Phil Lesh’s Cancer Has Grateful Dead Guitarist Canceling Concert Tour Shows In 2015

Phil Lesh’s cancer may be back, but the Grateful Dead guitarist is just grateful that his prognosis is fairly positive. The 75-year-old is expecting to recover quickly from his cancer fight, although he has canceled several tour shows in 2015.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, John Mayer and members of the Grateful Dead — collectively known as Dead and Company — are giving away 10,000 tickets to their “American Express Unstaged” event in New York City, a benefit for the Robin Hood Foundation.

At the time of Phil Lesh’s cancer announcement, the bassist was touring with Chris Robinson, a singer with the Black Crowes. In the 1960s, Lesh was one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead, but after the San Francisco group broke up in the 1990s, Lesh created his own band, called Phil & Friends.

Unfortunately, if you wanted to see a Grateful Dead concert, then your last chance was back in the summer of 2015.

“Grateful Dead reunited for their 50th anniversary. In order to commemorate the anniversary, the surviving band members decided to play a final farewell, which included three shows at the Soldier Field over the Fourth of July weekend. It’s said that there were 71,000 concert goers, which is a record for Soldier Field. Of those fans were famous faces, such as Andy Cohen, Katy Perry, and John Mayer.”

When Lesh made the cancer announcement, he posted it on the Facebook page for Terrapin Crossroads, a restaurant he owns and a venue at which he had scheduled dates.

“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,” Lesh explained. “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.”

According to the American Cancer Society, the treatment for non-aggressive bladder cancer involves surgery followed by observation. Doctors recommend a follow-up appointment every three to six months for several years in order to ensure the bladder cancer’s tumors are not coming back, but in general, Phil Lesh should not have to worry about a brush with death.

“The outlook for people with stage 0a (non-invasive papillary) bladder cancer is excellent. These cancers are nearly always cured with the right treatment. During long-term follow-up care, more superficial cancers are often found in the bladder or elsewhere in the urinary system. Although these new cancers do need to be treated, they rarely are deeply invasive or life threatening.”

Phil also gave a heads up to everyone that “he will need to cancel the October 24th and 25th Phil & Friends shows with Chris Robinson” and he promises to provide ticket refund information soon.

“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.”

This is not the first time that we have heard about Phil Lesh’s cancer battles. Back in 2006, Lesh also was diagnosed with prostate cancer. But based upon the history of bladder cancer it seems doubtful this cancer fight will keep the Grateful Dead guitarist down for long.

[Photo by Daniel Pierce Wright / Getty Images]