Iconic 1960s LSD producer dies in car crash
Owsley “Bear” Stanley, a 1960s counterculture icon who worked with The Grateful Dead and was a prolific LSD producer, died in a car crash in Australia, his family said on Monday. He was 76.
Lyrics by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendricks and Frank Zappa reference Stanley’s name and brushes with the law, underlining his influence.
Stanley produced an estimated half a kilogramme of pure LSD, or roughly five-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 for the psychedelic rock band The Grateful Dead.
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”.
‘Our beloved patriarch’
“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.
Stanley was the son of a government attorney and grandson of his namesake, Augustus Owsley Stanley, who was Kentucky governor and a United States senator.
Stanley was driving a car that swerved off a highway and down an embankment before hitting trees near the town of Mareeba in Queensland state on Saturday. His wife was treated for minor injuries from the crash.
A family statement on Monday described Stanley as “our beloved patriarch”.
He is survived by his wife Sheila, four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, the statement said.—Sapa-AP