Saturday, 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 they saw it poured from a closed bottle. The man sprinkled acid everywhere. But of course, on such nights there were always some who made a point of drinking and eating all sorts of stuff, hoping for an Owsley high.

After attending a Fillmore concert that Owsley also attended, although I didn't knowingly take any drugs, I was zonked. I must have 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 along with him. Part of the era was excised from the landscape. The only way we can access Owsley 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.