Grateful Dead Bassist Needs Surgery

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has posted a note on a band website (www.dead.net) telling fans he's about to undergo surgery for an unspecified ailment and asking them for their prayers and "healing energy."

"I believe very strongly in the power of prayer and healing energy and I am asking for you continue to put me in your prayers and send me your healing light," posted Lesh last week.

He also asked that people give blood to compensate for the strain on the medical resources over the holiday season.

He said he would be having the surgery very soon, most likely within the next couple of weeks, and promised to keep the readers updated. Lesh said in the note that the band's publicist would not be making any statements on the matter.

Last month New York Magazine, quoting unnamed sources, published an article that said Lesh had liver problems and needed a transplant. The magazine said that Lesh, 58,

was first hospitalized in September after complaining of stomach pain, and that he suffers from the same kind of hepatitis as country singer Naomi Judd.

The report was not confirmed by McNally, who told the San Francisco Chronicle only that Lesh's life was not in any immediate danger. He reiterated at that time that he would not be giving out any details.

Lesh toured with fellow Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart this past summer under the moniker the Other Ones.