Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Phil!

Today is the 72nd birthday of my favorite living musician, Phil Lesh.  Phil was the bass player for The Grateful Dead from the 1960's through the 1990's when the band finally stopped touring.  While I wasn't old enough and was too far removed to be given the chance to see The Grateful Dead play live I have been blessed to see Phil numerous times over the years in various forms--The Dead, Phil Lesh and Friends, Furthur.  He is an immense musician.  He plays the bass as if it were a lead guitar, not a background instrument.  He beams with joy while he plays and he seems to play with all he's got. I cannot believe my good fortune to be a part of this musical scene.  The positive, creative, unforgettable community of Deadheads is still very much alive and well and I am very much a part of it. 

It was entirely possible that I'd have never got the privilege to see Phil perform live.  You see, Phil is a liver transplant survivor of almost 15 years.  At every show he plays he makes an announcement of that fact and with incredible humility and gratitude he urges each of the thousands of us to tell our loved ones that if anything should happen to us we want to save the lives of others--to donate our organs--like Cody saved his.  It is always a moving and beautiful speech which rarely fails to bring tears to my eyes.  Frequently it brings tears to Phil's eyes too.

So here is to many, many more years of good health, happiness, and makin' music to Phil.  Happy birthday!

And if you wanted to share in the birthday celebration I would just urge you to make sure that your friends and family know your wishes when it comes to organ donation.  It is an incredible gift.  Cody saved Phil's life and that of seven other people.  That is amazing.  That is what I want when my time is through.  I'd ask you to consider the same if you haven't already.

Here is a link to a free recording of a Phil Lesh and Friend's concert I attended last month if you'd like to give it a listen:  Phil Lesh and Friends Live at 1st Bank Center on 2012-02-17.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!