One reason photographers loved the Grateful Dead, among so very many others: the “first three songs only” rule for the photo pit took on a whole new meaning at one of this band’s shows.
Garcia and the rest of the Grateful Dead, since the start of the band’s career, allowed fans to bring cameras to shows for opportunities to express their creativity. Jay Blakesberg’s career as a photographer followed the same trajectory as the band, he evolved from a teenage fan to an extensive documentarian of the Dead. “You know, with Garcia, it was about body language — the flourish with the hand coming up in the air or a big smile, lifting his leg just a little bit. There’s a few shots like that in those rare moments that you were able to catch Garcia like that.”
See some of Blakesberg’s photos below and read more about his experiences shooting the band in a joint interview with photographer Jeff Kravitz, who moonlights as the host of his own Facebook Live show “420 Live.”