Owsley Stanley, collaborator with The Grateful Dead, died yesterday in Australia after losing control of his car. He was 76.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the 1960s counter-culture icon known simply as “Bear” was the Dead’s first financial backer and served as their manager before taking on the role of sound engineer. Owsley actually created the first public address system dedicated to music in 1966. His other claim to fame? He was responsible for the Dead’s signature Wall of Sound.
He also founded Alembia, Inc., a high-end instrument manufacturer and a concert equipment maker. As if that wasn’t enough, Owsley also co-designed the band’s lightning bolt skull logo, better known as Steal Your Face.
Bob Weir, a founding member of the Dead, said in a statement: “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.”
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