Dark Star Orchestra’s Skip Vangelas To Use Phil Lesh ‘Mission Control’ Bass


Dark Star Orchestra bassist Skip Vangelas will use Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh‘s “Mission Control” bass for a pair of DSO shows in Southern California. Vangelas will play “Mission Control” on Friday, February 21 at the House Of Blues San Diego and on Saturday, February 22 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.

Luthier Rick Turner of Alembic built “Mission Control” in 1973 for Lesh. Phil utilized the instrument as part of the Grateful Dead’s famed Wall of Sound in 1974 through 1979. While the bass was gutted of its pickups and they were lost shortly after Lesh stopped playing it 1980, “Mission Control” has been restored to its original glory. “Ahhh, the return of the prodigal bass! ‘Mission Control’ is likely the ultimate four string electric bass as a combination of lutherie and electronics,” Turner said in a press release. “She disappeared decades ago having been frightfully abused, but she lives again! I’m so happy to have been the luthier who built her and to be participating in the restoration to stage ready. I can’t wait to hear her in her full glory with Dark Star Orchestra in San Diego & Los Angeles next week!”

Deadhead and Telefunken Artist Liason Jason Scheuner wound up with “Mission Control.” “We are thrilled to be the new custodian of the most significant bass guitar in Rock n Roll History! The Rick Turner/Alembic/Phil Lesh ‘Mission Control’ bass, aka ‘Osage Orange,’ aka ‘The Omega,'” added Scheuner. “It was important to us that it go to a Deadhead, it has and now can be shared with the world. Dark Star Orchestra was the obvious choice to debut the stage return of this historic instrument, and will be played by DSO bassist Skip Vangelas.” Turner is heading to San Diego to put the final touches on the instrument’s restoration and then Skip will be the first to perform with it in public since the pickups and neck were lost.