Susana Millman spent a good portion of her life in and around the Grateful Dead scene. The band, their lives on and off the stage, and her camera were intertwined after her first experience as a concert photographer in New York. Now, after all of those years, she will release a 256 page book of her photographs from her years with the band, aptly named Alive With The Dead: or A Fly On The Wall With A Camera.
Susana was nice enough to take some time to talk to us about her book, the tour, and her time spent with one of the most prolific rock bands in history.
Susana Millman first photographed the Grateful Dead in 1985 after securing a photo pass from a friend’s connection at a venue. From that point until the end of the tour in 1995, Susana and her pictures would become a staple in the entire scene.
“A big part of why I took pictures was to communicate how cool this scene was,” told Millman.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer, Millman began to scan her many images of the band to get things into gear. That was when she got the opportunity to see Dead & Company, her “total favorite reincarnation of the post-Jerry band,” she said “and it was like the wheel had turned around and the time had come.”
Susana Millman is not your average band photographer. Her work and involvement with the band forged lifelong friendships and in turn made the band more comfortable around her with the camera.
Jerry Garcia would even walk her down the aisle during her wedding.
While she did take many photographs during Dead concerts, her work reflects a side of the band that not many people get to view – their lives off stage.
“So much of the stuff that these guys did off-stage gives it a lot of added depth,” Millman told of her work.
The band had varying interests off stage, and her work truly reflects a different side of the members who at the time of her work were already noted rock stars.
Millman’s work is a true behind the scenes look at an established band from the perspective of a friend and talented photographer. It serves as a document of her life with the band, and the band’s life with her.
The book features quotes from band members current and past, a foreward written by Mickey Hart, and 256 pages of amazing photography. Perfect for any Deadhead in your lives!
Come join Susana and her husband, longtime Grateful Dead publicist Dennis McNally for a live Q & A before a performance by Philly’s own Box of Rain in Ardmore this Friday, November 11!