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Grateful Dead: See Career-Spanning Photos From Massive New Book

‘Eyes of the World’ collects portraits, candids and live shots from 1965 through 1995

eyes of the world book grateful dead

See a career-spanning selection of Grateful Dead portraits, candids and live shots, taken from the new book 'Eyes of the World.'

© Rosie McGee

During their initial 30-year career, the Grateful Dead transitioned from Bay Area bar band to one of America’s most beloved and enduring cultural institutions. In addition to countless audio recordings, the group left behind a rich trove of images, shot by some of rock’s greatest photographers. A recently released book, Eyes of the World: Grateful Dead Photography 1965 – 1995 collects more than 200 Dead shots, taken by more than 60 photographers, including Annie Leibovitz, Mark Seliger and the volume’s co-editor, Jay Blakesberg.  

eyes of the world grateful dead photography book

Below are 10 images from the book (some originally shot for Rolling Stone), with commentary from the photographers themselves, who were interviewed by the book’s other co-editor – and former Relix editor-in-chief – Josh Baron. Eyes of the World is available now via Rock Out Books.

Jerry Garcia June 1987 Club Front San Rafael, CA

June 1987 Club Front San Rafael, CA

© Michael O’Neill

Jerry Garcia (Michael O’Neill, 1987)

The cover of Rolling Stone 504, released in July 1987, featured the magazine’s logo wrapped in thorny roses with the headline “The New Dawn of the Grateful Dead.” Michael O’Neill was assigned to shoot the foldout cover, timed to coincide with the six-date Dylan & The Dead stadium tour that summer.

O’Neill was dispatched to California to setup shop at the band’s Front Street headquarters in San Rafael. Then–photo editor Laurie Kratochvil wanted a group portrait along with individual portraits of the band members.

“The guys all thought Dylan was going to be there,” says O’Neill. “It was going to be a portrait with Dylan and the band but Dylan didn’t show up.”

After finishing the group portrait, O’Neill shot each band member individually. “What I love about this portrait is that it felt like Jerry being Jerry,” says O’Neill of the image above. “It’s not like Jerry lit up a joint to smoke with me. It was just a natural part of who he was. He wasn’t trying to be a jokester, prankster or happy dude. He was in the depths of his mind and the joint just went along with that trip. There’s a kind of inquisitiveness, a kind of questioning in the eyes like, ‘What’s going on?'”

While this is O’Neill’s best-selling Grateful Dead image, he handed over nearly 40 contact sheets from the session for Eyes of the World editor Josh Baron to review. The majority of his eight images included in the book have never before been seen. 

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