Grateful Dead founding member and Terrapin Crossroads owner Phil Lesh announced late last week that he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.
Lesh made the announcement on the Terrapin Crossroads website, stating he was diagnosed early in October and that he has spent the last several weeks being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Fortunately, Lesh indicates that the tumors in his bladder were not aggressive and that recent surgery to remove the cancerous tissue has been so far successful. From the venue’s website, Lesh writes:
I am very fortunate to have the pathology reports show that the tumors are all non aggressive, and that there is no indication that they have spread.
So thanks to my local doctor Cliff Sewell, and the incredible team at the Mayo Clinic, all is well and I can return to normal activities in two weeks from my surgery.
Obviously, this prognosis is encouraging news, though Lesh will have to cancel his two upcoming shows with Chris Robinson, originally scheduled for Oct 24 and 25 at Terrapin Crossroads. More info and the complete statement from Lesh can be found here.
Our thoughts are with Lesh and his family, Get well, Phil!
Remember way back in June and July, when the four remaining core members of the Grateful Dead played five concerts dubbed “Fare Thee Well” that were billed as “the original members’ last-ever performances together,” or something like that? Well, it took all of a month for three of the four to come back together once more for another round, this time under the moniker Dead & Company.
And this time, Bob Weir, Micky Hart and Bill Kreutzmann are bringing along guitarist John Mayer, yea “Your Body is a Wonderland” John Mayer, to round out the crew. Only Phil Leash is sitting out the Company, to continue playing at Terrapin Crossroads as Phil & Friends.
Dead & Company have also already announced their first gig, performing on Halloween at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Not a bad debut, as the venue has been a popular spot for the Dead through the last five decades.Tickets for the concert go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 14.
According to a Billboard article, Weir says, “Those songs weren’t done with us.” Billboard also reports that Mayer has been jamming with “select members” of the Dead and learning Jerry’s parts of the songs since March, meaning this new incarnation has been in the works for awhile now. No telling if the $50 million payday all those “Fare Thee Well” shows generated was involved in the decisions as well, but fans online have already noticed a striking similarity in Dead & Company’s logo to that of another group of innovators.
Furthur, the Grateful Dead offshoot band featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, has announced four nights at Weir’s teeny-tiny Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on Jan. 16, 17, 18 and 19. In keeping with recent Weir/Lesh price points in Marin County, general admission tickets are $150; VIP tickets, including dinner, a “full hour of free beer and wine” and a signed poster, are $300. Think of the four-night stand as a swanky afterglow to the band’s packed three-night run at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium last week.
Here’s the thing: tickets go on sale today… by fax. Yes, you read that right. In order to be entered into the lottery for the chance to buy tickets, hopeful fans need to fill out this page online and then
click “submit form”… uh, print it out, I guess, and fax it to (415) 868-9819.
By fax? This is weird. I mean, is it so there’s an analog trail of ticket requests instead of a more easily hackable digital trail? I’ve always thought it was great that the Dead ran a mailorder lottery for their NYE shows back in the day; honestly, I think it’d be easier for fans to address an envelope and put a stamp on it in the year 2013 than it would be to drag a clunky piece of dead technology out of the closet, dust it off, plug it in and send a fax.
Send your own theories to me by fax at (707) 527-1288.
Phil Lesh’s new venue Terrapin Crossroads has been the buzz of San Rafael since its grand opening last month. Below, click the image to view a slideshow of photos from his guest appearance with Yonder Mountain String Band on Aug. 4, 2012.
Photos by Jamie Soja.