Entertainment & Arts

Grateful Dead star Phil Lesh has bladder cancer

Phil Lesh Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Lesh said they refunds for the postponed shows would also be available.

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh is being treated for bladder cancer in the US.

The guitarist made the announcement on the website for his restaurant in San Rafael, California.

He said he was diagnosed earlier this month and has been treated at a clinic in Arizona, where he will have surgery to remove his tumours.

The illness means Lesh has had to postpone his 24 and 25 October Phil & Friends shows with Chris Robinson.

The gigs with the former Black Crowes frontman were scheduled to take place at Lesh's restaurant, Terrapin Crossroads.

Lesh, 75, wrote: "I am very fortunate to have the pathology reports show that the tumours are all non-aggressive, and that there is no indication that they have spread."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fans gathered in their thousands to say goodbye to the band during their 50th anniversary tour earlier this year.

He added that the postponed shows would be rescheduled "as soon as we can".

Lesh, one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 but underwent surgery and made a full recovery.

The psychedelic band, which formed in 1965, split 30 years later following the death of frontman Jerry Garcia.

Lesh was with them throughout - and also joined the group's other surviving members for a reunion tour of the US in 2003.

The Grateful Dead performed their final shows in July this year, which also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the band's formation.

The gigs took place at Chicago's Soldier Field, which was also where Garcia's final show took place in 1995.

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