Here’s wishing a slightly belated Happy Birthday to founding Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, who turned the big 8-0 Sunday.
Lesh had been slated to celebrate his milestone birthday with a trio of Phil Lesh & Friends concerts this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, but the shows unfortunately were postponed because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In 1964, Lesh joined the band that would become The Grateful Dead, then called The Warlocks, and remained with the group for its entire 30-year history. In addition to bass, Phil contributed backing vocals and occasional lead vocals. He also co-wrote several of the band’s best-known songs, including “New Potato Caboose,” “St. Stephen,” “Truckin’,” and “Box of Rain.”
Since The Grateful Dead’s breakup following frontman Jerry Garcia‘s 1995 death, Lesh has taken part in a number of spinoff groups with other band members, among them The Other Ones, Furthur and The Dead.
He continues to perform with Phil Lesh & Friends, a touring band that pairs him with various other musicians. Lesh also joined the other surviving core Grateful Dead members to play a series of 50th anniversary farewell concerts in 2015 dubbed, “Fare Thee Well,” but afterward he declined to take part in the new group formed by his band mates, Dead & Company, which also features John Mayer.
Lesh’s next scheduled performance is a Phil Lesh & Friends headlining appearance at the Suwannee Rising festival, slated to take place April 16-18 in Live Oak, Florida.
As previously reported, the 2020 Lockn’ festival has announced plans to celebrate Phil’s 80th birthday with a variety of special performances. That event is scheduled for June 19 to June 21 in Arrington, Virginia.
Visit PhilLesh.com for the latest updates to Lesh’s schedule.
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