phil lesh (aka phillip chapman lesh) the greatful dead's bassist is 70 years old today! born march 15, 1940, he joined jerry garcia when the grateful dead were, very briefly, the warlocks in 1965. lesh was with the band for its entire 30 year trip, until the very last concert they played in the summer of 1995.
my favorite lesh song, "box of rain," was a rarity at dead shows - but always worth the wait. lesh penned few songs during his time with the dead, but amazingly, the last show at solider field in chicago featured three of his songs: "box of rain," "childhood's end" and "unbroken chain." the title of lesh's autobiography, "searching for the sound" is a line from "unbroken chain" (and "unbroken chain" is the name of his charitable foundation).
in the years since the dead, phil occasionally reunited with his former band mates - but mainly toured with his band, phil lesh and friends. last year, following a brief dead reunion tour, phil has been touring with bobby weir and their "new" combined group "furthur." after many phil lesh and friend shows over the years, hopefully i'll get to catch "furthur" at coney island this summer!
happy birthday phil!