In an odd twist, Phil and Jill Lesh showed up on Ratdog.org over this past weekend to invite any person with negative things to say about Phil and Bob Weir’s latest incarnation, Furthur, to "man or woman up and trash us to our faces." They continued making references to frequent message board posters, at one point likening them to cyber bullies.
The post, which began as an invitation to the soon to be launched Furthur.net message board, went in various directions in classic message board style. With comments from fans that ranged from "thank you" to a display of displeasure with former DSO guitarist John Kadlecik to their disdain for the rumored role that Jill Lesh played in the departure of Steve Kimock from The Other Ones and the early Phil Lesh and Friends ensemble. For the most part the latter type of comments and questions were not addressed. Rather, invites for cups of coffee to explain these things were offered. For what it is worth, no public confirmation of any of these invites being seriously extended was offered. Along those lines, there has been no definitive confirmation that it actually was the couple posting. However it does seem that it has been widely accepted amongst the core of the site’s members that the original posters were in fact Jill and Phil Lesh, and no public denial of this has been made by Jill or Phil.The thread was stumbled upon by Honest Tune from a link on a completely unrelated message board.
First reported on by Glide/Hidden Track‘s Scott Bernstein on 12/8, the content on the message board calls multiple things into question. It also served as a welcomed impromptu Q & A session with the Lesh’s in regards to things like setlist preparation, songwriting, etc. Since very little access has been given by Phil and Bob in regards to Furthur, other than a one page piece in Rolling Stone before the band initiated their first round of touring, it also served as one of the first public glimpses that fans have gotten into Further.
Phil is not a stranger to message boards. His drop-ins on the PhilZone site have been infrequent occurences since its inception.
It is definitely not a "time waster" thread, and one that is worth a read. However, one may find himself on either side of the coin once the content is fully digested. While it is always an admirable thing to defend oneself on message boards or in general non-internet life, some of the sentiments only seemed to fan the flames. For example in one post, the screen name "philandjill" posted that they "question leaving home to bring music to you all" after they read "post after post trashing us."
Furthur, who has displayed no sign of taking a break anytime soon, is currently on tour
The full forum thread can be read here