The late 1960s wouldn’t have been anywhere near as psychedelic without Owsely.
I took a lot of acid in 1968. I had a lot of doors to open and some heavy truths to find. Acid melted away the obstacles and let me find the answers.
Sometimes when I listen to some of my sisters who weren’t able to find themselves until middle age I want to ask if they took acid back then.
Acid was one of those special drugs that frightened a lot of people because it was such a powerful tool for getting at internal truths.
From Jambands.com: http://www.jambands.com/news/2011/03/13/owsley-bear-stanley-dies-in-car-accident
Longtime Grateful Dead confidant Owsley “Bear” Stanley died in a car crash near his home in Australia earlier today. Though his exact age was not known, Stanley was believed to be 75.
Stanley first met the members of the Grateful Dead at an acid test in San Francisco in 1966. He held many roles in the band’s organization over the years, including manager, financier, sound designer and recording engineer. He designed the group’s signature Wall of Sound system and co-designed its iconic lightning bolt/skull logo with artist Bob Thomas. Though Stanley and Thomas originally created the logo in 1969, the insignia first entered the public consciousness when it appeared on the band’s 1973 live album History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1: Bear’s Choice, a tribute to the recently deceased Grateful Dead keyboardist/vocalist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan. The album also popularized another Dead logo inspired by Stanley: the psychedelic dancing bear. The dancing part of the logo’s design is a reference to his brief stint as a professional ballet dancer in the ’50s and members of Stanley’s family coined his Bear part of his nickname when he started growing body hair at a young age.
“The Dead in those days had to play in a lot of festival style shows where the equipment would all wind up at the back of the stage in a muddle,” Stanley explained on his blog. “Since every band used pretty much the same type of gear it all looked alike. We would spend a fair amount of time moving the pieces around so that we could read the name on the boxes. I decided that we needed some sort of marking that we could identify from a distance.”
Born the grandson of a former Kentucky governor, Stanley served 18 months in the United States Air Force before being discharged. He briefly worked as ballet dancer and attended UC Berkeley before turning his attention to the production of LSD. Stanley—who was known for his pure strain of acid—was a chief supplier of Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and members of the Bay Area music community. He is profiled in Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and, according to reports, produced more than a million doses of LSD at his labs.
Continue reading at: http://www.jambands.com/news/2011/03/13/owsley-bear-stanley-dies-in-car-accident