Your opinions on Phil Lesh

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Jherrera, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. Jherrera

    Jherrera Guest

    Sep 25, 2004
    I was just wondering what people thought of Phil Lesh. My opinion is biased considering I'm a deadhead so i was wondering what bassists who are not biased thought of his playing, style, role in the band, etc..
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Great player for sure! I think he is equally important to the Dead as Jerry & Bob. His personnality is in everything I've heard (not a dead head by a long shot... but a fan of the music). He's been mentioned here before, not recently that I recall but there are plenty of Phil fans here

    BTW: I edited your title, say what you mean... being vague gets old

    Oh Yeah.... Welcome to TalkBass!
  3. I love Phil, his style is really cool. But ive been hearing that as of late that alot of Dead heads are startin to get pretty pissed at him and Bob because theyve started touring again since Jerry died.
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Phil was quite masterful all the times I saw him. He had superb control of his instrument and his sound, and I really appreciated the fact that he could get subtle nuances out of his bass "on demand". Plus, last time I saw him he had the hottest lookin' chic hanging out with him on stage, don't know who she was but she was fine Fine FINE! :D
  5. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Now we know why you go to shows... :rolleyes:

    As for Phil's talent, he may have set the standard for the role of bass in an improvising group. Not necessarily the groove meister in terms of playing repeated figures, but completely adept at constantly responding to the players around him.

    Listen to Phil and you get the gist of how exploring chord tones can create so much color, tension, and release in the overall harmonic context.

    Not to mention the um, uhhh, (ahem) chicks.............. :eyebrow:
  6. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    I guess I'm sort of biased, but I love Phil!
    He wrote the book on jamming on bass. He has an uncanny ability to combine melody and groove all at the same time. He's such a great composer too.
    His singing is umm...... ;)

    I have an old Phish show where Phil and Mike do an improvised "bass duel" - simply awesome.
  7. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    The best noodler, of all time.
  8. Jherrera

    Jherrera Guest

    Sep 25, 2004
    People pissed they're touring again? I dunno about them but i saw the dead at Alpine this summer and they raged. I never saw Jerry, im only 16, but I love the grateful dead and I know that the Dead won't ever make up that loss but that doesn't change the fact that the dead played some awesome shows this summer. Glad to see that people in the bass community like Phil. Hes definetly by biggest influence.
  9. I'm not a big fan of the Grateful Dead but I think Phil is way under-rated. He's got his on style. (His solo albums sorta blow.) :( He was lots better before he switched to the 6-string. He could really cook on his old P bass.
  10. The Dead should have "died" when Garcia died. ;)

  11. It mainly critics that show spite towards Phil and Bob for touring again .
  12. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA

    the dead still suck though. :p

    okay - that's harsh - blues for allah and shakedown street kicked.

    But the 98% of the rest.... :spit:
  13. Jherrera

    Jherrera Guest

    Sep 25, 2004
    of course the dead suck if you are listening to their studio stuff. go to and get yourself 02/26/77. Thats the dead.
  14. I have to say I've listened to a lot of stuff and I much prefer Phil's playing BEFORE he got a six string.

    I was reminded of how much I loved his playing, and the genius of the Dead on the whole when I saw "Festival Express" this weekend.

  15. The Dead have my support to keep on touring. The Grateful Dead has ended, but The Dead are alive and well. I've caught a handful of each (Jerry and post-Jerry) and I gotta say, they still have it. Phil is a great bass player. I love GD and have about 300 tapes (my tapeplayer broke :( ); though I wouldn't say he's an influence. Especially now that he uses the 6'ers. I stay far away from those. Let them tour and enjoy it. All the purists need to find another hobby. :bassist:
  16. Phil is a good bassist, but when it comes to the dead, i have to say that im hardcore on bob being the best. Bob has this flow as a guitarist. The way he plays, without using chords every ****in song, he plays mainly licks and fits them into a solid rythmn, its great. He is an influence on my guitar playing more so than any other guitarist.
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA

    definitly an odd one - an unorthodox bass player. As stated, the best noodler of all time, probably because of his classical training (in composing, not playing) and the fact that he has an excellent understanding of music theory. I like him equally on the 4 and 6. I played in a dead cover band and subbed in another, so i really studied his style. What i have always found funny about the "jam bands" that evolved out of the GD scene is that they don't sound like the dead at all. From the standpoint of bass, the typical "jam band" player is more groove oriented by far (not that that's a bad thing at all). It just tickles me when deadheads say "dont they sound just like the dead????", yeah, about as much as the ramones do :rolleyes:

    Phil is in a class by himself. you cant say he's the best player, and you cant say he's the worst. He's unique. I don't play like him that often, but during some improv/jam stuff i pull out aspects of his style which always seem to make the other players double take "how'd ya think of doing THAT??".
  18. I agree. I think that many of the jam bands are going more in the direction of Phish. Just the way the guitars sound and the styles in arranging the songs. Not a bad thing either. As far as Dead and Phish, there is no comparison. Both can groove like a mutha, but have totally unique sounds. Unlike Phish and most other jam bands, the dead have more of that "old-timey" vibe going on IMO. <--Got the "old-timey" line from "O Brother, Where art Though :smug: . At any rate, phil can shake a huge room. :bassist:
  19. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    i'm a huge Phil fan. i actually played in a Dead cover band a few years ago. what amazes me about phil is that he really does play some difficult bass parts in songs, but he makes them sound extremely smooth and easy.
  20. It must have been a San Francisco thing at that time. Take a look at The Charlatans or the Sopwith Camel or It's A Beautiful Day, or the Orkustra- definately going for a "nostalgic" thing there. The strength, to me, of the Grateful Dead is the folk music background. I think Workingman's Dead and American Beauty are incredible albums, I really learned to play guitar to those two records.

    Don't a lot of the odd time signatures in the GD's jam stuff come from Lesh- stuff like the Eleven...

    Bob Weir is one of the all time greatest rhythm guitarists.