Happy Birthday, Phil Lesh

Standard

Today is the birthday of Phil Lesh. He was born in 1940. Don’t know who Phil Lesh is? Well, he’s most famous for being the Grateful Dead’s bassist.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Lesh,

Philip Chapman Lesh  is a musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career.

After the band’s disbanding in 1995, Lesh continued the tradition of Grateful Dead family music with side project Phil Lesh and Friends, which paid homage to the Dead’s music by playing their originals, common covers, and the songs of the members of his band. Phil Lesh & Friends helped keep a legitimate entity for the band’s music to continue.

According to http://www.dead.net/band/phil-lesh,

One of the strongest intellects and most extraordinary musical talents in rock history, Phil Lesh re-defined what the bass could sound like, and in so doing heavily influenced what the Dead sounded like. Instead of being part of the rhythm section, Phil’s bass was a low-end guitar, and his improvised interplay with Garcia and Weir made the Dead the not-quite-rock-band rock band that it was. Raised in an eastern suburb of San Francisco, he began his music studies with classical violin before switching to “cool jazz” big-band trumpet a la Stan Kenton. Later he studied with Luciano Berio and composed avant-garde music in the realm of Stockhausen. In 1965 he attended a Warlocks [the name of the Grateful Dead before they were called “Grateful Dead”] show at a pizza parlor in Menlo Park, and afterwards his friend [Jerry] Garcia informed him that he was the new bass player in the band. Fortunately for future Dead Heads, he said, “Why not”?

In 2005, Phil’s book Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead was published. Here’s a short review I wrote of the book:

I can’t possibly convey how wonderful this book is. Every Deadhead needs to read it.

Phil Lesh is a geek in all the best ways! I have to read this book again with a dictionary on hand so I can learn all the unfamiliar words he uses. And of course, he talks about playing music in terms that I (as a non-musician) simply don’t understand.

But don’t let either of those things deter you. Most of the this book consists of stories about the band, the history of the Grateful Dead and Phil’s place in it.

Did you know that Phil was the last of the original members to join the Grateful Dead? Did you know the first song they played as a band (in a rehearsal) was “I Know You Rider”?

From stories of the Acid Tests in the early 1960s to the loss of Jerry in 1995, this book is essential reading.

 

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a reply