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03/13/2011

Owsley 'Bear' Stanley, 1960s counterculture character, dies at 76

March 13, 2011 |  9:33 pm

Owsley "Bear" Stanley, a 1960s counterculture icon who worked with the Grateful Dead and was a prolific LSD producer, died in a car crash in Australia, his family said Monday. He was 76.

Lyrics by the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa reference Stanley's name.

Stanley produced an estimated pound of pure LSD, or roughly 5 million "trips" of the hallucinogenic substance, after enrolling at UC Berkeley in 1963 and becoming involved in the drug scene that underpinned the San Francisco Bay Area's hippie movement, according to the BookRags.com website.

He was a sound engineer for the Grateful Dead, a pioneering psychedelic rock band.

Sam Cutler, a friend of Stanley since 1970 when Cutler became the band's tour manager, described him as "a wonderful man and a great teacher."

"His death is a grievous loss to his family and the tens of thousands of people from the '60s on who were influenced by his work with the Grateful Dead," Cutler said.

Stanley was driving a car that swerved off a highway and down an embankment before striking trees near the town of Mareeba in Queensland state Saturday. His wife was treated for minor injuries.

A family statement described Stanley as "our beloved patriarch."

-- Associated Press

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