One of the more interesting figures of the ’60s and of Grateful Dead history was Augustus Owsley Stanley III, aka Bear. Journalist/author Robert Greenfield has penned a biography of Bear titled Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III featuring stories from members of the Dead that is due for release on November 15.
Bear was an incredibly reclusive figure, but it’s now been over five years since his death so Greenfield was able to persuade friends and family to talk about him. Stanley is said to be the first private individual to mass produce LSD and his “high octane rocket fuel” helped Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters host the famed Acid Tests. Owsley also turned Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend on to LSD and reportedly sent a shipment of the drug to John Lennon that led to The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour LP and film.
The man known as Bear was one of the Grateful Dead’s first benefactors and helped create the ahead-of-its-time sound system known as the Wall Of Sound. First-hand reflections from Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia are included in the book which comes from the author of Dark Star: An Oral History Of Jerry Garcia. Greenfield also penned Exile on Main St.: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones and collaborated with impresario Bill Graham on Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out.
Head here to pre-order Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III.
[Hat Tip – @LarryGuitarSG]