Owsley Stanley, who died in a car crash in Australia on Sunday, holds a legendary place in 1960s lore. He created a especially potent line of LSD before acid become illegal, he supplied the psychedelics for the Ken Kesey acid tests in Los Angeles and elsewhere, and many Deadheads revere him as the sound man called "Bear" during the heyday of Grateful Dead concerts. He also created the Dead logo here to the left. Stanley was a very complicated figure, as numerous writers have said. "No one did more to alter the consciousness of the generation that came of age in the 1960s than Augustus Owsley Stanley," Robert Greenfield wrote in Rolling Stone.
Los Angeles food writer and author Charles Perry was Stanley's roommate in Berkeley when he discovered LSD. Perry, the author of The Haight Ashbury: A History, wrote about Stanley at length in 1982 for Rolling Stone. Today, Perry remembers his friend in an exclusive Visiting Blogger post for LA Observed &mdash and insists he's not the one who introduced Owsley to LSD. He knows who did, though.