Phil Lesh (David Gans, 1984)
"The Greek Theater was a wonderful place to see a show and the band members liked the acoustics of the open-air bowl," says David Gans, photographer, author and host of the long-running weekly radio program The Grateful Dead Hour. "People sitting higher up could see the Golden Gate behind the stage. East Coast friends would marvel at how blasé we were about the show, compared to the much more intense audience vibe in venues such Madison Square Garden."
"I started out as a fan and then became a journalist," says Gans, whose first show was at Winterland in March of 1972. "The Dead were my favorite subject and, over time, I became friendly with various band members. For a few glorious years, I was able to hang out onstage and in other intimate places. I was careful not to bring my camera out at inappropriate times, of course.
"I remember, in one of my early interview with Phil Lesh, he interrupted himself during an answer and said, 'You really have done your homework.' I think they trusted me to put the music first and to help explain what they were doing."