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Published: 2012/07/05

Relix Revisits The Rebirth of Phil Lesh

Given his busy schedule with Furthur, Terrapin Crossroads and various Phil Lesh & Friends lineup, it is hard to remember that Phil Lesh had a near death experience in the late ’90s. When longtime Relix writer J.C. Juanis spoke with Lesh in 1999 the bassist had just recovered from a successful liver transplant a few months earlier and played some of his first Phil & Friends shows with Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell. His mind was firmly planted on the future, too.

“I said something about new material [in a recent interview],” Lesh told Relix, “and now I’m getting heat about playing Grateful Dead material at Phil and Friends. Well, there’s a very big difference between Phil and Friends, which is an ad hoc, one-lineup-at-a-time kind of thing where you rehearse for four days and play three shows, and The Other Ones, which in some people’s minds, is the lineup. But if that’s going to be the lineup, we’re gonna continue as a band with the same people, go on tour and play 30 shows, then we’re gonna need not to just recycle Grateful Dead material, we’re going to need new stuff. And although Bobby and Mickey came up with a couple of new things last year, we need more than that. That’s all. I hope that clarification will assuage a few people out there who are concerned that I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth at the same time.”

With Furthur set to kick off their summer tour this evening, our sister site Relix.com has posted Juanis’ entire 1999 interview online. Please click here to reads the extended feature.

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