As Charlie Martin notes at the Tatler, sixties icon Owsley Stanley died this weekend in a car crash:
Famous as the producer of street acid in the 60′s, and as audio engineer for the Grateful Dead, Owsley “Bear” Stanley has died in a car crash in Australia.
For those not of a certain age, this will mean little.
Owsley was known (almost universally by his first name) for the potent strain of LSD he concocted:
Lyrics sung by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa reference Stanley and his brushes with the law, underlining his influence.
Stanley produced an estimated pound (half a kilogram) of pure LSD, or roughly 5 million “trips” of normal potency of the hallucinogenic drug, after enrolling in 1963 at the University of California at Berkeley and becoming involved in the drug scene that underpinned the hippie movement, according to the BookRags.com website.
He was an accomplished sound engineer who worked for the psychedelic rock band The Grateful Dead and inspired the band’s dancing bear logo.
Sam Cutler, a firm friend of Stanley since 1970 when Cutler became the band’s tour manager, described him as was “a wonderful man and a great teacher.”
“His death is a grievous loss to his family and the tens of thousands of people from the ’60s on who were influenced by his work with The Grateful Dead,” Cutler said.
Well that’s one way to put it. Syd Barrett, Brian Jones and other acid casualties could not be reached for comment.
(Headline via James Lileks, by way of Bob Terwilliger.)