Owsley Stanley, LSD cook, sound engineer, sculptor, and one of the most influential figures in '60s counterculture, has been killed in a car accident in Australia at the age of 76. Nicknamed "Bear," Stanley manufactured millions of doses of high quality "Owsley Acid" at his San Francisco lab, helping kick off the psychedelic era, the San Francisco Chronicle notes. He supplied LSD to '60s icons including Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Ken Kesey, and the Grateful Dead, with whom he worked closely for many years as soundman and financial backer.
Stanley was born into a Kentucky political family. He served in the US Air Force and spent time as a professional ballet dancer before finding his true calling while studying at UC Berkeley. Stanley, who moved to Australia in the '80s, had an "enormous influence" on his era and leaves behind a "long-lasting legacy," former Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead tour manager Sam Cutler tells ABC Australia. "When you go to a rock and roll concert, what you listen to is something in stereo sound. The person who invented that, and first brought it up, was the Bear." Stanley is survived by his wife and four children.