Photographer Jay Blakesberg documents the evolution of the Hippie Chick

Santa Monica hippie chick Brigitte Bard revels in a Phish concert, as seen in Blakesberg’s book Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Santa Monica hippie chick Brigitte Bard revels in a Phish concert, as seen in Blakesberg’s book
Photo by Jay Blakesberg

The live music experience is about more than the band. As many a musician has said on stage, the show really is all about the crowd.

In a brand-new photobook called “Hippie Chick: A Tale of Love, Devotion & Surrender,” celebrated photographer Jay Blakesberg presents the most visually stimulating study to date of the heart and soul of the crowd.

Blakesberg’s 240-page collection includes an introduction by original hippie chick Grace Slick, an afterword by contemporary hippie chick Grace Potter, quotes from some of the book’s subjects and a series of essays by Edith Johnson titled “Love,” “Devotion” and “Surrender.” The essays discuss how these women build community around the music they love and, during shows, find “those moments of bliss where you can recharge your soul,” he said.

The photos in Blakesberg’s book were taken at smaller music festivals (10,0000 to 30,000 people) that tend to focus more on the music experience than fashion and social media — “a little more true to the hippie ethos,” he said.  A lot has changed since Blakesberg first started following the Grateful Dead as a fan photographer in the late 1970s, but many images he shot last year could be scenes from decades past.

— Joe Piasecki

Blakesberg discusses and signs copies of “Hippie Chick: A Tale of Love, Devotion & Surrender” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at Mr. Musichead Gallery, 7511 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Singer-songwriter Luther Russell performs. Books are $40. Visit rockoutbooks.com.

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