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Author: Subject: RIP Augustus Owsley "Bear" Stanley

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 02:21 PM
Psychedelic icon Owsley Stanley dies in Australia


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) Owsley "Bear" Stanley, a 1960s counterculture figure who flooded the flower power scene with LSD and was an early benefactor of the Grateful Dead, died in a car crash in his adopted home country of Australia on Sunday, his family said. He was believed to be 76.

The renegade grandson of a former governor of Kentucky, Stanley helped lay the foundation for the psychedelic era by producing more than a million doses of LSD at his labs in San Francisco's Bay Area.

"He made acid so pure and wonderful that people like Jimi Hendrix wrote hit songs about it and others named their band in its honor," former rock 'n' roll tour manager Sam Cutler wrote in his 2008 memoirs "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

Hendrix's song "Purple Haze" was reputedly inspired by a batch of Stanley's product, though the guitarist denied any drug link. The ear-splitting blues-psychedelic combo Blue Cheer took its named from another batch.

Stanley briefly managed the Grateful Dead, and oversaw every aspect of their live sound at a time when little thought was given to amplification in public venues. His tape recordings of Dead concerts were turned into live albums.

The Dead wrote about him in their song "Alice D. Millionaire" after a 1967 arrest prompted a newspaper to describe Stanley as an "LSD millionaire." Steely Dan's 1976 single "Kid Charlemagne" was loosely inspired by Stanley's exploits.

According to a 2007 profile in the San Francisco Chronicle, Stanley started cooking LSD after discovering the recipe in a chemistry journal at the University of California, Berkeley.

The police raided his first lab in 1966, but Stanley successfully sued for the return of his equipment. After a marijuana bust in 1970, he went to prison for two years.

"I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for," he told the Chronicle's Joel Selvin. "What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society. Only my society and the one making the laws are different."

He emigrated to the tropical Australian state of Queensland in the early 1980s, apparently fearful of a new ice age, and sold enamel sculptures on the Internet. He lost one of his vocal cords to cancer.

Stanley was born Augustus Owsley Stanley III in Kentucky, a state governed by his namesake grandfather from 1915 to 1919. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 18 months, studied ballet in Los Angeles, and then enrolled at UC Berkeley. In addition to being an LSD advocate, he adhered to an all-meat diet.

A statement released by Cutler on behalf of Stanley's family said the car crash occurred near his home in far north Queensland. He is survived by his wife Sheila, four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman, editing by Peter Bohan)


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110313/us_nm/us_owsleystanley_1

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 02:44 PM
I believe I remember reading about a pervasive fear that existed whenever a certain gentleman with a particular squirt gun appeared amongst the drummers of the ABB.....

R.I.P.

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 03:24 PM
RIP

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 03:41 PM
R.I.P. Bear

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 03:45 PM

Happy trails bear

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 03:59 PM
15 years ago I had a job in customer service and this gentleman called to talk about his account. We ended up shooting the sht for about 15 minutes. This guy was funny and had a great outlook on life. I told him I was bummed about a girl and he told me, "forget that, half the world's women!" He was right.

RIP "Bear"

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 04:12 PM
Truly a legendary and mysterious figure....

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 04:28 PM
Very sad to read about how he died. To say he was influential to all of us, is a vast understatement. RIP Bear
 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 05:13 PM
quote:
I believe I remember reading about a pervasive fear that existed whenever a certain gentleman with a particular squirt gun appeared amongst the drummers of the ABB.....

R.I.P.
Butch told the story of Bear dosing him at a gig ABB did with the Grateful Dead and he said he tried hard to not get dosed but Bear got him with the squirt gun. Butch said his drums turned into marshmallows and he had to give it up and let someone else play the rest of the gig for him. He dosed Lamar one time and it rendered him useless on stage.

R.I.P. to a real counterculture icon.

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 06:04 PM
RIP

Some thoughts by Phil Lesh on Bear
http://networkedblogs.com/fn2dg

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 06:25 PM
still have Bear's Choice LP from when I was a teenager. Loved that Smokestack Lightnin'!

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 06:26 PM
He made some nice pewter belt buckles in later years.

 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 08:34 PM
He was an American original.
 

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  posted on 3/13/2011 at 09:48 PM
RIP Bear.
Have to thank him for his contributions to the world.
And for being wise enough to record the ABB Fillmore East 2/70 that was released on Grateful Deads records.

 

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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 07:22 AM
I was privileged to meet the man once, and even more privileged to enjoy his handiwork. He was a true master craftsman, both in his artwork and his chemistry.

May the four winds blow you safely home, Bear.

 
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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 08:06 AM
R.I.P. Bear



 

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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 10:41 AM
a sad day
 
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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 11:59 AM
quote:
I was privileged to meet the man once, and even more privileged to enjoy his handiwork. He was a true master craftsman, both in his artwork and his chemistry.

May the four winds blow you safely home, Bear.

 

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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 12:31 PM
While he was notorious as a maker of high-grade LSD, Owsley was also important to the developement of live sound. He bought the Grateful Dead's first PA and started experimenting with the very primitive equipment of the time. He helped pioneer active electronics in basses and guitars, and was instrumental in the founding of Alembic and Meyer Sound, both leaders in sound and instrument technology.

Live music sounds better today because Bear decided back in the day that it could and should be better.

 

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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 04:59 PM
True that, toovakynd. Among other things, the now out of print 2/70 Fillmore East Allman Brothers show was recorded by Owsley, I believe. He was a genius in many ways.

Here are the lyrics to Kid Charlemagne, in honor of the man who crossed the diamond with the pearl and turned the world around

While the music played you worked by candlelight
Those San Francisco nights
You were the best in town
Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl
You turned it on the world
That's when you turned the world around
Did you feel like Jesus
Did you realize
That you were a champion in their eyes
On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene
But yours was kitchen clean
Everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motor home
Every A-Frame had your number on the wall
You must have had it all
You'd go to L.A. on a dare
And you'd go it alone
Could you live forever
Could you see the day
Could you feel your whole world fall apart and fade away

Get along, get along Kid Charlemagne
Get along Kid Charlemagne

Now your patrons have all left you in the red
Your low rent friends are dead
This life can be very strange
All those dayglow freaks who used to paint the face
They've joined the human race
Some things will never change
Son you were mistaken
You are obsolete
Look at all the white men on the street

Get along, get along Kid Charlemagne
Get along Kid Charlemagne

Clean this mess up else we'll all end up in jail
Those test tubes and the scale
Just get them all out of here
Is there gas in the car
Yes, there's gas in the car
I think the people down the hall
Know who you are

Careful what you carry
'Cause the man is wise
You are still an outlaw in their eyes

Get along, get along Kid Charlemagne
Get along Kid Charlemagne

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 05:08 PM
This is sad news... Rest peacefully, Bear. I imagine your dreams will be vivid.

and thanks.

 

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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 11:12 PM
where would we be without Bear?
RIP

 

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  posted on 3/14/2011 at 11:58 PM
I feel tonight's 2nd set may have been a tribute to Owsley. It went deep, way deep, starting with the Spanish Key jam. Dreams was otherworldly, Other One jam, etc... One jam after another, dripping with electric intensity. Bear would have been proud.
 

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  posted on 3/15/2011 at 09:25 AM
I feel tonight's 2nd set may have been a tribute to Owsley. It went deep, way deep, starting with the Spanish Key jam. Dreams was otherworldly, Other One jam, etc... One jam after another, dripping with electric intensity. Bear would have been proud
i felt that way too

 
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