Happy 64th Birthday Phil!
Team Lesh Shows Their Love
Love will see us through .
We asked to hear about what you did in honor of Phil's birthday. And we held a contest for those of you who emailed us your story and a photo of you giving blood or food, or sent in a scan of your organ donor form dated 3/15/04. The people listed below not only did a good deed and honored Phil on his birthday, but they also won a Phil and Friends poster (some are even signed by Phil)! In all, 15 lucky phans won a poster! Also, stay tuned as all people who did something in honor of Phil's birthday and emailed us about it (even if you didn't send a picture) will be emailed a special password to download a soundboard copy of a show from Phil & Friends 2003 Fall Tour! (We'll announce which show soon.)
Dan P. and Noelle M.(above) from West Springfield, MA: Today to celebrate Phil's *~64th~* birthday, Dan-O (Lost Sailor) and I (Daydream) from the Philzone Discussion Board stopped by the American Red Cross at 3500 Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts. Our adventure starts by being greeted at the door by super nice volunteers. They ask us to read some information. We get done reading the info and we ask permission to take pictures. A volunteer retires to the back room and brings out someone else. She looks puzzled by our request and asks us what it's for. We nicely explain that we are entering a contest for the bass player from the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh. She gets a great big grin on her face and says, "Ahhh, I know them well, they are my son's favorite band". Dan and I giggle.We continue on our journey filling out paper work (wouldn't you know our numbers are 63 and *~64~*!!!) getting our vitals checked and finally laying down to give blood. After we are finished I meet Dan at the table to get our sweets and drink. No sooner do I sit down and an older gentleman looks at my purse (the one on my stomach in the photo) and says, "Deadheads, huh!". Dan and I respond yes. I begin to tell them that it's Phil Lesh's birthday and in honor we're here giving blood. The wife says, "Yes, I know ~ and WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP IT'S BEEN!" Dan and I, in stereo, respond "Yes, yes it has". What a day at the blood bank. Being greeted by a person who knows the band, getting Phils' age as our numbers and leaving with ultimately one of the most popular Dead anthems! Thanks again all of you who put forth so much hard work and energy into the Philzone!!! I have met so many amazing people through the spirit of music that the Zone supports so unconditionally. Many of my best friends are products of my addiction there!! Not only have I met lifelong friends, but Dan and I are together because of it!!!
Dan W. from Vancouver, WA: So I wanted to do something special for PhilDay, but it's also the first day of my finals week at portland state. So having worked from 5am-4pm at school.. I was ready to be done.. but I had made an appointment to donate blood at 5pm. The way I figured it is that I would be done donating when 6pm rolled around so I could give my full attention to my silent moment. Shortly after I arrived there, the fire alarm started going off. I didn't take it seriously, but others did and soon enough we were all outside waiting for the fire department to tell us it was a false alarm. By the time I was all registered and tested, I knew that time was running short. My blood ended up being done around 10 til 6pm. A nice kid volunteering gives me some water so I tell her Happy PhilDay.. and my moment of silence is spent in quiet reflection leaving the red cross.
Kevin S.: On March 15, 2004 I began my day as usual going in to my restaurant, which is closed on Mondays, to do some work and check on things. Suddenly, it dawned on me, "Shit! It's Phil's birthday and I promised myself that I'd fullfill an obligation and donate some of that red stuff." So, I called the hospital where my wife works to see if they had a blood bank as I haven't given blood since high school-- 30 years ago. I don't love needles but duty called so I found out where Lifesource is and rang them up to make an appointment. I headed over to the blood suckers and got asked many probing question about my sex life and such. All went fine as I am a devoted husband and father and have never sold sex for drugs or drugs for sex or had sex with anyone taking drugs or taken any drugs while having sex etc. etc. I got hooked up and gave them a good pint of liquid life. I think the vampire that drew my blood was a little baffled when I broke out my digi camera and asked him to snap a pic of me. I'm sure that that was the first time anyone had such a request.
Christopher R. from Amhearst, MA: Got up. Went to work, driving kids around at the local performing arts charter high school. Went to look at Alumni Stadium at UMass (scene of May '79 GD show). Went to eat pastry and drink coffee at Henion Bakery, talked with staff about Phil's liver, Crosby's bust, Neil Young's vegetable oil-burning bus, etc. Went to Red Cross clinic in Springfield, MA. Donated 1 pint O+. Ate cajun food for lunch, then looked at Springfield Civic Center where my mind was toasted in '74. Drove back to work to drive kids around some more. Came home. Ate pasta with family, including a delicious dish cooked by my eldest daughter Leila, who then took picture of my arm and me.
Jeff C. from Oregon House, CA: in honor of Phils birthday, I continued, as I do daily in my job, my goal of achieving optimum air quality in our Sacramento Valley region, thinking globally, acting locally, seeking the big picture of good health for one and all. I find much strength in Phils ideologies and life and look forward to seeing him and the band this summer in Sacto. Attached is a photo from my blood drawn today. The little note Im holding, somewhat fuzzy, reads, Happy Belated B-day, Phil!. My phlebotomist friend took keen interest in Phils success from his transplant and regaled me with her great memories of Dead Cal Expo shows, and meeting Jerry in Hawaii where she grew up.
Dan B. from Watertown, CT: I've been following Phil and his bandmates around for the past 5-6 years and I learned to love and grow ever since then. I see things alot clearer now and I understand that every little bit counts. So today i went to the supermarket and bought some canned goods and went to my local food bank to help the less fortunate. The guy with the bags in my picture - his name is Bob and he runs my local food bank: which has alot of food. I give Phil and everyone my best and cant wait to get on the road again. Beacuse "I'm gonna live the life I love, and Im gonna love the life i live, Im a roadrunner Baby."
Tim F. from Perry Hall, MD: No long story here, but I did want to pass along how I celebrated Phil's birthday since you asked. Before Phil's transplant I was not even aware of the current shortage of organ donors and blood. Nor was it something that really entered my mind. So, with that being said please see attached scan of my Phil organ Donor card. I got that squared away and let my family know of my intentions. I would like to have donated blood also, but I have Lyme disease witch prohibits me from doing so. My fiancée and I also passed along our birthday wishes to Phil on his e-card as well as participated in the moment of silence at 6 to promote peace and healing to the world. Other than that, I probably did as most others. I listened to some studio Phil, some of my favorite live Phil and capped it off with the encore from the '03 Fall Philly tour's encore from the first night. Phil and son on stage together! The proud smiling Poppa was one of the best moments I have ever witnessed live. Priceless. Hope to see more runs at the Tower. Always seem to be great shows there. Anyway, that's it. Just wanted to share what I did in honor of someone who has touched so many in a positive light and continues to do so by spreading the message of peace and understanding.
David W. from Green Bay, WI: Thank you for sponsoring this contest to help raise awareness of the issues that are of such importance to Phil. Truly, Phil's birthday is an occassion to perform acts of charity, which may be a small sacrifice to us, but are potentially life-saving for the recipients of our gifts... Because I value the positive energy Phil has brought to my life, his continuing message of organ and blood donation has become an important cause for me to champion, as well. As a high school theology teacher, I experience numerous opportunities to encourage young people to consider organ and blood donation (and to turn them on to great music!). Last Friday (March 12), our school sponsored a Red Cross blood drive, which I encouraged students to consider as a way to demonstrate compassion for others. The drive was a great success. On Phil's birthday, I reiterated to my classes the importance of organ and blood donation. I feel that especially for those who I have turned on to the music of Phil, this message rings loud and clear. Finally, through the influence of Phil, I decided last fall to get my name on the national registry of bone marrow donors (see attached donor card). I am hoping that I will someday have the opportunity to give this gift and that my sacrifice will serve as an example for the young people I teach to consider doing the same. A truly heartfelt thank you to Phil for so joyously upholding life in a world that can use many more positive models.
Keith W. from Euless, TX: In honor of the bithday's boy wish, I dedicated my energy today in a positive fashion. The day started with a period of prayer & meditation. I spent the entire day working so I knew I wouldnt be able to give blood or hit the food bank so I was going to have to come up with another creative effort to give back to my community. I work in the clinical department at a major pbm. I had the oppurtunity today to impact a number of individuals lives with my medical knowledge. This is what I do everyday but today I did it giving Thanks many times throughout the day for the many blessings I have recieved in my life from my Higher Power. I also worked today giving thanks for the many blessings Phil has given me throughout the years with his wonderful music. This is also special day for me and my wife. This is the anniversary of the day I asked her to marry me. Phil had played an important part in our relationship. This was one of the things that brought us together as a couple. I didnt even realize the day I asked her to marry me that it was Phil's birthday. I only realized it later. How cool is that? I have sent in a copy of my donor card. It was Phil who motivated me to become an organ donor. I realize in the grand scheme of things this wasnt much but I really felt the urge to do something today in honor of the man. Just a little piece from me to you Phil.
Jim K. from Chesapeake, VA: I gave blood today (forgot the camera though - bummer). I also finally filled out an organ donor card though, which is really important to me. I've had a chance to see first-hand how folks have benefitted from the generosity of organ donors. Why bury or burn perfectly good organs that can save a life or two?
David V. from Pacifica, CA: Hello, I'd like to thank you guys for spreading the word about organ transplants and donating blood. Phil actually got me in there the first time to donate blood at one of his signings. It was my birthday and Phil called it his "2nd" birthday, being the anniversary of his receiving a liver transplant on dec. 17th. I know it shouldn't have taken that to get me in, but I must say I'm doing it more regularly since then. This year for his birthday, I managed to sign my donor card that came with my new license a few days ago and also sign up for a future blood donation (since I had already enjoyed a glass of wine when i saw the contest, figured better not chance it!) I know this isn't the most exciting story, but it is one that keeps on giving.
Corky M. from Springfield, MO: Happy Birthday Phil!!!! I am a regular blood donor and have also filled out my organ donor card. The Student Government Association sponsored a blood drive today here at the college I work for as a reference librarian. Right after lunch I took time from work and donated and got the silly Iguana Give Blood t-shirt. My wife and I are getting quite a collection of these blood drive t-shirts that we then tie-dye them.
Pete G. from Santa Cruz, CA: In honor of Phil's 64th birthday, I signed the organ donor card and gave copies of the 4/15/99 and 4/16/99 "Phriends" shows to an old buddy who has just started to get into the Dead scene.
Patrick C. stationed in the Middle East (picture coming): Currently I am a civilian contractor with the US air force in the middle-east. We've been here since 2 weeks after September 11th supporting both Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. We work long hours and get delivered box lunches on the flight line since there is often not time to go to the chow hall for lunch. We noticed that there was often an excess of items left over items and un-eaten box lunches. One of our co-workers had a contacts with a local orphanage and we've begun collecting the non-perishables and donating them the local orphanage. The 15th donation was done in honor of Phil.
Other Random Submissions:
Brian W. from Dunellan, NJ: I have carried an organ donor card for the last 15 years or so, since I was a teenager. I recently updated my donor card and if you look at the witness signature it is by Mr. Lesh himself. I do give blood on a regular basis and gave in late February so I can't give now and get a picture. We are out here doing our part to help others.
Billy S. from Catonsville, MD: while i was not able to give blood or plasma (working 12 hours), i went home and got my bass out and played the lowest note i could make with the PA cranked to get a Vibration going. Then i kicked out my 99 Red rocks videos and went crazy!!! It's hard to believe the man is playing better than ever.
Robert J. from Rockaway Township N.J was unable to donate blood, but donated $25 to Second Harvest.
Matt: Today i donated blood and im going to a nursing home to play cards with the old folks.
Tige L. from Hanover, PA: My family and I will be donating caned goods to our local food bank today.
Jamie C.: I celebrated Phil's birthday by passing the word along to Liver Disease Dr about what Phil is doing with blood and organ donor work. He was surpised to hear about the deadheads doing things like that. I also passed the word along to my family. Dr Jeff Willis is one of the leading organ donors for livers in the state of VA. Yes this is no big deal but for my family it is. We all have a blood disease called hemochromastosis. Which means we have to much iron in our blood. Only 2% of the american public know they have this but it will kill. This diseases promotes heart failure and organ failure as well as many other problems. there is no cure- only giving blood. But the sad thing is- to date the medical public has thrown away blood that we must give. Our blood can't hurt any one but ourselves. Every time our blood is thrown away is a pint that could give life. 2% of th public knows so that means there is another 2% that could be given to people. So today in my own way- I tried to make my family aware that we must be active to get the laws passed to make our blood usable for blood drives. My sister sits on the board for changing the laws but the rest of my family doesn't see how we can make a change. To gether we can make a difference as seen on phil's boards and shows. Happy Birthday Phil- Thanks because of you I know I will have a liver if I my disease takes control.
Todd T. from Reading, PA: Donated a 40 lb bag of cat food to local humane society today. Can't forget about our less fortunate felines.
Robert F. from Brooklyn, NY: After hearing the Phil Lesh story and being personally enriched by Phil's musical talents I took that step and filled out the organ donor card. It certainly would be great to have a talent such as Phil live on but I think it would be cool to give my organs to an ordinary Joe , because I'm sure he is not ordinary to everyone.
Chris R. from Bridgeport, CT: This year on 3-13-04 we had our 2nd annual Help the Kids benefit..Today Im going to donate the $1460 we made from our night.. Im donating it for the 2nd year to Paul Newmans' Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for sick kids... Phil has helped us to give back to our community and help out others....
Greg B from Washington, DC: In honor of Phils birthday, I donated $64 in his name to the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, DC. I would have liked to have taken some food there, but its on the other side of the city and there was no way I could get off work. Ive already signed up to be an organ donor and gotten a few of my friends to do so also.
Doug W. from Glen Alen, VA: Im getting ready to take a box of food over to the Central Virginia Foodbank in honor of Phils b-day. What a great idea. You guys do a lot of good for people with this.
Paul G. from Buffalo Grove, IL: In honor of the great man's birthday, I have made a contribution to the National Hep-C Coalition.
Murph S. from Endicott, NY: I'm sorry I can't give blood on the 15th....but the good news is....I can give on the 23rd @ my work place! I have a running registration and have for the last 11 years.........I am automatically signed up....when I walk in I am treated like a King.....there is no need for that, for I am willing to give what I have been so freely given...the gift of life, the gift of love, and the phellowship of man! My father used to give blood, bless his soul, for a plate of spaghetti and a shot of whiskey....whatever it takes to get a donor, let it be! I have endured many, many surgeries in my life and needed lots of blood...so, as I said, I give back what was given so lovingly to me....anonymously! As I have heard Phil say in his donor rap, which, by the way, is a highlight of my show....."Thank you God....Thank you, You".........God bless all the donors, be it of blood, organs or tissues.....have your way with each day as it's granted to you!.......
jason G. from Amherst, NY: A few of us from the office went and gave blood today on our lunch break.
Johnathan Pipe from Brighton, MA: Just wanted to let TEAM PHIL realize that I signed myself up to be an organ donor today. I am going to have the wife sign up this evening as well. I also plan on donating blood for the first time this year.
Nick J.: I'm a 20 year old college student at uw fox valley in appleton wisconsin. Early this morning for the first time I donated blood platelets, which is like a double dose of red blood cells for a normal blood donation. It wasn't so bad and i am pretty sure that i will do it again in 6 months (which is the time of defferal). This is such a great idea to do for phils birthday.
Joe C. from East brunswick, NJ: In honor of Phil's birthday today, I gave a donation to the St Vincent De Paul good Pantry at our church. I do not have a way to send a picture to you, so I cannot enter the contest, but I would enjoy the soundboard if you can send me the password! Thank you very much!
James B. from Ottawa: While I don't have a photo, I phoned in a $50.00 donation to the Ottawa Food Bank (local food bank for the homeless and less fortunate here in Canada's capital), as I've already signed my donor card and my blood isn't acceptable at the local blood clinic due to health problems.
Bob N. from Parlin, NJ: In honor of Phils birthday I took the 3 fall tour soundboard shows and played them and the donor pleas over the sound system at my place of buisness so I could get as many employees as possible to sign up to give blood at our annual blood drive.
John W. from Raleigh, NC: I had already signed up to give blood today, and when I saw the Flash b-day card and Zoner challenge to donate today, I was very happy that this worked out so well! I gave some of my type o blood this afternoon, and I will try to donate some food this week when I find out where to go (I was also planning on doing this before I saw the challenge from Phil, so there's some real synchronicity going on! I better start predicting setlists or something!)
Kris W. from Avon, CT: n honor of you I chose to give blood, something I have never done before. I believe in your wisdom and guidance and thank you for sharing it.
Lawrence P. from Frorest Hills, NY: In honor of Phil's B'day my wife and I are delivering food this Wed., 3/17/04 to needy families in our neighborhood of Forest Hills, NY. We have a regular route, and we deliver the food bi-weekly for the non-profit organization Tomchai Shabbat. They spend approx. $6000 per week on food, and only function on donations. The families, mainly Russian Jews, open their doors quickly, and seem humble yet grateful.
Jamie H.: I donated blood today in your honor, although I donate blood often, today was in honor of a wonderful man.
John C.: Happy birthday Phil! I am a regular donor and have been ever since you began to spread the word. Today I donated in Reno, NV. The procedure was new to me. They separated my red blood cells and plasma and then replaced me with the plasma and a saline solution. A total trip to me. Plasma and cells have different weights so when spun in the machine they separate. A true work of art in my opinion. Like I need to tell you. I also found out that after waiting for 4 months I can go and donate platelets and only 2 weeks later can do the same procedure as today.
Scott L. from Roeland Park, KS: I think it is wonderful what you have done to help raise awareness for people to donate blood and become organ donors. Having been in a similar situation where my brother needed a kidney transplant, I know how important it is for people to become organ donors. People often do not realize that it is equally important to donate blood. In honor of your birthday my fiancé and I each donated a pint of blood at the Community Blood Center. My family and I have all been organ donors ever since my brother's ordeal. I think it's fantastic how you take a minute out of each show to tell your story and encourage people to become organ donors and to donate blood. I could not agree with you more. You are a true testament that together we can help save lives!!
Steve C. from Henderson, NV: I have had the organ donor checked off on my license for many, many years. I have a dreaded fear of needles but will force myself to give blood at the end of this month in honor of my son's 11th birthday!
Brian S. from baltimore, MD: I donated books to my local Mens Shelter, Womens Shelter, and Library.
Harry D. from Manahawkin N.J: I can't donate blood because I have hepititis C but I did find out that they would accept my body for organ transplants,so I downloaded and printed Phil's donor card and signed it and had my mother and sister sign it as witness's.
Chris M. from Cream Ridge, NJ: I donated canned food and drinks to our local Church's food drive, in honor of Phil Lesh's 64th birthday. Organic tomato sauce, cereal and fruit drinks. Thanks to Phil for all the good he has done throughout his life!
Tom K. from Bradford, Ontario: In honour of Phil's birthday, I booked an appointment to give blood. I am also going to e-mail all my friends and urge them to give blood as well. I will post a message at work informing them of the dates available in our community to give blood. I haven't given blood for many years and plan to make it a regular part of my routine. By the way, to find out about blood donor clinics and to book appointments anywhere in Canada, you just call 1-888-2 DONATE or search for "Canadian Blood Services" on the internet. Thanks for the inspiration!
Tim D.: In honor of Phil's birthday I donated some food and spent the day listening to the smokin' Sept. Warfield shows while wearing one of my favorite Phil t-shirts. After observing a moment of silence, I finished the day by playing Box of Rain on the piano. Although I didn't donate blood I plan on doing so in the near future.
Rob M.: On Phil's B-day I did a number of things to help out my community. I went through all the cans of food I had at my house and donated them. I also went to the blood bank to give my blood to those people out there in need of it. I`m not a registered organ donor, but I`ve let all of my loved ones know my intentions if something were to happen to me. I thank god everyday that Cody made the choice to be an organ donor because it helped save Phil`s life. Ever since then I`ve tried to do my part for those people in need. One day it could be me who needs the help.
Joe S.: Hello! Today I cleaned a publicly owned easmement that borders my grandfathers house and a grumpy neighbors. I decieded to knock right on his door and ask if he'd be interested in helping me clean the lot between the houses. He agreed and a few hours later, not only was the lot clean, I had learned alot about a guy I had prejudged. Win-win for me today! (Already a donor, card even signed by Phil on 11/23/03, a life changing night....)
Alan D.: I gave blood about 2 weeks ago so I was not able to give anymore but I did give some food to a local food bank as well as some clothes to the inter church program. I have been an organ donor for some time already.
Bonnie K.: Monday March 15th 2004 I met with a man, who has worked all of his life raised two kids (almost) and kept the same woman.(I know so what ) Well you see this man had fallen from a roof and hurt himself very badly and well is unable to continue in his job as a roofer, that is not a good thing. This is a man who have never asked for support from the system and well now has hit a point he has to. In meeting this man well he is very proud and on the surface appeared to be very arrogant, not a nice thing to see. While listening to this guy all the corporate crap that we are to be when doing our jobs, you know you can do this but cannot go to far to help because it might be an insurance issue or we could get sued (God I hate the corporate world )? Well listening to this guy his arrogance was not be cause he was arrogant but by listening I found out he could not read or write or do simple math, and no not because he is developmentally delayed but because he has a Learning Disability. So on Phil B-day I went the extra mile and offered to help this man gain the skill necessary to get him on track with him self. This is going to take more work than is expected of me that is for sure. This work will be given on my time and not the corporate clock. I am meeting with this man Monday the 22nd 2004 to start this man on a plan to learn how to read write and learn basic math. In doing this extra for another human being well, I know down the road will be a karma boost. I was just wondering how many of you all out there have met on tour, or in your own communities the guy that is smarter than snot, but don't ask him or her to read or write, oh God, they will freak on you worse than a bad acid trip. How many of us found the Dead because in our own beginnings we found ourselves to be social misfits and not fitting in, but this group (Dead Heads) was to busy having fun to criticize others short comings everyone has something to contribute even if it is only 2 bucks worth of gas to the next venue. Well this guy is like that. Everyone has something to give to make the world a better place and it is not up to the governments, or other outside agencies to aid our neighbor it is ours to get to know them and if asked be able to offer a hand to support them and help them in their life path, no man is an island, we all need some one from time to time. Well as those of us who have been around awhile and you know who you are, those of use who find it a little harder to get up in the morning after a kick ass show well we are not a young as we used to be, and now rather than where ever to sleep is superseded by oh my God I need a bed to crash in and where is the shower. As much as I hate to admit it I have hit that point, parking lots are the coolest but sleeping in one nowadays I pay for it for at least 2 or 3 days after with or with out enhancement, the joys of middle age. Maybe now we can turn our efforts to supporting those who are continuing the dance, only fair, can we maybe look at finding ways to aid and support those we meet along the way and give them the love that we would give to those who come to us with difficulty, even if they are not heads, who know what you will get for any of you who have given of your time in the past to aid some one will understand the payback, usually it ain't money, but far more important stuff like peace and contentment with yourself and in some cases an unconditional feel of universal love, man it is an awesome feeling, far better than drugs. In my CASE I was able to give back to a guy who needs help in learning how to be part of the system again, shame that up to this point he has not learned these skills but he is here now. Rather than asking a what seems to be a thousand people to support him at first I have taken the extra on myself to at least get him started to the point where he feels comfortable with the system and then from that level point him in the way to where to go to get the extra help that I may not be able to do. As no one has asked me for my body parts or such this is away that I can give back to aid others that need it. This to me are considered random acts or true kindness. Instead of giving him a quick fix to the problem (which will be worked on as well under my corporate hat) I am giving my time to this person to help him learn how to phish rather than giving him a phish. Sometimes the greatest rewards are the least exposed to others especially when you can in most cases a good and loyal friend who will succeed on their own and you as their friend can celebrate in their conquests , kind of like watching a child take their first steps. So even if I don't win the prize my prize has already begun as I have met with a really cool person who if a little time is given too will be able to go and life their lives to even a fuller experience than they have been up to this point. Although winning is good the payback from doing a good deed far out weights the winning of a contest.
Every 2 seconds someone needs blood!
Here are some helpful and informational links: