Grateful Dead

and the Wall of Sound

Grateful Dead and the Wall of Sound

The Story

Behind the Image

Unique among the many great photos of the Dead, this archival print of the "Grateful Dead and the Wall of Sound" was shot at P.N.E. Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia on May 17th, 1974.

This is the original image of the Wall of Sound  licensed by Grateful Dead Productions. This image has appeared in many books written about the Grateful Dead, including the back cover of the just released "Grateful Dead, The Illustrated Trip" by Dorling Kindersley

It has most recently appeared in a story about the passing of Bear in the New York Times.

The Wall of Sound was comprised of 586 JBL speakers and 54 Electrovoice tweeters powered by 48 MacIntosh 2300 Amps (48 X 600 = 28,800 Watts of continuous (RMS) power.

At the time, the photographer, "Richie" Pechner, was working as a roadie for the Band in the designing, constructing and staging of the Wall of Sound. Taken during the sound check, the extreme clarity of this documentary shot is attributed to the front lighting of the house lights creating a daylight appearance.

Pechner shot the photo with a Nikon F on Kodak Tri-X film (B&W @400ASA). Digital technology has advanced the medium of imaging to allow for larger format reproductions at higher resolutions then ever before possible. The original negative was scanned at Black Cat Studio on an Optronics ColorGetter 3 Pro Drum Scanner at a resolution of 8125 PPI at 1700% enlargement.


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