Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary songwriter and bassist Phil Lesh!
In ’65, Phil Lesh met the iconic Jerry Garcia at a party, and promptly joined his band, the Warlocks. Ironically, Lesh wasn’t too into rock and roll at the time, but he really dug the Warlocks’ music and mentioned to Garcia that he would love to play bass guitar in the band.
Just a few weeks later, Garcia invited Lesh to join the band, and he learned the bass on the fly. They would then change the name of the band to the Grateful Dead.
The Grateful Dead went on to become arguably the greatest jam band of all-time and were known for their grueling touring schedule, their psychedelic live shows (Lesh supervised the quality of each live release), and their devoted fans, the Deadheads. These loyal fans would routinely file into their VW buses or hitchhike across the U.S. to as many shows as possible.
Lesh stayed with the Grateful Dead throughout their whole run, which spanned three decades and ended with the tragic demise of Garcia in ’95. After Garcia’s passing, Lesh reunited with former bandmates Bob Weir and Mickey Hart to form the Other Ones, which eventually became The Dead.
Lesh put out a few solo records, Love Will See You Through, and There and Back Again in the late ‘90s and early ‘2000s and is still “Truckin’” along as he tours with his current band, Phil Lesh and Friends.
Visit Lesh’s website here and let us know what your favorite Phil Lesh project is in the comments below!