary entitled "Dear Jack" was released on November 3, 2009 on DVD by Warner Bros, and was shown at theatrical screenings in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.[8] The film, which chronicles McMahon's struggle with leukemia, features self-recorded footage in the hospital. It is narrated by his friend, Tommy Lee. The documentary was directed by Corey Moss and Josh Morrisroe, two former MTV News producers who covered McMahon's story for the channel, although much of the intensely personal footage was shot by Andrew himself. Along with the "Dear Jack" DVD Jack's Mannequin also digitally released the Dear Jack EP, with a recorded version of the song "There, There, Katie" Andrew wrote for his sister, along with three other tracks, titled "Diane, The Skyscraper," "Dear Jack" and a music box version on the pre-released song, "Swim."

Recording Label

Andrew started Airport Tapes and Records recording label. The label has signed successful Chicago rock band Treaty of Paris.


For McMahon's releases with Something Corporate, see Something Corporate's discography
For McMahon's releases with Jack's Mannequin, see Jack's Mannequin's discography


External links


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