After Lesh, who had never publicly supported a presidential candidate, threw his lot in with Obama, he was anxious to do a benefit concert for him. But he was all but done with The Dead, so it was going to feature his other band, Phil and Friends.
"My son Brian said, 'No Daddy, you've got to get The Dead together because it will be so much more meaningful and important,'" the musician chuckled during a recent phone interview.
One benefit performance led to another and then an inaugural ball concert. Next thing they knew, Lesh, guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were back together.
"It came off so well that we thought we owe it to ourselves to play again," Lesh said. "It brings out something in all of us, in our gestalt and our totality, that we can't deliver, we can't find anywhere else."
Phil was all but done with The Dead but did this benefit as the Dead because he thought it important. I think he stills thinks it is important. Do you really think Donald Trump is going to fix this mess or some Tea Party fanatic. Have you read the paper lately. No unions, no medicaid for the poor and disabled, no medicare. Just a few fat cats and lots and lots of poor people with no voice what so ever. We better start making some noise or we are going to be totally screwed.