Back in July 2006, I read somewhere that Owsley Stanley was still alive and selling jewelry in Australia. I found his website, read a bunch of his essays, and got in touch. I’m not sure what I was hoping for, but he wasn’t very interested in talking to me.
A year later, he did a couple of huge interviews with Rolling Stone (not online [Update: finally online! -ed.]) and the San Francisco Chronicle. Here are some choice bits:
• “By conservative estimates, Bear Research Group made more than 1.25 million doses of LSD between 1965 and 1967, essentially seeding the entire modern psychedelic movement.”
• “As the original sound mixer for the Grateful Dead, he was responsible for fundamental advances in audio technology, things as basic now as monitor speakers that allow vocalists to hear themselves onstage.”
• “Any time the music on the radio starts to sound like rubbish, it’s time to take some LSD,” he says.
Digging through the GLONO archives as we approach our tenth anniversary, I figured we might as well run what we got out of him…
The two-disc, 27-track set includes a number of rarities from shows that featured the Burritos opening for the Grateful Dead on April 4, 5 and 6, 1969 at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. The shows were recorded by the legendary sound engineer/chemist Owsley “Bear” Stanley and are, according to Amoeba, “the highest quality Gram Parsons live material available.” More info.