my dear uncle Merl Saunders

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Posted by John Murray on 03/27/02 - 01:15:47
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*** Legendary San Francisco Music Man Merl Saunders Puts Touring on Hold to
Undergo Treatment for Cancer ***

San Francisco --
Merl Saunders, 68, has been diagnosed with cancer and forced to cancel his busy touring schedule through June while he receives treatment in San Francisco. Saunders is scheduled to undergo surgery in early April for a tumor found in the back of his sinus cavity during a routine checkup

"I had a very similar condition several years ago and underwent successful treatment." Said Saunders, "I don't want anyone to worry. My old pal Muhammad Ali taught me that when you get thrown a punch the best thing you can do is keep fighting and nothing will keep me from the stage and my music.
In fact, I'm going to use this time to finish a recording project that I'm excited about. I'm also going to go into the vault and listen to recordings of some of my old friends like Jerry Garcia to share with the fans."

Saunders began his illustrious career in San Francisco when he started his high school pal Johnny Mathis' first band. Saunders is best known today for his significant musical contributions with the late Jerry Garcia. His long collaboration with Garcia began when they first toured together in 1971 and continued with recordings and live performances with Jerry and the Grateful Dead. In addition to his collaboration with Garcia, Saunders has recorded
and performed with music legends Bonnie Raitt, Harry Belafonte, Lionel Hampton and Miles Davis. Saunders was recently recognized with the release
and subsequent publicity surrounding the hit movie "Ali" for his year long work as music director for Muhammad Ali in the champ's Broadway musical "Big Time Buck White." Saunders' most recognized soundtrack was the haunting theme he created with the Grateful Dead for the hit television series "Twilight Zone," as well as the soundtracks he created for "Fritz the Cat," "Nash Bridges" "Tales from the Crypt" and the long running television series "Simon & Simon."

Fans can send Saunders get well wishes and track his progress via his web site at As Merl always says, "Keep On Keepin' On."

posted by John Murray a proud member of Merl's
road crew since 1974 [at the tender age of 15!]

MS pulled me out of his quip'ment truck 2 weeks ago
[much to the dismay of the other waiting crew guys]
and confided in me his fears regarding his
re-occurance of his then private, medical problem.
lets send our Uncle Merl some good vibes..please
pray, chant, smoke, e-mail, whatever works 4 you.
thanks so much,

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