Virtuosic guitarist Eddie Van Halen celebrates another birthday today as he turns a spry 61 years old. The driving force through many lineups of his namesake band Van Halen, Eddie’s signature tone and style has been a constant throughout the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame career. The tapping-mad shredder behind such well-known solos in songs like “Eruption,” “Panama,” “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Hot for Teacher” and their massive No. 1 hit “Jump,” EVH has inspired countless followers to pick up and plug in a six-string to try and elicit the same screaming notes.
Back in 1999 after receiving a successful liver transplant Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh returned to performing with various lineups of his Phil Lesh & Friends ensemble. In advance of a Fall Tour that year with Bob Dylan, Phil & Friends played three shows at the Warfield in San Francisco October 7 – 9. Joining Phil that run was drummer John Molo, keyboardist Rob Barraco, saxophonist Bobby Strickland and guitarist Steve Kimock (Kimock who would soon leave Phil’s employ in the middle of the tour that followed and has yet to perform with Lesh again). Just as with the rest of the year, it seemed nearly any song was fair game when it came to P&F setlists, including a 20+ version of “Jump” that helped ignite the three-night stand.
Give a listen a recording by tapers Jay Reitz and Andy Gustin of Phil leading the group through an exploratory take on one of Eddie Van Halen & Co.’s most recognizable songs. And as if the more than 20 minutes at the start of the set wasn’t enough, stick around for the “Jump” reprise that closes the first set as well.
Setlist (via Philzone)
Set One (1:28): Om Chant (1 min.), Jump (Van Halen-22 min.)> Wheel (15 min.)> Stagger Lee (8 min.)> Dark Star Jam (14 min.)> I Know You Rider (14 min.)> Dark Star (6 min.)> Pride of Cucamonga (6 min.)> Jump (2 min.)
Set Two (1:36): Not Fade Away (19 min.)> Crazy Fingers (17 min.)> Unbroken Chain (10 min.), My Favorite Things ( 15 min.)> Days Between (7 min.)> Unbroken Chain Jam> Other One (8 min.)> GDTRFB (9 min.)> We Bid You Goodnight (2 min.)> Casey Jones (6 min.)
Encore: We Bid You Goodnight (3 min.)
- Phil: Stagger Lee, Pride, Unbroken Chain, Days Between, Other One
- Jeff: Crazy Fingers, Casey Jones
- Phil/Bobby: Jump
- Jeff/Phil/Rob: Rider, Wheel, Dark Star, NFA
- Jeff/Phil/Rob/Bobby: GDTRFB
- The Band: Phil, Kimock, Molo, Jeff Mattson (guitar), Rob Barraco (keys), Bobby Strickland (sax,clar)