I'd always had a call to wander, and that trip to Paris
and my friendship with Milan led to many travels around the world.
I went back to France with the Grateful Dead in 1971; was brought
on their European Tour as French interpreter in 1972; spent
in Nepal in 1974; spent two months visiting Thailand, Malaysia,
Singapore, and Bali in 1978; made several trips to Canada and Mexico
in the '80's and '90's; went back to Paris as often as I could save
up the frequent flyer miles; and visited Hawaii and Oregon in the
early '90's. I loved to travel, and I loved to photograph
the new places I visited. And as I got more confident, it
became easier for me to photograph the people as well.
1974, I moved to Taos, New Mexico, to live with the man who would
become my husband and the father of our son. We returned
to California a few years later, and I went back to working in the
music business, first for The Doobie Brothers, and then for a second
time as a travel agent for the Grateful Dead and other Bay Area
touring bands. Our son was born in 1980; at the time we lived in
a converted school bus in a Sausalito boatyard, and I was managing
a small business importing gold jewelry from Thailand.That was followed
by a year living in the bus at 4,000 ft. in the mountains of Northern
California, a situation perfect for bonding with my infant son,
but just too difficult in many other ways. Eventually, I moved on
to other environments and other relationships.
1991 to early 2003, I lived just south of Portland, Oregon, and
the gorgeous Pacific Northwest lured me into studying the art of
scenic photography, and the photography of flowers. I also shot
some informal black and white portraits.
In the Spring of 2003, I was offered a wonderful opportunity
to work and live at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, and so
I went from the magnificent, lush Pacific Northwest, to the dry
pine forests at 7,000 ft., next to one of the world's greatest sights.
The seven years I spent there were life-changing.
And then, in mid-2009, I got a phone call about licensing
some of my Grateful Dead photos for an exhibition celebrating the
rock music scene in Marin from the sixties through to the present.
This led to my coming full circle. In June of 2010, I returned to
the San Francisco Bay Area and its wonderful music community after
a 20-year absence, to take a job managing the music center in which
the exhibition would live.
Unfortunately, that project was shelved after I'd worked
only a few months and I left again, this time to isolate myself
in New Mexico to write the first draft of my photo memoir. In 2011,
I returned to the Bay Area once again to finish my book and get
Unable to get a deal with a traditional publishing company,
or even secure an agent, I went out on my own and formed my own
publishing company. The first edition of my book "Dancing with
the Dead--A Photographic Memoir: My Good Old Days with the Grateful
Dead and the San Francisco Music Scene 1964-1974" was released
on July 4, 2012 as an e-book.
Within a few months, I received many requests for me
to put it out in print, and August 28, 2013, the print edition was
Again, there were requests for another format - this
time, an audiobook. So I went into a professional recording studio
in Portland, Oregon, and narrated my stories for the audiobook,
which was released in January of 2014.
The publication of my book opened many doors for me;
most notably, requests for me to hold book signings, which I combined
with photo presentations and book readings, occasionally adding
live music to the mix.
This led to appearances at academic conferences and
at university classes. I enjoy all of this tremendously, as it incorporates
my love of travel and exploring, along with the meeting of interesting
people of all kinds.
Wherever I go, I'll continue to document the people
and events of my life, and while I'm currently taking a break from
long-range world travels, I'll always be a gypsy traveler at heart.
- Rosie McGee
© 2002/2003/2010 and onward - Updated December 2015