Lesberg had the misfortune of playing in the Cocoanut Grove on the night in 1942 when 492 people lost their lives in a fire. His escape was memorialized by fellow bassist Charles Mingus in an unpublished section of Mingus's autobiography "Beneath the Underdog"; this passage was read by rapper Chuck D. on the Mingus tribute album Weird Nightmare. According to Mingus's telling, Lesberg used his double bass to "make a door" inside the club which aided in his escape.
Lesberg continued to tour in the 1980s and was interviewed for KCEA radio in 1984 following a performance in Menlo Park, California. During the taped interview Jack spoke of the many bands and performers he worked with and expressed his feelings that he felt blessed to be a musician.