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The definitive biography of the reclusive and mysterious Grateful Dead benefactor and renowned LSD chemist without whom the counterculture would never have been born.

Augustus Owsley Stanley III, better known by his nickname, Bear, was one of the most iconic figures in the cultural revolution that changed both America and the world during the 1960s.

Owsley's high-octane rocket fuel enabled Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to put on the Acid Tests. It also powered much of what happened on stage at Monterey Pop. Owsley turned on Pete Townshend of The Who and Jimi Hendrix. The shipment of LSD that Owsley sent John Lennon resulted in The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album and film.

Convinced that the Grateful Dead were destined to become the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band, Owsley provided the money that kept them going during their early days. As their longtime soundman, he then faithfully recorded many of the Dead's greatest live performances and designed the massive space-age system that came to be known as the Wall of Sound.

Award-winning author and biographer Robert Greenfield’s definitive biography of this Grateful Dead legend masterfully takes us through Owsley's incredible life and times to bring us a full picture of this fascinating man for the first time.

About the Author

A former associate editor at Rolling Stone magazine, Robert Greenfield is the critically acclaimed author of several classic rock books including the NYT bestselling Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia and biographies of Timothy Leary and Ahmet Ertegun. He is the co-author of Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out which won the ASCAP Foundation’s Deems Taylor Award. An award winning novelist, playwright and screenwriter, his short fiction has appeared in various magazines.

Product Details

  • With black-and-white photographs throughout
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
  • Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians

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