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Grateful Dead’s First Decade Captured in New Photo Memoir

Photographer Rosie McGee releases 200-image e-book, ‘Dancing with the Dead’

grateful dead rosie mcgee

Book cover photo © Mary Ann Mayer

Photographer Rosie McGee's new e-book, Dancing With the Dead – A Photographic Memoir, is a revealing look at the Grateful Dead's first decade. McGee's connection with the Dead goes back many years. In 1966, she moved in with bassist Phil Lesh; while their relationship ended a few years later, McGee remained close with the band – serving as "their French interpreter, onstage dancing girl, travel agent and office manager for Alembic, the band's sound and recording team," according to a statement from the author.

Dancing With the Dead chronicles those heady years with more than 200 of McGee's photographs, many of them previously unpublished. Here are 12 of the most striking images – showing Jerry Garcia (whose 70th birthday would have been August 1st, 2012), Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and more.

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1966: Grateful Dead, Troupers Hall, Hollywood

"They rented Troupers Hall in Hollywood, a meeting room and occasional performance space at a club and residence for retired actors. It was small, but it had a stage and a nice wooden dance floor, and the rent for the night was minimal." Chapter 3, Dancing with the Dead – A Photographic Memoir

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1966: Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan, Olompali

"[Olompali] was a beautiful property where we could take long walks; hang out in the sun by the pool or on the porches and front steps; and the band could play anytime they wanted to without bothering any neighbors." – Chapter 3, Dancing with the Dead – A Photographic Memoir

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1966: Manager Danny Rifkin, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, 710 Ashbury

"There were 15 or 20 of us hanging out at 710 on any given day. It was only a couple of blocks to the store but it always took a long time to get there and back, stopping to talk to friends who'd divert you to go have coffee, smoke a joint or just sit on their front steps for an hour or two." – Chapter 3, Dancing with the Dead – A Photographic Memoir

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1966: On the steps at 710

Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia, Dead manager Danny Rifkin, roadie Laird Grant and manager Ron Rakow on the steps at 710 Ashbury, San Francisco.

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1968: Bill Kreutzmann, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

"When weather permitted, we pulled together wonderful free concerts in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park. All it took was a flatbed truck, makeshift electricity, food, wine, friends, sunshine and wonderful bands that hadn't hit the big time yet." – Chapter 4, Dancing with the Dead – A Photographic Memoir

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1969: Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan

This portrait, taken in Pigpen's backyard in Novato, California, is currently on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Grateful Dead exhibition.

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1971: Jerry Garcia, Chateau d’Herouville, France

The Dead were brought to France for an outdoor festival that got rained out, but the band was already on the plane from California. Their lodging was at the 17th-century Chateau d'Herouville, 30 miles outside Paris.

grateful dead rosie mcgee

© Rosie McGee / www.rosiemcgee.com

1971: Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia at the Eiffel Tower, Paris

"We awoke to a perfect blue-sky summer morning and breakfast in the dining hall. What to do? We were less than 40 miles from Paris; we had cars, at least two interpreters and no responsibilities, so most of us split up into the cars and headed for Paris." – Chapter 8, Dancing with the Dead – A Photographic Memoir

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