No one did more to alter the consciousness of the generation that came of age in the 1960s than Augustus Owsley Stanley (who passed away March 13, 2011). Long before the Summer of Love drew thousands of hippies to Haight-Ashbury, Owsley was already an authentic underground folk hero, revered throughout the counterculture for making the purest form of LSD ever to hit the street. Yet today, at seventy-two, he is all but forgotten. Almost forty years to the day after he blew minds at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967, with a brand-new batch of “Monterey Purple,” Owsley is checking out of a motel in nearby Carmel. Three years ago, he underwent extensive radiation for throat cancer, losing thirty pounds in the process. He is moving so slowly that someone from the front desk comes to the room to ask if he ever intends to leave. Ignoring the inquiry, Owsley roots through his bags for a large state-of-the-art conical burr grinder and a white funnel-shaped device to heat water so he can make coffee from beans he grew and roasted at home in Australia. As the water boils, he packs up a Braun food mixer and the vast… Read full this story
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