Coming to you from the Harvey Milk Recording Studio, in San Francisco’s historic Harvey Milk Arts Center, it’s time to get excited, because we did it folks! We have officially made it to our second anniversary of producing the StreetPX podcast and to celebrate our coveted 50th episode, Casper and Jim are sitting down to talk with veteran rock & roll photographer, Jay Blakesberg.

Be warned, this is a full length 2hr Special… So feel free to use that pause button.

Jay Blakesberg, is a local bay area photographer with nearly 40 years in the industry, capturing imagery of such icons as The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Radiohead, REM, The Rolling Stones and many more.

Growing up in New Jersey, Jay leapt into photography early with a gifted Pentax and a home built darkroom, capturing photos of friends and family…

Through his deep passion for music and the camera, Jay’s career was clear from the start. After covering his first concert in the Meadowlands in 1978, Jay went on to work more than 300 assignments for Rolling Stone Magazine, 75 cover photos for BAM Magazine, well over 200 album covers and to date, has published 13 coffee table books.

To say Jay Blakesberg’s life has been a wild ride, would be quite the understatement and best of all, Jay is as articulate as he is talented with a camera.

This show offers a whirlwind of stories, at a breakneck speed. Including his techniques in working from the stage during music festivals, the development of his most well known photo book, Hippie Chick and his experiences in documenting what he calls, the Hippie Circus. His work with Jim Marshal and his one-on-one assignments with some of the most famous rock musicians in history.

Beyond his own photography, we also discuss the changing landscape of the industry, the ins and outs of working with publishing studios and the importance of photographers placing proper value on their work when selling their imagery.

Don’t miss Jay’s brand new book, hitting the shelves next week, “Eyes of the World – Grateful Dead Photography 1965-1995” 61. Featuring photographs by himself, Jim Marshall, Herbie Green, Baron Wolman, Annie Leibovitz, David Gar and many, many more.

Casper, Jay Blakesberg and Jim
Jim, Jay and Casper at the hanging of Dark+Light at HMPC – [Photo by Joe Rosato Jr./NBC Bay Area]

If you are in the Bay area this November, do not miss his “Dark + Light” exhibit at Harvey Milk Photo Center, opening on November 9th. Planned over the course of the last year, this galley will include over 100 metal prints, featuring a retrospective of selected images from 1978 to present.

It’s hard to believe StreetPX is turning 2 years old… It’s even harder to believe the amazing response we’ve had from our growing audience and we cannot thank you all enough for your continued listenership. We can’t wait to see where we go from here.

Until then, it’s time to stop reading and hit that big orange play button above … and then let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Contest Winners from Film Week will be Announce next week! The deadline was last night and we are still culling through the amazing imagery to select our winners. It posed far harder than expected, so we hope you don’t mind waiting a few more days.


Jay Blakesberg Links:
Notable Books
Artists Mentioned:
Show Notes:

This episode brought to you by Glass Key Photo in San Francisco – Get your analog gear, film, repairs and more at 442 Haight Street from now till the end of the month. Starting August 1st, you’ll find them at their new location at 1230 Sutter Street, just off Van Ness Avenue in mid-town San Francisco.