Turned on and tuned into the Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia and Bob Minkin

I was turned on to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead in the Fall of 1972 when I was 13 years old. My “gateway” album was Europe '72, packed with evocative tales in songs such as “Jack Straw” and “Cumberland Blues” that filled my mind with adventure and travel. The jam following Truckin’ and the sheer beauty of Jerry’s guitar on Morning Dew made me fall in love with the Grateful Dead.

In June 1973, just after I turned 14, I dropped acid for the first time. Wow, that was something. I found out that LSD and Grateful Dead music go very well together! 

As a creative person, I was mesmerized by the images on their albums and in music publications that had been captured by photographers like Jim Marshall, Herb Green, Chuck Pulin, Dave Patrick and many others. I thought, I want to do that that!

I started attending concerts in 1974 and first saw Jerry play that year with Garcia & Saunders. I wanted a personal keepsake from these experiences and began bringing a camera to shows.

Jerry almost always wore the same black T-shirt onstage and wasn’t prone to flashy moves. Trying to capture unique, iconic shots of him took patience and insight—knowing when he would hit a chord with emphasis, give a sly look over his glasses at a bandmate, or present a satisfied smile. 

On my first trip to San Francisco in 1977 I shot my first really good photos of Jerry. I connected with Relix that year and they began publishing my work. Years later I started working directly with Grateful Dead Productions, designing their music packaging and still work with them to this day supplying photos for their music releases.

We’re all grateful that Jerry’s legacy lives on with the continuing musical adventures of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart, as well as hundreds of other bands who are keeping the love real.

Not Fade Away.

— Bob Minkin

See Grateful Dead photos here.

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment