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!
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.
PHOTOS BY ANDY MARONEY
Phish once played Santa Rosa in 1993 at the Luther Burbank Center, a venue with a capacity of about 1500. The young band was in their heyday, amazing audiences with their pyrotechnic jams—and having tons of fun doing it, as evidenced by the set list and notes from that night.
Back then, drummer Jon Fishman performed solos on trombone and Electrolux vacuum cleaner, the latter during a Syd Barrett cover song. Between their own fun and funky compositions, the band playfully covered songs by Argent, Led Zeppelin, and even performed two tunes a capella with no microphones, barbershop-quartet style. At one point a member of the audience was brought onstage to tell a joke.
That was the Phish that I knew and loved when I first discovered them, that same year. A band with a great sense of humor, entertaining as hell, made up of talented and fearless musicians. They got the crowd involved by bouncing giant beach balls into the crowd for the “Big Ball Jam,” while guitarist Trey Anastasio and bass player Mike Gordon jumped on mini trampolines in synchronized choreography to the music. There was even a “secret language” between the band and the audience (so, for instance, when the guitarist played a few notes of The Simpsons theme the entire audience would exclaim “D’oh!” in unison).
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.