"Drummers Take Notice" (Peter Simon, 1977)
In the spring of 1977, Peter Simon got a call from Rolling Stone that he'd been selected by the band to photograph them for a forthcoming story. "Garcia in particular liked my fly-on-the-wall style and let me go anywhere, though [tour manager Steve] Parish had some misgivings about me being granted full access given what the band was often getting up to."
Simon embedded with the group for a short stint, joining the entourage for its May 4th show in New York and its May 7th show in Boston.
"Jerry told me he like me the best because I was the most 'left-wing' photographer that he'd ever dealt with. And I said, 'What do you mean? Do you mean that politically?' He said, 'No, just the way you approach things. You're very laid back, you don't order people around and you fit into the woodwork. You have a real peace-and-love attitude and you're not asking us to do things we wouldn't want to do normally anyway.'"
Though the Rolling Stone piece never ran, the images Simon captured from that time have circulated among fans for yaers. (A number of them can be found in the recent box set May 77: Get Shown the Light.)
"Little did I know at the time that this was going to be their best tour historically speaking," says Simon today. "It was just a fun gig and a dream come true for a true Deadhead to be asked to travel around with them."