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KEN KESEY’S SON IS PLANNING A SEQUEL TO HIS DAD’S LEGENDARY,ACID FUELED BUS TRIP

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 Ken Kesey’s Son Is Planning a Sequel to His Dad’s Legendary, Acid-Fueled Bus Trip

By River Donaghey

 

Photo of the new bus courtesy of the Kickstarter page

In 1964, Ken Kesey—intrepid psychedelic traveler and author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestpiled into a multicolored school bus with his friends and a bunch of drugs and drove from La Honda, California, to New York City for the premiere of Kesey’s new novel. The gaggle of proto-hippies traveling with Kesey were dubbed the “Merry Pranksters,” and their goal was to freak the fuck out of Middle America and document the whole thing for a feature-length film.

The movie they wanted to make never quite came to fruition, but the trip, and the Pranksters’ subsequent LSD antics, were cemented in history in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Prankster adventure, and Kesey’s son, Zane, is looking to raise $27,500 to take the Pranksters’ psychedelic trip all over again. The original 1939 Harvester bus—named “Furthur”—is currently rusting in a swamp behind the Kesey Farm in Oregon, but Zane has a new one, and it’s even more decked-out than the original. If you want to get on the bus, you can donate $200 or more to be considered for the trip. And if you were off the bus in the first place, as Kesey once said, then it won’t make a damn.

If the Kickstarter hits its goal the new bus with its new Pranksters will be swinging through America later this summer. I called up Zane to learn a little more about the trip.

VICE: Hey, Zane. How long has the Kickstarter campaign been going on?
Zane Kesey:
Like three weeks. We’re around halfway to our goal and have a week left.

Do you already know who will be onboard?
There have been 20 or 30 applications sent in. If you donate $200, we’ll give you a bunch of cool Prankster stuff—but you also get to apply to ride on the trip with us, be part of the movie that we’re making, and become a Merry Prankster. Even if we don’t choose you, we’ll still send you a Merry Prankster laminate. It will get you on the bus whenever we go parading through your town.

I know you haven’t planned the whole journey out yet, but are any stops lined up?
We’re going cross-country and hitting a few really good festivals along the way. Lockn’ Festival in Virginia is a big one. Furthur, the Grateful Dead side project that is named after the bus, is playing.

That’s cool.
We’ll be at their only concert this year, at the final Allman Brothers concert, and then at Phases of the Moon Festival in Illinois. Then we’ll head to this art festival called Great North up in Maine, which has the best artists from across the country. We’re hoping they will paint on the bus.

This isn’t the first Furthur bus, right? This is Furthur 2.0.
It’s not the 1939, no. This one is from 1947. My dad had it for a long time. He actually put way more miles on this one than he did on the original one… even took it to England and Ireland.

A lot of the toys on the bus—like the short-wave radio broadcaster—are either going to be fixed or upgraded. We want it to have WiFi so we can be working on the blog and posting pictures and videos from the road.

The original Furthur bus

What can people do to maximize their chances of making it onto the bus?
If you’re good at being a character or if you have equipment and want to come film, you’re going to rise to the top of the people we need. We also need people taking pictures for the blog and updating the website and blowing bubbles for the kids. All that stuff is really important.

Will riders be chosen for the whole stretch?
People will mostly be chosen for weeklong legs of the trip. So far there are only two or three of us who are essential. Derek Stevens is the tour manager. He is the one who talked me into this. I thought it was impossible, but after about a year of discussing it, he made it sound like it could really be fun.

Your dad’s original trip became a huge part of the story of the 60s. Will this new adventure be about preserving the legacy, or will it be a whole new chapter?
There are two different things that we’re after: One is we want to create a movie of us out there—having fun in the moment. We’re also trying to remind people of that innocent seed that started the 60s. The Pranksters weren’t out there trying to end the war or change the world; they were trying to have fun and go across the country just doing their thing.

Right.
In the 60s, everything was all so new and so fresh that it couldn’t be ignored. Now they don’t mind ignoring us at all. The hippie movement has fractured. People look at us now like we’re these dirty, confrontational people who just want to argue about government and taxes and the environment. That’s not necessarily where the movement started.

We need to get some of that innocence and fun and approachability back. Once we do that, we can reclaim some of the power that the 60s had.

The Furthur 50th anniversary Kickstarter ends on May 28. Donate here and hit the $200 mark for a chance to get on the bus.

Follow River Donaghey on Twitter.

COOL PEOPLE -Grateful for Bob Weir -An interview by the New Yorker and bio

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COOL PEOPLE -Grateful for Bob Weir -An interview by the New Yorker and bio

Bob Weir Biography

Environmental Activist, Guitarist (1947–)

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Quick Facts
Name Bob Weir Occupation Environmental Activist, Guitarist Birth Date October 16, 1947 (age 66) Education Menlo Atherton High School, Fountain Valley High School Place of Birth San Francisco, California AKA Bob WeirFull Name Robert Hall Weir Zodiac Sign Libra
Synopsis
Early Life
Musical Career
Personal Life
Cite This Page

Bob Weir was a rhythm guitarist for the legendary rock band the Grateful Dead from 1964 to 1995 and later reunited to tour with former members as The Other Ones.

Synopsis

Guitarist Bob Weir was born on October 16, 1947 in San Francisco, California. In 1964, he started a band that was eventually called the Grateful Dead, with Jerry Garcia and Ron McKernan. In 1972, Weir put out his first solo album. He also performed with other bands throughout his time with the Dead. After Garcia died in 1995, Weir toured with RatDog, and later reunited with former Dead members to tour.

Early Life

Bob Weir was born October 16, 1947, in San Francisco, California. He was raised by wealthy adoptive parents in the suburban town of Atherton, California.

Weir started playing guitar at the age of 13. As a teen, Weir first attended Menlo Atherton High School, but his struggles with undiagnosed dyslexia and his poor academic performance led his exasperated parents to send him away to boarding school. There, at Fountain Valley High School, Weir met John Perry Barlow, who would later write lyrics for the Grateful Dead. After Weir was kicked out of Fountain Valley, he spent most of his time hanging out in Palo Alto, California, checking out the Bay Area folk-rock scene. He spent his days at a record store where Jerry Garcia gave guitar lessons, and his nights at a club called the Tangent. At the Tangent, Weir had the good fortune to see several rock legends in the making, including Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and the familiar face from the music shop, Jerry Garcia.

Musical Career

In 1964, when Weir was just 17, Garcia convinced him and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan to start a folk-rock and blues band called Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, with Weir as their rhythm guitarist. After first renaming the band the Warlocks, the band eventually settled on the name the Grateful Dead and expanded to include drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, bass guitarist Phil Lesh and several different keyboardists over the life of the group.

Although the Dead played nearly 100 shows yearly throughout the 1970s, Weir also participated in other musical projects during this time. In 1972 he put out his first solo album, called Ace. He also performed and recorded with other bands, including Kingfish, in the 1970s. In the early 1980s Weir toured with Bobby and the Midnites and contributed to recording two albums with the band. During this time he met recording session musician Brent Mydland, whom he would invite to join the Grateful Dead as a keyboardist in 1979.

Weir refocused primarily on playing with the Grateful Dead in the late 1980s and continued to tour with them extensively until Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. After Garcia died, Weir started touring nonstop with RatDog, the band he had recently started with bassist Rob Wasserman. In 1998 Weir reunited with remaining members of the Grateful Dead under the band name The Other Ones. The Other Ones recorded a new album in 1999 and toured in 2000, the same year RatDog’s first album was released.

Weir would tour with former Grateful Dead band members again in 2009. The 2009 tour made Weir and Lesh nostalgic for the band’s old chemistry, leading them to combine members of the Dead and RatDog to form a new successful band called Furthur.

Personal Life

While Weir has devoted most of his time and energy to music, he has also been active in a number of social causes. He’s been a board member of Seva, a foundation that combats blindness in South America and Asia, and has also been an activist for Greenpeace. Together, Weir and members of the Dead formed the Rex Foundation, which provides community support for creative endeavors.

In his off-stage life, Weir also has two daughters—Monet and Chloe—with Natascha Müenter, whom he married in 1999.
Robert Hall Weir. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 05:07, May 08, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/bob-weir-20878671.

“Robert Hall Weir.” 2014. The Biography.com website. May 08 2014 http://www.biography.com/people/bob-weir-20878671.

 
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     BLACK THROATED WIND BY BOB WEIR

April 28, 2014

Grateful for Bo

 

 

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I went to the Tribeca Film Festival to see “The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir,” because I have always liked Bob Weir, the second guitarist of the Grateful Dead. Usually you would call such a musician a rhythm guitarist, but Weir isn’t anything like a garden-variety rhythm guitarist. To the initial exasperation of his bandmates, who wanted someone to keep time more diligently, he developed one of the most unusual styles in rock and roll, built on lyric asides and cunning contrapuntal remarks that suggest a line of melody travelling through the map of the chord changes.

The Grateful Dead embodied a singular approach to the mathematics of simple song forms. It occurs to me that it represented something like a model of the unconscious as it rises into awareness. The patterns of the drummers, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, suggested pressing impulses and intuitions, the way some poets describe hearing the rhythms of the words before the words arrive. Phil Lesh’s bass playing, the rudiments of which were taken from classical music, especially Bach and Beethoven, amounted to a layer of permeable ground. He was sometimes engaged with the drums and sometimes with the stringed instruments in the range above his own. Jerry Garcia’s guitar was the conversational voice, articulating the thoughts that ascended to the level of social discourse. In between was Weir, following the example of the left hand of the pianist McCoy Tyner, he told me years ago, inverting chords and finding passing phrases among them, mostly supporting but sometimes subverting, too.

Not that the endeavor always succeeded. There were fallow periods, periods of fatigue, and periods when Garcia’s health and drug problems seemed to dog and shadow the music. There were nights of singing and playing out of tune, of being out of sorts, and there were nights when at least one member was not entirely sober. In what they were attempting, failure is, anyway, easier to achieve than success.

Weir is a modest man, unassuming, a gentleman. He says in the movie that he takes no pride in what he has accomplished, because he regards pride as a suspect emotion. He began playing in the jug band that became the Grateful Dead when he was sixteen years old. He would arrive at his parents’ house sometimes at daybreak, after playing all night with the band, and have breakfast and go to school. Eventually, school fell aside. His mother told him that she and her husband and their daughter, Wendy, were a family and that they could no longer live with his comings and goings, and so he left and moved into a house with the band. He ran away with the circus, he says.

His nickname for a time was Mr. Bob Weir Trouble. He threw a water balloon at a cop from the roof and was arrested. When he learned that the draft board had to save every piece of correspondence from a citizen, he began sending his draft board stones and sticks and anything he could fit into a mailbox. At an airline counter, he produced a cap pistol and started playing cowboys and Indians, which got the Grateful Dead banned from the airline. His roommate at the band’s house was Neal Cassady, who is Dean Moriarty in Kerouac’s “On the Road.” Weir’s most widely performed song, “The Other One,” which the Grateful Dead played often, in variations, for nearly thirty years, describes his flight from home, with Cassady driving Furthur, the Merry Pranksters’ bus. Weir says that he never listens to old Grateful Dead music, and in the movie he says that the pleasure he took in the band’s first gold record was in being able to give it to his parents and show them that he had accomplished something. Weir was briefly in the audience for the movie, with his wife and his younger daughter—his older daughter was home in California, rehearsing for a school play. I happened to be sitting about four seats from him. I was curious to see how long he could stand to watch himself onscreen. Roughly ten minutes in, he rose and disappeared down a hallway, and didn’t come back. At the end of the movie, he performed for about forty-five minutes.

The last thing I want to say is that I saw the Grateful Dead for the first time, at the Fillmore East, in the fall of 1969, when they were still essentially a regional California attraction. I had gone with friends to the Saturday-night late show to see my favorite band at the time, Country Joe and the Fish, who were the headliners. Bill Graham announced that the order of the concert would be reversed, and that Country Joe would play first. This was to accommodate the Grateful Dead, who were known to play for hours.

The Fillmore was a small theatre. I was sitting in the third row. Not long after the Grateful Dead took the stage, at around one or two in the morning, I fell asleep, for how long I have no idea. I tried not to, but I was seventeen years old, and not used to staying up late. I kept feeling my chin fall forward, and then I would open my eyes to a different tableau, which gave the concert the atmosphere of a dream. Country Joe had performed as a band. The Grateful Dead took the stage like a troupe of minstrels. There were seven of them: two drummers, two guitarists (Weir and Garcia), a bass player, a man who played the piano and the organ, and Pigpen, a small, slight figure in denim, with a thin beard and a crumpled hat, who sometimes played the organ, sometimes the conga drums, and other times just wandered around the stage, standing in front of the other musicians and pointing a camera at them. Sometimes, one of the drummers got up from his kit, walked over, and struck a gong or shook bells, like a shepherd. A man who looked like a gang biker came from the wings now and then, and knelt and held a cigarette lighter to a tube on the floor, and an arrow of flames shot toward the ceiling, like those flames on top of gas wells. The fronts of all the amplifiers were covered with elaborately tie-dyed fabric and were lavish and arresting to look at, like something from a bazaar in a country it was difficult to reach and a little scary to visit. An intricate wooden sign, embedded with lights, descended from the ceiling. It read “Grateful Dead” in the same curving, mysterious, psychedelic font as the cover of their album “Aoxomoxoa,” a nonsensical palindrome.

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I was a senior in high school. The spooky flames, the disorder that seemed only half under control, the carnival atmosphere, and the powerful, serpentine music were my first awarenesses that the world was deeper, more capacious, and more thrilling than I knew. I thought that the music I was hearing would need hieroglyphs, not notes, to represent it. Weir played his guitar as if he were exploring it, with curiously studious gestures. Rhythm guitarists in those days strummed. Weir, however, appeared to be apprehending and enacting possibilities within the fabric of the music. The band itself seemed like the exemplification of a mystery, and the musicians like sorcerers. They were young men then, all in their twenties, and they had a great deal of energy. My friends and I had gone into the theatre a little before midnight, and by the time the concert was over and the doors had opened, the sun had risen. People who had slept all night were walking on Second Avenue in their day clothes. The sudden transit from darkness to daylight made it seem as if I had emerged from a forest or a tunnel. I remember a man carrying a copy of the Sunday Times and a container of coffee. He seemed, obscurely, to have the faintest head start in time on me. We found my friend’s car and drove home to the suburbs and our parents’ houses. I now knew something that they didn’t know: life is more than we imagine it to be.

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Perhaps 1969 was late to be arriving at such an awareness, but it wasn’t so late for a boy at a school in the suburbs of New York. A few of my friends seemed to know about it, but not everyone. It was still a secret to hold, a freemasonry. And what is adolescence but the reducing of the world to a manageable idea that you can share safely with others.

Read “Deadhead,” Nick Paumgarten’s piece about the vast recorded legacy of the Grateful Dead, and Alec Wilkinson’s Talk of the Town stories about Weir, “Blind Date” and “The Musical Life.”

The counterculture of the 1960s was marked by a growing distrust of government

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The counterculture of the 1960s was marked by a growing distrust of government

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The American Counterculture refers to the period between 1964-1972 when the norms of the 1950s were rejected by youth.
Key Points

◾Counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, especially with respect to racial segregation, the Vietnam War, sexual mores, women’s rights, and materialism.

◾Hippies were the largest countercultural classification comprising mostly white members of the middle class.

The counterculture movement divided the country.

◾The movement died in the early 1970s because most of their goals had become mainstream, and because of rising economic troubles.
Terms

◾quash

To defeat forcibly.

◾stagflation

Inflation accompanied by stagnant growth, unemployment or recession.

◾counterculture

Any culture whose values and lifestyles are opposed to those of the established mainstream culture, especially to western culture.

A counterculture developed in the United States in late 1960s. This movement lasted from approximately 1964 to 1972, and it coincided with America’s involvement in Vietnam. A counterculture is the rejection of conventional social norms – in this case the norms of the 1950s . The counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, specifically racial segregation and initial widespread support for the Vietnam War.

Woodstock Youth

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This photo was taken near the Woodstock Music Festival in August, 1969. The counterculture in the 1960s was characterized by young people breaking away from the traditional culture of the 1950s.

As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam , race relations, sexual mores, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, and a materialist interpretation of the American Dream. White, middle class youth, who made up the bulk of the counterculture, had sufficient leisure time to turn their attention to social issues, thanks to widespread economic prosperity.

Vietnam War Protest

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The counterculture of the 1960s was marked by a growing distrust of government
, which included anti-war protests like this.
Unconventional appearance, music, drugs, communitarian experiments, and sexual liberation were hallmarks of the sixties counterculture, most of whose members were white, middle-class young Americans. Hippies became the largest countercultural group in the United States . The counterculture reached its peak in the 1967 “Summer of Love,” when thousands of young people flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The counterculture lifestyle integrated many of the ideals and indulgences of the time: peace, love, harmony, music, and mysticism. Meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs were embraced as routes to expanding one’s consciousness.

The Peace Sign
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The peace sign became a major symbol of the counterculture of the 1960s.

Rejection of mainstream culture was best embodied in the new genres of psychedelic rock music, pop-art, and new explorations in spirituality. Musicians who exemplified this era include The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Pink Floyd.

New forms of musical presentation also played a key role in spreading the counterculture, mainly large outdoor rock festivals. The climactic live statement of this occurred from August 15–18, 1969, with the Woodstock Music Festival held in Bethel, New York. During this festival, 32 of rock and psychedelic rock’s most popular acts performing live outdoors over the course of a weekend to an audience of half a million people.

Countercultural sentiments were expressed in song lyrics and popular sayings of the period, such as “do your own thing,” “turn on, tune in, drop out,” “whatever turns you on,” “eight miles high,” “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll,” and “light my fire. ” Spiritually, the counterculture included interest in astrology, the term “Age of Aquarius,” and knowing people’s signs.

The counterculture movement divided the country. To some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, world peace, and the pursuit of happiness. To others, the counterculture movement reflected a self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive assault on America’s traditional moral order.

In an effort to quash the movement, authorities banned the psychedelic drug LSD, restricted political gatherings, and tried to enforce bans on what they considered obscenity in books, music, theater, and other media. In the end, the counterculture collapsed on its own around 1973.

Two main reasons are cited for the collapse. First, the most popular of the movement’s political goals—civil rights, civil liberties, gender equality, environmentalism, and the end of the Vietnam War—were accomplished (to at least a significant degree), and its most popular social attributes, particularly a “live and let live” mentality in personal lifestyles (the “sexual revolution”)—were co-opted by mainstream society. Second, a decline of idealism and hedonism occured as many notable counterculture figures died and the rest settled into mainstream society and started their own families.

The “magic economy” of the 1960s gave way to the stagflation of the 1970s, the latter costing many middle-class Americans the luxury of being able to live outside conventional social institutions. The counterculture, however, continues to influence social movements, art, music, and society in general, and the post-1973 mainstream society has been in many ways a hybrid of the 1960s establishment and counterculture—seen as the best (or the worst) of both worlds.

THIS SONG GOT DAVE AND I THROUGH ROUGH TIMES WHEN WE WERE POOR

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THIS SONG GOT DAVE AND I THROUGH ROUGH TIMES WHEN WE WERE POOR-WHICH WAS MOST OF THE TIME!

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THE GRATEFUL DEAD “I WILL GET BY”

http://youtu.be/nCYbRmSlW-M

THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN JERRY GARCIA’S 70TH BIRTHDAY

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On what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday, LightBox presents a collection of images of the iconic Grateful Dead frontman taken by legendary music photographer Jim Marshall.

Any counterculture worth its salt will eventually succeed in having its values coopted by the broader culture. This, of course, can lead to such ironic outcomes as The Grateful Dead–the once underground ambassadors of indolence, free love and heavy drugs–becoming the best selling concert act in all of America, beloved by long-haired liberals and buttoned-down Reaganites alike.

Jim Marshall
Jerry Garcia, 1968
And Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist, singer and spiritual glue of America’s Greatest Touring Band, contained a few contradictions of his own. For instance, he was one of rock music’s most revered guitarists –named by Rolling Stone as the 13th greatest of all time–but was missing a finger in his right hand. He was a counterculture icon who profited handsomely from hawking ties and ice cream. And most tragically, he was an ardent advocate of mind-expanding drugs, but spent much of his life hobbled by addictions to cocaine and heroin.

Garcia, who would have turned 70 on Aug. 1, cut his teeth in the small San Francisco folk music scene of the early 1960s playing in a jug band with future Dead members Bob Weir and Ron “Pigpen” Mckernan. But Garcia and his hometown of San Francisco were quickly shaken from their attachment to the staid aesthetics of folk music by the arrival of LSD. The drug inspired Garcia to give up his half-hearted attempt at raising a family and earning a steady paycheck. As he told Jan Wenner in 1972:

“It just changed everything you know, it was just – ah, first of all, for me personally, it freed me, you know, the effect was that it freed me because I suddenly realized that my little attempt at having a straight life and doing that was really a fiction and just wasn’t going to work out.”

From its humble beginnings as the house band for Ken Kesey’s famous “Acid Test” parties in the Bay Area in the mid-to-late sixties, the Grateful Dead went on to tour the world and build one of the most loyal and ardent fan bases in the history of rock and roll. It did so not on the strength of platinum records, but on it’s reputation for lively and improvisational live shows, which featured foremost the dulcet guitar work and silky voice of Jerry Garcia. Garcia didn’t posses the raw power of a Jimmy Page or the slick perfectionism of Eric Clapton–but he did have a remarkable feel for the instrument, as well as an unrivaled musical intuition. As Rolling Stone told it,

“Garcia could dazzle on slide (“Cosmic Charlie”) or pedal steel (“Dire Wolf”), but his natural home was playing lead onstage, exploring the frontier of psychedelic sound. The piercing lyricism of this tone was all the more remarkable for the fact that he was missing the third finger of his right hand — the result of a childhood accident while he and his brother Tiff were chopping wood.”

And though The Grateful Dead were never chart-toppers at their peak like Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones, their influence is just as palpable today as those bands. In an age where fewer and fewer artists can make an honest living by selling records alone, the live show has become the medium through which many artists make their most significant artistic statements. Acts like stadium-packing Phish owe a huge debt to The Grateful Dead’s improvisational style.

But beyond the music, much of The Grateful Dead’s popularity can be attributed to Jerry Garcia’s magnetic personality. The man’s shaggy beard and incandescent smile are not only a defining image of his own band, but for sixties music in general. And those who knew him best were in awe of his ability to enthrall. “Insofar as you were able, you were an exponent of a dream in the continual act of being defined into a reality,” wrote Garcia’s longtime lyricist, Robert Hunter on the anniversary of his death. “You had a massive personality and talent to present it to the world. That dream is the crux of the matter, and somehow concerns beauty, consciousness and community.”

Chris Matthews is a writer-reporter at TIME.com.

Read more: Happy 70th Birthday, Jerry Garcia – LightBox http://lightbox.time.com/2012/08/01/happy-70th-birthday-jerry-garcia/#ixzz2ogutjiEz

OWSLEY STANLEY: MAN WHO DRUGGED THE WORLD-DIES

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Owsley Stanley: Man who drugged the world

OWSLEY Stanley, who died this weekend, made most of the world’s supply of mind-bending drugs in his tiny kitchen, thus helping to create flower power, hippiedom and a warped revolution

Published: Tue, March 15, 2011

 
Owsley Stanley pictured in 1991 would give away LSD free to his many hippie followersOwsley Stanley, pictured in 1991, would give away LSD free to his many hippie followers []

There has been a trip taken by many people over a number of years, starting in the Sixties, says Owsley Stanley in a wordy essay on the website where he sold hand-crafted metal jewellery from his adopted home in northern Australia. “It is a trip to renew our connection with the planet we live on and its lifeforms… We thought of ourselves as exploring new ways of looking at the universe but as it turns out the adventure is almost as old as man himself.”

Stanley, once described by US agents as “the man who did for LSD what Henry Ford did for the motorcar”, has now set out on a different kind of trip, following his death in a car crash on Sunday night at the age of 76. A dogmatic eccentric, who had moved to tropical Queensland in order to be safe from the ice age he believed would be unleashed by global warming and who refused to eat anything other than meat and dairy foods because he thought vegetables were toxic, he was not by all accounts the easiest character.

But for a few years in the last century he was synonymous with the drug he manufactured in vast quantities and dispensed free because he and his hundreds of thousands of hippie followers were convinced it would save the world. In the Oxford Dictionary of ModernSlang, “Owsley acid” is defined as “high-quality LSD”. That’s the hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (the abbreviation comes from its German name) first created from a grain fungus bya Swiss chemist in the Thirties.

With its mind-bending psychological effects it was used for a while as a therapeutic mental health drug. Patients included the actor Cary Grant, who announced excitedly: “I have been born again.” It was also studied with great interest by the CIA, which tested it widely and even tried to slip some to Fidel Castro before a TV address. In the early Sixties it was discovered by the fledgling counter-culture springing up in San Francisco’s run- down but picturesque Haight- Ashbury district. Already interested in Native American spiritualism and back-to-nature simplicity these early hippies were entranced by the “psychedelic” view of the world that even the tiniest dose of acid – as LSD was nicknamed – could provide.

Among them was Augustus Owsley Stanley III, who was born in Kentucky in 1935 and whose grandfather of the same name had been governor of that state. Studying at the University of Berkeley, just across the bay from San

Francisco, he dropped out after less than a year having discovered the recipe for LSD in a chemistry journal. He reputedly made 1.25million doses between 1965 and 1967.

His makeshift laboratory was raided by police soon after he started but since LSD was not yet illegal officers were forced to give his equipment back. With a reputation for making the purest product Stanley became the official supplier to novelist Ken Kesey, who had been introduced to the drug as a CIA volunteer and now organised “acid test” parties where guests sipped from LSD-spiked punch.

Meanwhile Jimi Hendrix’s song Purple Haze was said to be inspired by a potent batch of Owsley acid.

When the drug was made illegal in California in 1966 Stanley carried on running a secret lab. This was raided in 1967. He escaped jail but finally went to prison for two years when he was arrested for possessing marijuana and a judge revoked his bail. “I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for,” he said in a rare interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007. “What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different.”

That may not convince everyone but he certainly did not conform to the standard image of a drug baron. Because the doses involved in taking LSD were tiny it was difficult to manufacture the drug in modest quantities and Stanley gave a great deal of it away in order to keep the street price down. He said he wanted to get out after it became illegal but he felt an obligation to the hundreds of thousands of hippies who were switching on to the new psychedelic consciousness.

“I got to San Francisco in 1967 and we were definitely happy customers of Owsley Stanley,” says Ben Collins, now an HIV consultant in his 60s but then a student at Stanford University. He recalls travelling to a desert gig by the band Jefferson Airplane, where lead singer Grace Slick kept whispering the refrain “Drop acid, drop acid” into the microphone.

Collins and his friends didn’t know what this meant – but by the end of the summer they did. Colins says: “It had a transformative influence on the college campuses and the major hip cities. A lot of people dropped out and Stanford virtually shut down for a while. It felt creative and incredibly positive and you really did have the impression that if everybody just lived together dropping acid it would solve the problems of the world.

“We were watching terrible images from Vietnam on the news every night and all the young men taking LSD were facing the draft so there was an incredible need to escape from the world to some other place and ‘get out of it’. It’s no coincidence that the anti-war movement became so powerful at that time.” Young people flocked to Haight- Ashbury to take part in what became known as the Summer of Love. By the autumn of 1967 the leaders of the hippie community pleaded with them to stop coming and to take the counter-culture to their home communities instead.

By that time LSD was becoming embedded in the culture – and not just in songs by bands such as the Grateful Dead, for whom Stanley worked as manager and sound engineer. The Beatles’ album Magical Mystery Tour was clearly inspired by psychedelic imagery and the BBC banned their song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds because of the cheeky abbreviation its title seemed to spell. Meanwhile the drop-out communities with their new ways of living spawned new movements for women’s liberation and gay rights, and lent valuable support to the growing civil rights movement.

Not everyone was impressed. The writer Joan Didion went to stay in Haight-Ashbury and wrote of the squalor she found there, with lost teenagers sought by frantic parents and rape dressed up as free love. “We are seeing the desperate attempt of pathetically unequipped children to create a community in a social vacuum,” she wrote. “We had somehow neglected to tell these children the rules of the game we happened to be playing. They are less in rebellion against the society than ignorant of it.”

For his part, Stanley moved to Australia, became a great-grandfather and was said to have become less crabby with age. “I never set out to change the world,” he said. “I only set out to make sure I was taking something [where] I knew what it was. And it’s hard to make a little. My friends all wanted to know what they were taking too. Of course, my friends expanded very rapidly.” Unlike later kinds of recreational drugs, LSD is not addictive. Some heavy users

reported “flashbacks” but these are no longer officially recognised as a psychiatric symptom.

The main danger was an impaired ability to make sensible judgments and understand common dangers. According to one popular urban myth, people tended to jump off buildings because they thought they could fly. Today the drug has largely disappeared, partly because the new way of looking at the world lost its attraction. “After lots of acid trips I got jaded,” recalls Collins. “‘Same ol’ eternal verities,’ I would mutter at the end of another 24-hour trip.”

ALTON KELLEY 67 ARTIST- KING OF PSYCHEDELIC ROCK DIES

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Image                ALTON KELLEY ON LEFT

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Alton Kelley, 67, Artist of Psychedelic Rock, Dies

By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: June 5, 20

Alton Kelley, whose psychedelic concert posters for artists like the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Big Brother and the Holding Company helped define the visual style of the 1960s counterculture, died on Sunday at his home in Petaluma, Calif. He was 67.

The cause was complications of osteoporosis, said his wife, Marguerite Trousdale Kelley.

Mr. Kelley and his longtime collaborator, Stanley Mouse, combined sinuous Art Nouveau lettering and outr?mages plucked from sources near and far to create the visual equivalent of an acid trip. A 19th-century engraving from ”The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” inspired a famous poster for a Grateful Dead concert at the Avalon Ballroom in 1966 that showed a skeleton wearing a garland of roses on its skull and holding a wreath of roses on its left arm.

The Grateful Dead later adopted this image as its emblem. Mr. Kelley and Mr. Mouse also designed several of the group’s album covers, including ”American Beauty” and ”Workingman’s Dead.”

Mr. Kelley was born in Houlton, Me., and grew up in Connecticut, where his parents moved to work in defense plants during World War II. His mother, a former schoolteacher, encouraged him to study art, and for a time he attended art schools in Philadelphia and New York, but his real passion was racing motorcycles and hot rods. He applied his training to painting pinstripes on motorcycle gas tanks.

After working as a welder at the Sikorsky helicopter plant in Stratford, Conn., he moved to San Francisco in 1964, settling into the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. With a group of friends he helped stage concerts in 1965 at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nev., by the Charlatans, an electric folk-rock band. On returning to San Francisco, he became a founding member of the Family Dog, a loose confederation of artists, poets, musicians and other free spirits who put on some of the earliest psychedelic dance concerts, first at the Longshoremen’s Hall and later at the Avalon Ballroom.

Mr. Kelley was in charge of promoting the concerts with posters and fliers, but his drafting ability was weak.

That shortcoming became less of a problem in early 1966, when he teamed up with Stanley Miller, a hot-rod artist from Detroit who worked under the last name Mouse. The two formed Mouse Studios, with Mr. Kelley contributing layout and images and Mr. Mouse doing the distinctive lettering and drafting work. Often they took trips to the public library in a search for images from books, magazines and photographs.

”Stanley and I had no idea what we were doing,” Mr. Kelley told The San Francisco Chronicle last year. ”But we went ahead and looked at American Indian stuff, Chinese stuff, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, modern, Bauhaus, whatever.”

One of their first posters, for a concert headlined by Big Brother and the Holding Company, reproduced the logo for Zig-Zag cigarette papers, used widely for rolling marijuana cigarettes.

”We were paranoid that the police would bust us or that Zig-Zag would bust us,” Mr. Mouse said.

From 1966 to 1969 Mr. Kelley worked on more than 150 posters for concerts at the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore, publicizing the most famous bands and artists of the era, among them Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Butterfield Blues Band and Moby Grape, as well as the Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix, and Country Joe and the Fish. They created three posters for concerts headlined by Bo Diddley, who died on Monday.

With time, Mr. Kelley’s drawing improved, and the partners virtually fused into a poster-generating unit.

”Kelley would work on the left side of the drawing table and Mouse on the right,” said Paul Grushkin, the author of ”The Art of Rock: Posters From Presley to Punk” and a longtime friend of both men. ”They turned out a poster a week.”

At the time the posters were put up on telephone poles. Everyone who attended a concert at the Avalon received a free poster advertising the next show on the way out the door. Some were sold in head shops for a few dollars. Today mint-condition posters by Mr. Kelley and Mr. Mouse can command prices of $5,000 or more.

With the waning of the 1960s, Mr. Kelley and Mr. Mouse diversified. They formed Monster, a T-shirt company, in the mid-1970s. They also designed the Pegasus-image cover for the Steve Miller album ”Book of Dreams” and several albums for Journey in the 1980s.

In their final collaboration, in March of this year, they contributed the cover art for the program at the induction ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On his own, Mr. Kelley designed posters and created hot-rod paintings, which he transferred to T-shirts.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Kelley is survived by three children, Patty Kelley of San Diego, Yossarian Kelley of Seattle and China Bacosa of Herald, Calif.; two grandchildren; and his mother, Annie Kelley, and a sister, Kathy Verespy, both of Trumbull, Conn.

”Kelley had the unique ability to translate the music being played into these amazing images that captured the spirit of who we were and what the music was all about,” said the Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. ”He was a visual alchemist — skulls and roses, skeletons in full flight, cryptic alphabets, nothing was too strange for his imagination to conjure.”