Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not So Groovy--Acid Genius Owsley is Dead at 76

I remember LSD--I lived through the 1960's. Even if you never actually ingested any, "acid" affected the music you heard, from artists such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and even the Beatles. It also was manifest in poster design and fueled much of the energy of the Haight Ashbury--for better and worse.

It worked its way into the literature of the time, too. Owsley supplied the fuel for Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, featured in Tom Wolfe's 1968 book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. If you're interested in more about drug literature, consult Flashback Books -- they're the experts.

Owsley Stanley was the Colonel Sanders of acid. He somehow got the recipe just right (and kept it to himself). You can read a lot more about him in the March 14, 2011 New York Times obituary.

There's something inglorious about his demise--in a car accident in the Australian bush country--but it's not surprising either.

I'm listening to my copy of the Dead's Anthem of the Sun in his memory right now.

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