Grateful Dead's Lesh Plans 60th Birthday Gig

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh plans to celebrate his 60th birthday on Friday, March 10 with a live performance at the Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium in Oakland, California that will feature a lineup so hush-hush, even insiders at Bill Graham Management claim to know nothing.

Manager and wife Jill Lesh will reveal only that Phil has been playing with a lot of exciting musicians lately in preparation for upcoming spring and summer tours and that "old and new friends" can be expected to show for the birthday bash.

She also emphasizes that the event is a benefit for the fight against Hepatitis C, with proceeds going to education and research. All musicians and much of the crew have agreed to volunteer their time and talents; even management has agreed to donate their 15 percent to the cause.

"Some very special friends," as the guests have been billed, may or may not include past collaborators such as Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and keyboardist Page McConnell,

or drummer John Molo of Bruce Hornsby's Range and a regular with the post-Garcia unit The Other Ones. It may even be possible that members of the Dead themselves -- Mickey Hart or Bob Weir --plan to show up and jam.

One name you won't find on the bill, however, is ex-Allman and former Phil friend Warren Haynes, whose band Gov't Mule is scheduled that night at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Tickets for the big surprise show are on sale now and available at all BASS Ticket Centers including Tower Records and The Warehouse. To charge tickets by phone, call 415-478-BASS or 762-BASS in the area codes 408, 510, and 925 (please note that these are not toll-free calls). To charge tickets online, log onto www.basstickets.com.