The Grateful Dead’s bassist Phil Lesh has bladder cancer

Lesh faces surgery, but sounds confident of a full, quick recovery

The Grateful Dead‘s Phil Lesh is suffering from bladder cancer, it has been announced via a Facebook message on the page of his restaurant and venue ‘Terrapin Crossroads’.

The unfortunate bassist also suffered from prostate cancer almost ten years ago, but seems confident of a fairly straightforward recovery from his latest problems, talking about a return in short order.

In the Facebook post, he says:


“I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in early October, and have spent the last few weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale doing tests and eventually surgery to remove the tumors. I am very fortunate to have the pathology reports show that the tumors are all non aggressive, and that there is no indication that they have spread.”

“So thanks to my local doctor Cliff Sewell, and the incredible team at the Mayo Clinic, all is well and I can return to normal activities in two weeks from my surgery. Unfortunately, that means I will have to cancel the PLF shows scheduled for Oct 24/25. We will reschedule these shows as soon as we can, but in the meantime, keep a lookout for a free Grate Room show before I leave for the East Coast shows. I also plan to pop in and jam in the bar before we leave, so I hope to see you there at Terrapin.”


The Grateful Dead performed their final shows back in July, marking the 50th anniversary of the band’s formation. The shows took place at Chicago’s Soldier Field, which was also the location of late frontman Jerry Garcia’s final show back in 1995.

Their final words to their crowd came through drummer Mickey Hart, who said: “The feeling we have here – remember it, take it home and do some good with it. I’ll leave you with this: Please, be kind.”