By Patrick Prince
Jay Blakesberg is a legend amongst many Deadheads. After all, the Grateful Dead hired Blakesberg to be the exclusive photographer for their entire 50th anniversary celebration. The San Francisco-based photographer has also been taking rock ’n’ roll photographs for generations.
Blakesberg’s latest photography book is a fine art, coffee table, hardcover called “Hippie Chick: A Tale of Love, Devotion & Surrender” — released today on Rock Out Books. The book features 445 images of Blakesberg’s on 232 pages in what is described in the press release as “celebrating ”the unique connection between the vibrant community of free-spirited women who are inspired by, and help inspire, live music.”
Grace Slick (a pioneering hippie chick) wrote the Foreword; Grace Potter, the Afterword. Slick writes, “We chose to manifest our dreams rather than follow a pre-set norm. We chose to fly rather than crawl. We chose to experiment rather than walk through someone else’s flat world.”
Potter writes in the Afterword: “We are not just the girls dancing in the front row at the concert. We are not just the wax figurine copies of our rebel ancestors. We are the living, breathing manifestation of every path they blazed, every war they protested, every song they loved…”
Music journalist Edith Johnson created short essays – titled “Love,” “Devotion,” and “Surrender” — to anchor the photographs in “Hippie Chick.” Johnson interviewed over 80 women devoted to the live music scene.
“I have felt for a long time that what I was doing is visual anthropology,” explains Blakesberg. “I truly believe that this is a unique tribe whose story should be told. These women have blazed a powerful trail, from the early 1960s through today, and have forever changed the face of women in pop culture. I hope these photos and words illustrate the positive vibes that this scene continues to generate.”
Jay Blakesberg Hippie Chick Appearance Schedule:
*All events are free to the public and include a presentation and book signing unless otherwise noted.
10/15 Los Angeles, CA, Mr. Musichead Gallery – 8pm
11/6 and 11/7 Port Chester, NY, Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre – 6pm (signing only)
11/8 New York, NY, City Winery (7pm)
11/ 9 Clark, NJ, Barnes and Noble (7:30pm)
11/13 and 11/14 Port Chester, NY, Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre – 6pm (signing only)
11/16 San Rafael, CA, Terrapin Crossroads Book signing and live music featuring the Terrapin Family Band and special guests
Additional appearances to be announced. Visit www.blakesberg.com for up-to-the minute appearance schedule.