The Upful LIFE Podcast recently celebrated its 50th episode by welcoming legendary rock photographer Jay Blakesberg for a colorful discussion about his illustrious career behind the lens and his life as a member of the multi-faceted music culture we hold so dear.

Hosted by longtime Live For Live Music correspondent B.GetzThe Upful LIFE Podcast brings the unique perspective of its Philly-bred, Bay Area-based master of ceremonies to the layered web of narratives that makes up the mythology of live music. The long-form interview program has been slowly and steadily evolving for a little over three years while covering a vast array of live music stories, the history behind the scenes, and the numerous tentacles of festival culture.

As Getz explains of the milestone installment of The Upful LIFE Podcast, “Since it was a celebration to get to fifty episodes, I wanted to roll out something special for the occasion. And frankly, there’s nothing closer to my heart than the Grateful Dead, Garcia, and the whole acid/Haight/hippie adventure that comes with it. But it had to be connected, in some way, to what I try to do… Enter Jay Blakesberg, who quite literally paved the way in our little corner of the universe.”

Jay Blakesberg is best known for his iconic work shooting—and following—the Grateful Dead since the late 1970s, and has continued to photograph various offshoots and band developments in the tailwind of Jerry Garcia’s passing in 1995. Blakesberg is a Bay Area institution, a world-renowned photographer/filmmaker/historian all over rock n’ roll culture, stretching out far beyond the ever-sprawling GD universe where he first cut his teeth and made his bones.

Blakesberg’s deep dive with The Upful LIFE Podcast, recorded at the photographer’s home studio in San Francisco, focuses on the legacy, psychedelia, and unfading, inter-generational appeal of the Dead through the lens of Jay’s journey—with myriad compelling stops in between.

Says Getz, “In addition to geeking out about various eras, performances, legends, and lore of the mighty GD, we also discuss our membership in a far-less cool but no less interesting fraternity: incarceration and the drug war. To close out, we touch on music media in the digital age, and the next generation of jam bands that Jay is stoked on.”

Stream Episode 50 of The Upful LIFE Podcast wherever you get your pods now (Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | PodBean).

The Upful LIFE Podcast – Episode 50: Jay Blakesberg

Getz, who first entered the jam-band media picture with JamBase back in 1999, has also published features with Everfest, Fest300, Compose Yourself Mag, and his own blog, Upful LIFE, among others over the past two decades. He views The Upful LIFE Podcast as a way to expand the scope of his reporting on music culture, tugging the threads that make up its fabric.

The Upful LIFE Podcast is committed to telling the tales of the tapes, spinning the stories behind the songs, and road-mapping the journeys of our beloved artists, musicians, producers, promoters, movers, shakers, lovers, and angels, both onstage and off,” Getz says of the show’s mission. “The dialogues I hope to facilitate focus on inspiration, overcoming adversity, human resilience, and the magical interconnectivity of music scenes and festival families across the country and around the world.”

“The podcast is a one-human operation—just me, a microphone and a very special guest,” Getz explains, “and the basic idea is for us to get comfortable and chop it up, less like an interview and more like a conversation, a free exchange of ideas with depth, nuance, levity, and perspective.”

Past guests on The Upful LIFE Podcast have included Steve Gorman (The Black Crowes), Karl Denson (Greyboy Allstars, KDTU, Rolling Stones), Eric Krasno (Soulive, formerly Lettuce) Adam Smirnoff (Lettuce), Adam Deitch (Lettuce, Break Science), Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce, Break Science), Nigel Hall (Lettuce, The Nth Power), Karina Rykman, Jonathan “Jonny G” Grusauskas (lespecial), Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds, Color Red), Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars, Mike Gordon), Mike Dillon, DJ Williams (KDTU), James Casey (TAB), Shira Elias (formerly Turkuaz), Nikki Glaspie and Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power), Chris Harford (Joe Russo, Band of Changes), Random Rab, and many more.

Peruse the first 50 episodes and subscribe to The Upful LIFE podcast to keep up with future installments via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or PodBean. For a taste of the next episode, an unfiltered conversation with Neal Francis, head here.