Jay Blakesberg saw the Grateful Dead for the first time over Labor Day weekend 1977, when he was 15 at New Jersey’s Englishtown Raceway Park. “This was a legendary show on many levels,” Blakesberg says. “Over 100,000 attendees, scorching 100-plus degree heat, and a classic ’77 show for the ages!” It was also the first of four big east coast labor Day weekend shows on the east coast.”
Blakesberg became hooked, photographing the band, many times for Rolling Stone, over the next nearly 30 years. He was at the “Touch of Grey” video shoot, and took personal photos of Garcia at the Grateful Dead’s office, at David Grisman’s house, and more. He compiles his best images in Jerry Garcia: Secret Space of Dreams, a 200-plus page coffee table book, which includes quotes from Garcia’s late bandmates, plus John Mayer, Trey Anastasio, Garcia’s daughter Trixie and more. “Thank you Jay Blakesberg,” Trixie writes in a moving essay, “for sharing these photos of my father.” Here, Blakesberg narrates some of his greatest Garcia images.
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