Owsley "Bear" Stanley - 1935-2011
I met Owsley at the age of eighteen. I had just left home, having run off with a Rock&Roll band. Bear, as we knew him, was one of my all-time biggest influences. Always, when I think of him, I think of the endless stuff he taught me or somehow made me realize, all stuff that I've been able to use to the benefit of countless people who probably don't know much about him or how deeply he influenced me and the rest of the band. Most important was the approach he taught me and us: Always be open and engaging - always critical and questioning, but not negatively so much as playfully. He taught me to take myself and my interests out of the picture and work with the subject under consideration so that the best deductions or conclusions are made. I guess this means working from the point of view of the higher self, though that term never came up; it was always just assumed...
Just posted a poem, long thought about and now released on the poetry forum. I thought it might be appropriate to cross-post here. Wondering tonight if we'll get our mojo back, if we'll dream again, if we'll see the "rusty strings shine...".
…and was…but will not be again.
No one saw the train leave the station
Just heard about it over the radio
Read about it over the internet
The Kentucky bluegrass bent
Bourbon not its best son
But someone called Bear
A cowboy riding onward pushed by the
dry desert winds to the
Say hello for me to the nut that drove the Bus
To the one who ran FURTHUR
To the one who made the rusty strings shine
See ya down the Golden Road, Bear!
Thanks for posting audio of this interview, dgans. I've read it a number of times and it's pretty amazing listening to it now.
Yesterday was my 57th birthday. I was thinking of what mountain to climb as can be my b.day custom and thought of the "Bear". So on the top of Bear Mountain on the continental divide outside Silver City,N.M. is a written memorial to Bear in the summit register. Why they say some of Bears Choice is up in these hills somewhere. Thank you Bear for your work.
Thanks Bob: your comments are deeply felt, and very well expressed.
Last night on KPFA I broadcast two hours of my 1991 interview with Bear (published in Conversations with the Dead). The broadcast will be available on on the KPFA archive until April 13.
Bear's funeral will be Tues about 2pm in Australia. So, if you can figure out the time change to where you are in the world, send him off with good vibes......
While the music played you worked by candlelight
Those San Francisco nights
You were the best in town
Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl
You turned it on the world
That's when you turned the world around.....
So long Kid Charlamene! You tuned it in and you turned us on
The Octet is broken. It is up to all of us to renew it.
any word on an official memorial event of any sort?
groovin' the light fantastic at http://www.popeshady.com
and strictly commercial at http://shakedowngallery.com
I too had an email correspondence with Bear, it was back in the late 1990s, and was about his Wall of Sound recordings and the spatiality one can hear in them. I was amazed he answered my mail, and was intrigued by his comments.
Those '73 concerts are really something special. 5 minutes on wikipedia and it is obvious that live rock concerts owes the Bear so much! My first Dead show was in 1981 (Rainbow, London), and I was hooked straight away because of this fantastic powerful, clear sound where one could hear the instruments and every note being played - awesome!
30 years later I have 30GB GD concerts on my iPhone which I listen to in strict chronological order...
Thanx to Bear and Garcia...