Monday, March 14, 2011

Super Sad: RIP Owsley "Bear" Stanley

(Owsley pictured above (L) with Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia)

Well bear.... your long strange trip has come to a close....
RIP Owsley "Bear Stanley"

The celebrated counterculture icon who was most known as a major LSD producer in the 1960s died over the weekend in a car crash in Australia. He was 76. 

Stanley was one of the core figures in the drug scene that defined the hippie culture of that era. It is to be said that he produced an estimated one pound of pure LSD - enough for roughly five million trips. 

He stood by his belief that the drug was 'beneficial to society' despite serving two years in prison in the early 1970s. His famous quote to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007 was "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for.... what I did was a community service". 

Besides all this Stanley was a skilled audio technician who worked with The Dead creating their legendary sound system. He also inspired the band's bear logo.... which was a staple on the back of many hippies cars until they figured out it was an easy cop target.

"His death is a grievous loss to his family and the tens of thousands of people from the 60s who were influenced by his work with The Dead" said a long time friend. 

He is survived by his wife, Shiela, four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

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