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Further Bassist Phil Lesh Expects More Touring, But No More Recording Albums

Phil Lesh
Cory Schwartz, Getty Images
Since the Grateful Dead‘s tenure wound down, bassist Phil Lesh and guitarist Bob Weir have kept their musical partnership going with the band Further. As touring was always the big draw for Grateful Dead, the same can be said for Further, and Lesh takes that assessment a step further.

He tells Billboard that he doesn’t feel the group will ever record any new music. He explains, “Nobody’s mentioned it to me, and certainly it’s not anything I’m interested in doing. What’s the point? Nobody makes money on recordings anymore — at least the likes of us don’t.”

The bassist continued, “The longer I’m in music, the less time I like the idea of freezing music in amber so that it’s the same every time you play it back. I want it to be different every time, so I’m just not into recording, particularly.”

As for reflecting on the past, Lesh says the fact that the Grateful Dead’s self-titled debut album marks its 45th anniversary this year really doesn’t register, but he does have some appreciation for what the recording yielded. He states, “I don’t really look at the past in terms of albums. I’m grateful it lasted as long as it did in its original form, or something close to that, and I’m also grateful for the fact that the music was strong enough to be able to continue using it as repertoire and expand it in kind of unforeseen directions. And I’m certainly grateful for all the Deadheads who have loved the music and supported it all these years. And, of course, there’s a younger generation that’s coming in that’s clearly too young to have ever seen Jerry [Garcia], so there’s something there as well.”

Further recently wrapped their summer touring, but will return for a three-week run in mid-September. 

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