Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh battling bladder cancer
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh says he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and is being treated in Arizona.
The 75-year-old bassist announced his illness Friday on the Facebook page of his San Rafael restaurant and concert hall, Terrapin Crossroads.
Lesh said he was diagnosed in early October and has been undergoing tests at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. He will eventually have surgery to remove the tumors. He said he’s “very fortunate” to have the pathology reports show the tumors are all non-aggressive and that there is no indication that they have spread.
He canceled Phil Lesh and Friends shows scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25 at the Terrapin Crossroads.
Lesh says he will be able to return to normal activities two weeks after surgery and will reschedule the canceled dates.
Lesh is a founding member of the Grateful Dead, an American jam band that formed in the 1960s. The San Francisco group disbanded in the mid-1990s and Lesh went on to form his own music group Phil & Friends. At the time of his cancer announcement, his band was touring with Chris Robinson, a singer with the Black Crowes.
Lesh apologized for the nixed Phil & Friends shows on October 24 and 25 with Robinson and promised to reschedule the shows “as soon as we can.”
Lesh battled prostate cancer in 2006. He seemed intent on returning to the stage for shows scheduled on the East Coast beginning October 30 in New York.
“Keep a lookout for a free Grate Room show before I leave for the East Coast shows,” Lesh said in the post. “I also plan to pop in and jam in the bar before we leave, so I hope to see you there at Terrapin.”
The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.