Augustus Owsley Stanley III of “Owsley” LSD fame passes

– A long time ago in 1968, in coastal Texas, I tried LSD for the first time.  I think it was very likely a “Owsley” tab since it came to me through musicians playing up in Houston.  I’d never tried anything other than alcohol before that.  It was an amazing experience.

UPDATE: Owsley actually died in 2011.  The article quoted here did not mention that so I assumed it was recent news.  Regardless, he and his LSD adventures are, I think, highly interesting.

– dennis

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Self-taught chemist Owsley “Bear” Stanley, a legend of the 1960s psychedelic underground who produced the LSD that fueled Ken Kesey’s “acid tests” and the Grateful Dead’s acid rock, died March 13 after a car accident in Queensland, Australia, where he had lived since the 1980s. He was 76.

Mr. Stanley, the grandson of a Kentucky governor, grew up in the Washington area before he found his calling in Berkeley,­Calif., as an early patron of the Dead and one of the first people to produce mass quantities of acid.

“I just wanted to know the dose and purity of what I took into my own body,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 2007. “Almost before I realized what was happening, the whole affair had gotten completely out of hand. I was riding a magic stallion. A Pegasus. I was not responsible for his wings, but they did carry me to all kinds of places.”

Working at first from a makeshift bathroom laboratory in Berkeley, Mr. Stanley produced at least 1 million doses of LSD between 1965 and 1967.

A stubborn, fast-talking perfectionist, he discarded any batch suspected of impurities and soon gained a reputation for producing reliably pure and powerful LSD. His customers were rock stars, Haight-Ashbury hippies and an ever-widening circle of people who wanted to be part of the hallucinogenic era. It made him a fortune.

– More:  

– Poetry I’ve written under the influence:  

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