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Happy B-Day Phil


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Phillip Chapman Lesh was born on March 15, 1940 in Berkeley, California.

Phil Lesh's began playing the trumpet when he was fourteen years old, having grown up being exposed to jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Lesh enrolled at UC Berkeley to become a music major, but he and a friend, Tom Constanten, quickly became appalled by the music department's tendency to discourage individual creativity.

Midway through his first semester at Berkeley, Lesh dropped out of college. Lesh enrolled himself in composer, Luciano Berio's class at Mill's College where he was finally given the opportunity to compose his own music. The following summer, Lesh returned to California where he met Garcia and Pigpen in Palo Alto. Once, in Kepler's bookstore, Lesh heard Garcia play banjo and Lesh asked him to play on the radio show that Lesh was an engineer for. Quickly, the two became friends.

One night in 1965, Lesh, Garcia, and Weir all happened to be at the same party in Palo Alto. While in Garcia's car, smoking pot, Lesh mentioned that he was interested in taking up an electric instrument, maybe the bass. Lesh attended the Warlocks next gig and was invited to play bass with them. After playing a few more gigs, the combination of talent became indelible.

M. Schmidt

He made a significant contribution to If I Could Only Remember My Name, David Crosby's 1971 solo debut. In 1975, Lesh completed Seastones, an experimental collaboration with electronics wizard Ned Lagin. Described as "cybernetic bio-music" by a contemporary newsletter, the set used a battery of technological gadgets and computers to create impressionistic patterns of sound. Jerry Garcia, Grace Slick and David Crosby appeared on the project, but their contributions were masked by layers of treated effects. Lesh and Lagin also made live appearances showcasing similar material, but the bassist pursued a more orthodox sideline with Too Loose To Truck, a bar-band specializing in cover versions. Despite these outside activities, Lesh's strongest work has been made within the core of the parent group, none better highlighted than on "Dark Star" from Live Dead.

Encyclopedia of Popular MusicCopyright Muze UK Ltd.

Famed for his three-decade stint as the bassist with the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh was born March 15, 1940 in Berkeley, CA; rooted in jazz and classical performance, he initially explored the violin and trumpet, and while attending Mills College studied avant-garde composition and electronic music under the tutelage of Luciano Berio. In 1965, Lesh joined his friend Jerry Garcia's band the Warlocks, soon rechristened the Grateful Dead. He remained with the group for the remainder of its existence, becoming a fan favorite as much for his distinctive bass playing as for his single-minded devotion to the Dead's music (no long-term side projects) and custodianship of their recorded archives, overseeing the quality of each legitimate live release. After Garcia's 1995 death spelled the end of the Dead as a touring entity, Lesh reunited with bandmates Bob Weir and Mickey Hart in the Other Ones, which headlined the 1998 Further Festival. Later that year he learned he was in need of a liver transplant, successfully undergoing surgery in December. The Sunday before he went under, Deadheads across the globe joined in Five Minutes for Phil, a worldwide prayer circle he later credited as a major factor in his speedy recovery. [Phil and Friends was born in 1998.] Lesh hit the road in 1999 as headliner, issuing his solo debut Love Will See You Through in the autumn.

Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide



[big Grin]

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Today is a Religious Holiday in my world.....................

Come on over, and listen to 03-15-90

I am going to begin the journey there, and end up somewhere in 77 next.

"63 years, upon my head, to have you call me child"


Some AMAZING downloads here

I dare you to get a sbd or two, and try to tell me this is NOT the most improvisational band on our scene, I dare you............

07-07-01 Red Rocks is a good place to start, as is the fourtwenty show.

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