Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Owsley and Me: My LSD Family

26 May 2014

Owsley and Me:
My LSD Family

Owsley and Me: My LSD Family
Rhoney Gissen Stanley
260 pages Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing (April 16, 2013)

"Owsley and Me" is a love story set against the background of the Psychedelic Revolution of the '60s.
Owsley "Bear" Stanley met her in Berkeley in 1965, when LSD was still legal and he was the world's largest producer and distributor of LSD. Rhoney found herself working in an LSD laboratory, and the third corner in a love triangle. We all know the stories from the '60s—but never from the point of view of a woman finding her way through twisted trails of love, jealousy, and paranoia, all the while personally connecting to the most iconic events and people of her time.

As someone who worked in the labs that produced LSD, Rhoney has firsthand knowledge of the environment surrounding the Psychedelic drug in its heyday. Famous people —"Timothy Leary", "Jerry Garcia", "Ravi Shankar", "Jimi Hendrix", "Ken Kesey"— wander in and out of the story, which delivers a vivid, behind-the-scenes look at the 1960s counterculture. A nostalgia trip for many, to be sure, but also an involving love story that chronicles the sometimes turbulent relationship between Rhoney and Owsley.

Owsley in hat and shades "Jerry Garcia" in beard photo by Rosie McGee 

Bear supported the "Grateful Dead" in their early years and gave away as much LSD as he sold—millions of hits. He designed and engineered the infamous Wall of Sound system of the early '70s, just before he began his two years in prison, with Rhoney raising their infant son. He died one year ago, but the era he helped create is now being rediscovered by a new generation interested in the meaning of it all.