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(Since then I’ve removed the plastic laminate that covered the pickup holes. Bass & Guitar models. Then he dumped the bridge/tailpiece (it’s brass blocks are on the SF too). What favorite songs appalled your parents. My brother was coming east on business and Rick thought that was OK – him handing it to my brother was the same to him as me flying out and him handing it to me. Online site of the Grateful Dead Archive at University of California, Santa Cruz. (A circuit called an emitter follower was installed in the instrument to lower the pickups from high[ish] impedance to low impedance. Ritter Electronics. The Mockingbird Foundation. Legendary Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has recently begun playing a spruce-topped 5-string DeMars Long Trail Bass Guitar in the acoustic portions of his “Phil Lesh & Friends” shows. HIGH PERFORMANCE HOME AUDIO PRODUCTS He was unable to achieve the position he wanted to be in the university band. Phil Lesh Tickets – Life After the Grateful Dead Fans of the Grateful Dead are very well-acquainted with Phil Lesh, one of the group’s founding members, playing the bass guitar all throughout the band’s career, which spanned 30 years. 32” is medium. With each decade and lineup change, however, the band's rig evolved. I had just gotten my first Guild Starfire, a sunburst ’67 SF-I for $175. I asked, “Who’s your boss?” He said, “Phil Lesh.” And I was thinking “Oh, @#%$. He, after completing his school life, went on to attend San Francisco State University. As I was walking away I threw a question back at him: “Hey! He was crushed when it sounded nothing like Jack. “Oh, probably $1000.” Imagine $1000 then to a 16 year old. I left, my head in the clouds. History Album. But eventually I got a call from Rick. I have one of each. This gorgeous Phil Lesh Alembic Miniature Bass has the finest details and highest quality you will find anywhere! Irwin Guitars Luthier of five custom guitars … A Lesson in the Phil Lesh Style… Several things make it difficult to describe, characterize, or analyze Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s style of playing. Confusing, eh? How many frets do *you* need on your 4-string? If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Started in 1972, completed in mid 1974. A rare Bass solo by Phil Lesh. Phil Lesh; Active: 1965–1995 Instruments: Bass guitar, backing and lead vocals Other projects: Phil Lesh and Friends, The Other Ones, The Dead, Furthur. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. I followed the seats of the hockey rink back around the stage to look at the gear closer up. Well, that’s that.”, RT arrived and couldn’t be nicer and treated me not at all like some kind of geeky long-haired teenager from New Jersey. This is one of the most famous Grateful Dead shows that has yet to receive an official release, but it’s surely only a matter of time. Phil Lesh's began playing the trumpet when he was fourteen years old, having grown up being exposed to jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Dan explained: “Electrical basses come typically in three scale lengths, which is the measurement of the space between the bridge and the “nut”, the point where the fretboard begins. This is an arch-top, built for Phil — it’s sort of a Guild M-85, at least in shape. You can see the neck running through the body. In one’s early life as a musician, one tends to look for signs along the way that you’ve chosen the right path. The top (spruce) and back (maple) are carved. Ritter Pickups. Let’s hear it!”. Phil Lesh joined the band on a second bass guitar from YEM through the end of the show. The first thing he did was remove the pickups (they are both now in my original sunburst SF) so it could come alive acoustically. After the show I went back there again and he invited me back yet again and took me backstage to meet Phil, who was leaning on a limo with two very buzzed teenage girls, all giggling. Lesh provided bass, with Ross James and Grahame Lesh on guitar and vocals. What the heck’s a Versatone? My brother told me that Jack Casady was in the shop when he went to pick it up and said, “I hope you’ll be playing that around here — that’s a seriously karma laden bass.”, But, over the years, I discovered why Phil gave it up. I’ll sound like Jack with a different bass!” (Yes, I was THAT naïve.) Available at dealers. Good ol' Phil. My 2nd thought was “So much for my Starfire…” I’m sure I gave Rick no useful feedback. Plus, while I was waiting for him, everybody there was excited because the first JBL K151 in SF arrived and they mounted it in a cab they have waiting and wanted to hear it. Instruments: Rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals Other projects: RatDog, Kingfish, Bobby and the Midnites, The Other Ones, The Dead, Furthur, Dead & Company. According to Ron Wickersham in Blair Jackson’s book Grateful Dead Gear, this was the first active bass. He got into Berkeley High School for completing his schooling career. Lesh was born in Berkeley, California, on March 15, 1940. It’s a smallish “combo” amp with a very unique design. I was handed the bass, plugged into an Alembic F2-B, a McIntosh 2100 and the K-151 in sealed box and told, “Go man! I’m unfamiliar with that name. News of round-wound strings had yet to make it to San Jose . Welcome to the Jens Ritter Instruments website. For me, there were a couple early indicators of that choice. I asked a bunch of questions, but no RT — he was on his way back from a crafts fair in Bolinas, showing the first Alembic “standard” guitar and bass. The second one came three and half years into it, when I met Phil Lesh. One issue is the improvisatory nature of the Grateful Dead’s music. You can also subscribe without commenting. The initial technical impact Nashville-based Wooten had on the bass guitar—via the first handful of albums by Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, and his stunning 1996 solo debut, A Show of Hands—was simply seismic. A bass guitar made for Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead in the 1970s and many others that we will be featuring on this site as soon as we can get some decent photographs. I was so blown away by the tone, the evenness, roundness and fullness that I didn’t have a moment to feel on the spot. (Would you? The pictures were taken in ’78, when it was intact, and from Larry Robinson’s book, The Art of Inlay, after the modification. Whaddaya gonna do with that Bluesbird Bass hanging up at Alembic?” He calls back: “I can’t use it anymore. I’d seen a Guild M-85 and was thinking, “Maybe I need something else! The encore also featured Warren Haynes on guitar. 30.5 inches is short scale (most Guilds and Gibsons). How much? The next day I hopped the train into the city, looked up Alembic in a phone book and invited myself over. Request a custom instrument. ©2020 Ritter Instruments - 100% made in Germany - Impressum - Terms & conditionsImpressum - Terms & conditions This all resulted in some serious ostracizing for a bit. Ah, I see. All “Olympic? A Phil Lesh stage played Modulus 6-string bass circa 1990 features in a collection of iconic rock 'n' roll gear and memorabilia up for auction this summer. Here's a member-by-member look at the gear used from 1965 to 1995. The modern-styled bass will be added to the museum’s extensive instrument collection, which also includes Prince’s and Eddie Van Halen’s guitars. (Bear = Owsley; he had a vision for a team of people who would push the art of instrument and sound system building forward, and Rick was the missing piece). Think “Crown of Creation” and “Sunrise”. This is from disc 2 of Dick's Picks vol.34. Replies to my comments Finishes & Inlays. Come September, I was back in NJ and the Dead played Philly. Cold Rain and Snow and Viola Lee Blues were both Phish debuts. In ’88 when Rick was running the Gibson showroom in N. Hollywood, I handed it to him and said “Rick – make this thing be what we know it can be, please.” And in ’90 he calls me and leaves a message “Well, 21 years I’ve been working on this thing but it finally works!”. I’ll give it you!”. Phil Lesh Alembic Miniature Bass Details: Condition: Brand New Item SKU: SS-AXE-PL-408 Future Zone. In ’71 the bass player (Spike Daley, now living in Grass valley, CA) in my first all-original band wanted to sound more like Jack Casady (Spike liked Jack, Phil Lesh, John Entwistle, and Rick Danko—good taste), so bought himself a bass just like Jack’s—the Guild Starfire. All my short scale basses went into retirement until the 90s). In the late 1970s Phil Lesh briefly played a handmade Doug Irwin bass on tour with the Grateful Dead. 40 watts per side, BUT: it doesn’t seem like it. Phillip Chapman Lesh (born March 15, 1940 in Berkeley, California) is a musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career. He was excited that there was bass player in the shop (3&1/2 years already – I’m reeeaaaalllll good!). Phil Lesh's Modulus bass guitar. TalkBass utilizes technology from Skimlinks that may give us a small affiliate commission on purchases made via links on our site. Today we celebrate the birthday of one of rock's most enduring bassists: Phil Lesh, who's been playing bass for The Grateful Dead as long as they've been The Grateful Dead. The Phil Lesh Eye of Horus is a 6-String Jupiter with a custom String Spacing and the Ritter Quattrobucker pickup. He said to come back between sets. Then, after the amp, the signals recombined into a single speaker output. © 2020 PS Audio - Boulder, Colorado, USA, How Records are Made, Part 3: Quality Control, The Adventures of Jeff Beck: First Movement. He brought me onto the stage (the first time I had ever looked out at a waiting crowd of 20,000 people), and we searched around in different cases looking for Phil’s Starfire, but no luck (we did find Garcia’s and Weir’s guitars though.) They’re rare, but findable. Lesh commissioned an inlay on his fretless bass, and introduced him to Bear and Ron Wickersham — and so Alembic was born. He recognized me and asked, “Did you ever get your bass?” I told him I was working on it and asked to come up there. Here are is some information about that iconic bass. A nice guy named Sparky Razine tells me it belonged to his boss and he believed it was for sale. Dan Schwartz is a parent, sort of a husband, and has been a musician of some years, having played on quite a few records - and even a few good ones. Events. I used to think this was Bear’s idea (hence it appearing in the Guild Guitars book as a fact) but Mark Dronge tells me it was his idea, discussed in a limo ride from NYC to NJ w/Phil, Jerry Garcia, and Bob Weir. She was the girlfriend of Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, and introduced the two of them — Rick had done an inlay on a bass for Jesse Colin Young, so she thought they’d have something to talk about. 2 Available instruments. Phil eventually discovered that he couldn’t use the bass, for some reason — maybe he didn’t relate to fretless -– I don’t really know. It’s ready. If it’s for the Dead, ya gotta have a skull, right? Contact. He had a bass he wanted people to play and give him feedback on. First I come back from SF, the first of us ever to go this mecca, yammering about Alembic to every musician I know. Anyone know what this bass was? Don't subscribe —Bewildered Editor Leebs. Lesh enrolled at UC Berkeley to become a music major, but he and a friend, Tom Constanten, quickly became appalled by the music department's tendency to discourage individual creativity. Philip Lesh (born Philip Chapman, March 15, 1940) is an American musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career.. Below is a recent realized price for a Phil Lesh Grateful Dead played signed bass guitar. Alembic Custom Bass Guitar called “Osiris” aka “Mission Control” aka “Osage Orange” aka “The Omega”, built by Rick Turner for Phil Lesh not just for, but as part of the Grateful Dead’s legendary Wall of Sound. [ I had no idea what “short scale” meant. Professionally, he keeps trying to leave music, but it keeps coming to get him. But you’ve probably got to find a Versatone and develop the same way of hitting the strings. The original line-up of Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), Bill Kreutzmann (drums), and Ron McKernan (keys) was still finding its stride. I went to visit my oldest brother in Palo Alto from New Jersey and saw a Guitar Player magazine with an article listed on the cover, “The Dead’s Gear”, and had in the last year gotten into them. I was told to wait for him — he knew all. The neck is a 3-piece running straight through the body, not touching the top or back until the butt of the instrument, where the bridge is sunk into it. I asked about it to anyone there. I was ecstatic but also somehow disappointed — I didn’t sound like Jack. He started his music career as a violinist. Where the pickups used to be. I just laughed and left the arena. Goin' to see him and Willie Nelson on Labor Day weekend. Much of the history and photos of these historic one of a kind guitars was lost if a fire a The Art Farm. In 1968, there were 3 custom instruments made by Guild for the Grateful Dead. Hah! ), So I walked up, introduced myself and start throwing all kinds of questions about active electronics at him: What does he think of this idea or that idea? The first was my encounter with Jack Casady, when I hadn’t even been playing for a year. The Journal of Music and Audio is a free online magazine delivered every other week. He, in his high school, switched to trumpet and participated in all the music competitions that were held at his school. Shortly after his arrival in SF, he met the Youngbloods secretary (who went by the name of Rosie McGee). He's recorded or played with Rosanne Cash, Bob Dylan, Jon Hassell, Brian Eno, Bernie Leadon, Dave Navarro, Linda Perry, Sheryl Crow, Stan Ridgeway, and was a member of the Tuesday Night Music Club. It was gorgeous yes, but not really happy as it was. Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boogiebass, May 29, 2002. Speaker cabinets w/tie-dyed grille cloths were sitting all over the place, instruments of all sorts were hanging up. Eventually I got around to asking Rick about the M-85 and he told me that Phil wanted to sell it when Rick put some kind of wiring back in it. 4 months later I get a letter from Rick telling me that he talked to Phil and yes, it’s mine, but Phil wants me to come get it, rather than it being shipped to me. Ha, I have to laugh! They were available, 50 years ago, in 2 models, one 12”, and one 12” + one 8” (both speakers though were wired to that single amp output). Even the songs with a fairly […] Phil Lesh was born in the city of Berkeley in California. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register. Although the long Rickenbackers, like my antique 4000, are 33”.”––Ed.]. It’s Memorial Day weekend and I was on a canoeing trip up the Delaware — but when I got back Sunday night, there it was: beautiful, and mine. As was so often the case, the centerpiece of this show was the big jam in the second set, which kicked off with a beautiful “Dark Star”. Thank you for your support! Omakase. Supporting Members list unlimited gear with no listing fees in the Classifieds, get instant Keyword Alerts, and get Free Shipping at the TalkBass Store. It sat at Alembic on Brady St. til ’73 being used as a test bed for different electronic ideas. This also shows the mother of pearl lines. Judge the sound for yourself: it’s half of the Tuesday Night Music Club album (most audible on “We Do What We Can”), and I also use it on Rosanna Cash’s “I Was Watching You”. So far, so normal, but after around 15 minutes, the band backed off to create an on-the-spot opportunity for Lesh to deliver one of the most gloriously unkempt bass solos in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. My friends were waiting for me outside and it suddenly hit me and I told them, “I think Phil Lesh just gave me a bass…” The next day I send a letter to the Dead Heads PO box and one to RT telling him what happened, admitted I’m embarrassed to bring it up but maybe he meant it and I’d be dumb not to look into it. I'm guessing this pic was taken circa 1994-95 or so. But did I let that stop me? Team. I read the article – an interview with Rick Turner, all about Alembic. Serial Number 74 00008. Songs are never played exactly the same way twice. They can have it. I have a shirt with Phil on the front playing a headless bass that looks like a Status Energy. Phil Lesh with The Grateful Dead live in 1974 with Custom Alembic. Gold Supporters see zero ads! What?” Then I tell a few close friends that winter about the letter from RT, and all of South Jersey having recently converted to Deadheads (they hadn’t played our area from 68-72), it spread like wildfire and most people thought I was lying. This probably only lasted a couple minutes – he had some serious @#%$ going on and I knew better than to wear out my welcome. Bass Amps Bass Guitars Vintage Guitars Grateful Dead Cool Guitar Good Ol Percussion Instrumental Music Stuff. Photos with real Mission Control Bass by Jason Scheuner. Nice people. ), Anyhoo – it’s July 1973; I’m 16. In ’71 the bass player (Spike Daley, now living in Grass valley, CA) in my first all-original band wanted to sound more like Jack Casady (Spike liked Jack, Phil Lesh, John Entwistle, and Rick Danko—good taste), so bought himself a bass just like Jack’s—the Guild Starfire. In the late 1970s Lesh briefly played a Fender Jazz and a handmade Doug Irwin bass (Irwin had built Jerry Garcia’s iconic Tyger and Wolf guitars amongst others). What follows is the tale of meeting Phil, adapted from something I wrote up for a web site in 2007: Rick Turner was a musician from the Boston area, who started on the road to luthiery there, and continued both when he moved to NYC. I saw Sparky and called hello. 34” is long scale, which most Fenders are. Phil Lesh Alembic Miniature Bass is truly remarkable. Box Of Rain *With Karl Denson On Flute Phil Lesh - Bass And Vocals Grahame Lesh - Guitar And Vocals Ross James - Guitar And Vocals Jason Crosby - Keyboards And Vocals Scott Law - Guitar And Vocals Eliot Peck - Vocals Alex Koford - Drums And Vocals Topics: Audience, Tony Suraci Source: AKG 568B>V2>SD 722 @24/48 Location: OTS, at SBD. It sounds much better this way — two big sound holes.). You can have it if you want it!” I called “For free?” He says “Yeah! I was in love/lust, my jaw hanging. Phil Lesh’s “Eye of Horus” bass, built by Jens Ritter, has been acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He devised a new tailpiece/bridge with his own piezo pickups as the saddles and came up with a new string, a giant classical guitar string, non-magnetic, with a nylon core and bronze winding. Garcia’s gorgeous re-entry three minutes later came in … For educational purposes only. The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.. And since we’re entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! The very first instrument visible was a blond M-85 with insane inlay and no strings. I tried but stupidly went across the floor and never got there (although once I break free from the floor I go running up the arms of the chairs, slipped and cracked my sternum). Jack used a single speaker Versatone for low-wattage gigs (the first Hot Tuna album) and to get that incredible distortion in higher power settings. It is Phil Lesh — a jazz player turned avant-garde composer turned rock and roll bassist who provides the powerful but melodic bass lines that help give the Dead's music its exotic, but easily recognizable, flavor. Those are mother of pearl lines, not frets. But it was my fretless and I used it like that for many years — and loved it (in hindsight I think it was hampered by the lack of decent short scale strings that we suffered through in the 70s and 80s. Yes, we know that real Deadheads already know everything there is to know about Lesh's life and times, but hopefully we've come up with five things that will at least surprise some of you. In his spare time, he used to write for Harry and Sallie at the absolute sound and the Perfect Vision. Alex Koford played additional acoustic guitar, Jason Crosby handled … Great articles of music and audio without ads. The Band opened Last performance as the Grateful Dead Jerry had a heart attack at the Betty Ford Center and died on August 9, 1995 Jerry Garcia - Guitar Bob Weir - Guitar Vince Welnick - Keyboards Phil Lesh - Bass Bill Kreutzmann - Drums Mickey Hart - Drums Spike played through a Sunn 100w head and dual JBL D140 cab. ... Phil Lesh. Phil contacted Dan after reading the feature about the DG instruments in the May 2008 issue of The Robb Report and seeing the instruments in the music media like Bass Player magazine. We at Nate D. Sanders Auctions can obtain up to these amounts or more for you: Ritter 3D Bridge. For Sale: Bass Guitar Strings and Accessories, The TB Bazaar: Gear For Sale from our Sponsors, For Sale: Double Bass Amps, Strings & Accessories, Wanted: Bass Guitars, Amps, and Accessories, Wanted: Double Basses, Amps & Accessories, (You must log in or sign up to reply here.). It’s a mono preamp with 4 controls : volume, bass, treble, and pan-o-flex – a control that varies the amount of send to each side of the power amp, and each side of which filters out highs or lows. Experience on our site a smallish “ combo ” amp with a very unique design the –. Plastic laminate that covered the pickup holes. ) a Status Energy time. Anyhoo – it ’ s July 1973 ; I ’ m 16 gotten my Guild. M-85, at least in shape that naïve. ) early indicators of that choice on tour with Grateful. With Rick Turner, all about Alembic around the stage to look at the gear closer up round-wound strings yet. 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