March 19, 2011

Owsley is dead

This week, Augustus Owsley Stanley died in Australia in a car accident. He was synonymous with the 60s and I'm saddened by his passing.

He was basically the one-man operation that gave us the best acid of the 1960s. Believe me, it was good. The memory of him that sticks with me is this: When we were at the Fillmore East and Owsley was in town, no one would drink anything unless it came from a closed, properly sealed receptacle. You didn't ever put your drink down when Owsley was around, not even for a moment. The man sprinkled acid everywhere. Then again . . . on such nights some of us made a point of drinking and eating any old thing, hoping for an Owsley high.

After attending a Fillmore concert that Owsley also attended, although I didn't knowingly take any drugs, by the end of the night I was zonked. I felt like I'd taken six tabs of acid, making it highly likely that I had ingested something via Owsley's ministrations. After the concert, I walked home to Queens from the theater on the Lower East Side. For non-New Yorkers, this is a very, very long way to walk. I was way too high to take a subway. Seemed sensible at the time and what an interesting walk it was! Go, Owsley!

When he died this week, something else died with him. Part of the era was permanently removed from the landscape. The only way we can access the man now is through memories, photos and writing. Speaking of which, there's an article about him in the NY Times today. Interesting, though the writer is really pushing it with the Jobs comparison. Jobs is so not-Owsley. Still, you can learn a bit about Owsley by reading it.

I'm not sure who to attribute the photo to. There was no link or message where I found it. If anyone objects to my using the photo, please let me know and I'll take it down.


Artichoke Annie said...

Very interesting, why do I not know about Mr. Stanley, he was a neighbor for g-sake.

BTW - I'm not stopping writing, just taking a break from the blog writing, it has become a distraction and a compulsion. I need to get my story written, it is much more important.

I will however continue to read my favorite blogs and comment. Got to go it's time for baseball....

PS I'll try to watch less news, it's hard not to.

writenow said...

I was around rock and roll a lot, and that's where Owsley was. It was easy to run into him.

Good to hear you speak this way about writing. I too will blog less when I'm writing a new book. In between books, as I now am, I can dash off tons of blog posts, but it won't always be this way. See you around!