BONUS: Bear Drops: LA ‘66

Episode Duration: 01:32:46

We explore the Grateful Dead’s formative early 1966 months in Los Angeles under the patronage of Owsley Stanley, LSD chemist & the band’s new sound engineer, featuring Owsley’s assistants Tim Scully & Don Douglas, Merry Pranksters, Rosie McGee, & an archival interview with Owsley.

Guests: Tim Scully, Don Douglas, Rosie McGee, Denise Kaufman, Ken Babbs, Starfinder Stanley, Hawk, David Gans

Supplemental Materials

Bear Drops: LA ‘66 supplementary notes
by Jesse Jarnow

 

In early January 1966, about a month after the Warlocks changed their name to the Grateful Dead, the young band met Owsley Stanley at the momentous Fillmore Acid Test. With a reputation in the underground as the chemist responsible for the LSD circulating throughout California, Stanley signed on with the Dead as their sound engineer, financing the band’s move to Los Angeles and renting them a large pink house at 2511 Third Avenue.

 

In order to better understand his sound engineering work, Stanley began making what he called Sonic Journals. Over the next two decades, Stanley--Bear, as he was known--accumulated a profoundly diverse archive, but it began with the tapes that he made of the Dead in early 1966. The Owsley Stanley Foundation has been preserving and issuing the best of Bear’s work, most lately performances by Johnny Cash, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Tim Buckley, and Ali Akbar Khan. (Many of Bear’s 1966 tapes can be heard on both Birth of the Dead and Rare Cuts & Oddities, as well as several live releases.)

 

At the center of this episode is an incredible and rare interview with Bear himself, conducted by our Deadcast hero David Gans in 1991. The wide-ranging conversation, far more than included here, was originally published in David’s essential book Conversations With the Dead, a cornerstone of any Dead library, and now available in signed editions from David’s online bookstore.

 

Rosie McGee, another of the house’s residents who spoke with us for this episode, took some of the earliest photos of the Dead in action. She would continue to photograph the band over the next decades, creating some of the most memorable images of the group, from their Live/Dead portrait to hundreds of candid and live shots. In addition to her wonderful memoir, Dancing With the Dead, she has been organizing a new coffee table book of her work, taking orders now.

 

We quoted a bit from the online memoir of the late Hetty MacLise, who wrote about spending time with the Dead in LA in 1966.

 

The very first feature/interview with the Grateful Dead, in which an intrepid reporter visited the band’s house, was published in the Los Angeles Free Press in March 1966.

We explore the Grateful Dead’s formative early 1966 months in Los Angeles under the patronage of Owsley Stanley, LSD chemist & the band’s new sound engineer, featuring Owsley’s assistants Tim Scully & Don Douglas, Merry Pranksters, Rosie McGee, & an archival interview with Owsley.

Episode Duration
01:32:46
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The Grateful Dead Podcast
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46637791-c02d-41b4-ae9f-e73d5ec2a1e2
Guest
Tim Scully, Don Douglas, Rosie McGee, Denise Kaufman, Ken Babbs, Starfinder Stanley, Hawk, David Gans
Supplemental Materials

Bear Drops: LA ‘66 supplementary notes
by Jesse Jarnow

 

In early January 1966, about a month after the Warlocks changed their name to the Grateful Dead, the young band met Owsley Stanley at the momentous Fillmore Acid Test. With a reputation in the underground as the chemist responsible for the LSD circulating throughout California, Stanley signed on with the Dead as their sound engineer, financing the band’s move to Los Angeles and renting them a large pink house at 2511 Third Avenue.

 

In order to better understand his sound engineering work, Stanley began making what he called Sonic Journals. Over the next two decades, Stanley--Bear, as he was known--accumulated a profoundly diverse archive, but it began with the tapes that he made of the Dead in early 1966. The Owsley Stanley Foundation has been preserving and issuing the best of Bear’s work, most lately performances by Johnny Cash, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Tim Buckley, and Ali Akbar Khan. (Many of Bear’s 1966 tapes can be heard on both Birth of the Dead and Rare Cuts & Oddities, as well as several live releases.)

 

At the center of this episode is an incredible and rare interview with Bear himself, conducted by our Deadcast hero David Gans in 1991. The wide-ranging conversation, far more than included here, was originally published in David’s essential book Conversations With the Dead, a cornerstone of any Dead library, and now available in signed editions from David’s online bookstore.

 

Rosie McGee, another of the house’s residents who spoke with us for this episode, took some of the earliest photos of the Dead in action. She would continue to photograph the band over the next decades, creating some of the most memorable images of the group, from their Live/Dead portrait to hundreds of candid and live shots. In addition to her wonderful memoir, Dancing With the Dead, she has been organizing a new coffee table book of her work, taking orders now.

 

We quoted a bit from the online memoir of the late Hetty MacLise, who wrote about spending time with the Dead in LA in 1966.

 

The very first feature/interview with the Grateful Dead, in which an intrepid reporter visited the band’s house, was published in the Los Angeles Free Press in March 1966.

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