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Jay Blakesberg

David Bowie by Jay Blakesberg

Jay Blakesberg

Jay Blakesberg

In 1978 when I took my father’s Pentax camera to the Labor Day weekend Grateful Dead concert at Giants Stadium – I had no idea that I was starting my life’s work. When I joined the traveling caravan that followed the Grateful Dead in the early 80’s it was still quite small, just a few hundred people. Some of the friendships I forged then have lasted to this day. 

Sometimes I shot the band, other times just the scene: friends, hotels, campsites, and the venue. Photography allowed me to capture, preserve and bring to light all the wonderful, crazy, fun-loving and spiritual moments that occurred in our little world. The diverse nature of the Dead world let me experiment with my craft and taught me how to capture moments and people. I am forever thankful for that time. It served as a foundation for me to grow as an artist and provided me with a broad photography career outside the Grateful Dead scene. I did not set out to create a Grateful Dead archive, but 25 years and hundreds of rolls of film later: I have a wonderful document of my life and maybe some of yours. 

Jay, his wife and children currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it.