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Jonathan Daniel Donahue (born May 6, 1966[1] in Kingston, New York) is an American rock musician. He has been an integral member of two of North America's most influential indie/experimental bands of the 1990s; The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev.

Donahue helped form Mercury Rev, along with vocalist/guitarist David Baker, bassist Dave Fridmann, guitarist and clarinetist Grasshopper (born Sean Mackowiak), rooster-tail bass flutist Suzanne Thorpe, and drummer Jimy Chambers, in the late 1980s as a source to create soundtracks to the members' personal student films. The members were further encouraged to explore their talents by their mentor, minimalist composer and multimedia artist Tony Conrad.

Donahue also doubled as a concert promoter in Buffalo. After billing the Butthole Surfers and their opening act The Flaming Lips, Donahue joined the Flaming Lips around 1989/1990 as their guitar technician. He later joined the band as the full time lead guitarist and recorded on the albums In a Priest Driven Ambulance and Hit to Death in the Future Head, both of which were critically praised.

After being a member of The Flaming Lips for around two years, Donahue and The Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne began to disagree over creative differences. Donahue left the band shortly after recording Hit to Death in the Future Head and was replaced by Oklahoma City guitarist Ronald Jones.

After leaving The Flaming Lips, Donahue returned to Buffalo and focused his time on reforming Mercury Rev. Jonathan Donahue was credited as having played the clarinet line for The Chemical Brothers' 1997 cult hit "The Private Psychedelic Reel", which has been the on and off closing song to their shows ever since. The clarinet part was actually played by former Mercury Rev reed player, Mark Marinoff. Donahue is currently Mercury Rev's lead singer after David Baker left the band.

An avid hockey player, Donahue grew up a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens during the 1970s and 80's.


  1. ^ Mercury Rev unofficial FAQ


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