Eyes of the World: Grateful Dead Photography 1965 – 1995 is a fine art, hardcover coffee table photography book that brings together, for the first time, a comprehensive collection of photographs from a wide range of photographers whose work has captured the Grateful Dead at different times throughout their career.
Co-Edited by former Relix editor-in-chief Josh Baron and famed rock photographer Jay Blakesberg, Eyes of the World will be released October 23, 2017 via Rock Out Books.
Shocking as it may seem—particularly given the unparalleled job the band’s shepherds did in documenting its history—until now there has been no definitive visual reference encompassing the 30 year career of the Grateful Dead.
“What we also realized in assessing this book project,” explains Baron, “is that even for those images that fans had seen before, the vast majority had only seen them on a computer screen. Most people—including Jay and I —had never seen the majority of these images printed in large format.”
Over the course of six months of research, Baron and Blakesberg reached out to more than 100 individual photographers (or in some cases, their representatives) to see if they’d be willing to submit their images for review. After much deliberation, countless conversations and 32 versions of the eventual layout, they landed on 220 images captured by 61 photographers across 272 pages that would become Eyes of the World, the book.
Photographers featured in Eyes of the World include such legendary names as Annie Leibovitz, Jim Marshall, David Gahr, Mark Seliger, Herb Greene, William Coupon, Michael O’Neill, Adrian Boot, Michael Putland, Peter Simon, Baron Wolman and, of course, Jay Blakesberg. Included in the collection are iconic images, lesser known photos, and never-seen before seen images – each of them a singular perspective of a poignant moment that together help tell the Grateful Dead’s epic tale through large, bold imagery.
“There were quite a few of us photographers fortunate to have had the opportunity to help document the Grateful Dead,” Blakesberg says. “But no single photographic perspective can tell this band’s full story. For many years, I have thought a book that considered the archives of numerous photographers - Jim Marshall, Herb Greene, myself, and others - would be the ultimate photography book on this band. It was Josh who went above and beyond, seeking out the rare and unseen archives that truly makes this a unique collection. I’m very happy to see this book come to life.”
Each of the images included on the pages of Eyes of the World were originally shot on film. Many of them have been reproduced for the first time via high-resolution scan, allowing them to be viewed anew. Unfettered in presentation, each photograph holds relevance and weight, many of them taking up a full page or more.
As renowned musician and photographer Graham Nash writes in the book’s forward, “It’s obvious that the authors of these photographs were great fans and also that they had a unique perspective. They were ‘trusted.’ Trusted so much that it’s certain that the band were completely comfortable in revealing the many faces of themselves.” Graham continues, “It’s moments like these that photographers live for: the ability to be invisible so that no one knows you’re there. That’s when the good shots happen and that’s when I realize how lucky the band was to have such talented witnesses to their journey.”
As the band’s own Phil Lesh notes, “These photographs really capture the spirit of the Grateful Dead’s 30-year adventure.”
Whether a Grateful Dead veteran who caught them in the heady days of the late-‘60s in San Francisco, or a millennial who made it to Chicago for Fare The Well in 2015, Eyes of the World: Grateful Dead Photography 1965 – 1995 provides fans of all ages and stages the opportunity to see this band in a way they never have before.
About Josh Baron:
Josh Baron joined Relix magazine in 2001 and served as editor-in-chief from 2007 – 2013. Founded in 1974, the magazine had its origins in the parking lots of Grateful Dead concerts as a way to connect tape traders across the country before becoming one of country’s leading independent music magazines. Baron is also the co-author of Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped, which explores the origins of online ticketing and its impact on the modern concert industry. As a ticketing expert, Baron has worked for CrowdSurge and Songkick, among other companies.
About Jay Blakesberg:
Jay Blakesberg is a San Francisco-based photographer and filmmaker who regularly contributes to Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, Relix and many other magazines. He has photographed countless musical artists, including the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews, Phish, moe., Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Neil Young and Carlos Santana, to name just a handful. Blakesberg’s photography has been included in more than 200 CD packages and magazines worldwide. In 2015, Jay was hired to be the exclusive photographer for the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary Fare Thee Well concerts. Read about it HERE. Jay’s most recent book releases are Hippie Chick: A Tale of Love, Devotion & Surrender and Guitars That Jam. To learn more about Jay, please visit: www.blakesberg.com.
For Eyes of the World PDF preview material, approved press photos, and interviews, contact:
Carrie Lombardi | Alexandra Dunne