Jim Watson, AFP Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart is wanted by police…
- Posted on Mar 14th 2011 3:48PM by Emily Tan
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Stanley was driving home with his wife, Sheila, from Cairns during a storm, lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a tree, the AP reported. He died on the scene, but his wife was taken to the nearby hospital to treat minor injuries. "His death is a grievous loss to his family and the tens of thousands of people from the '60s on who were influenced by his work with the Grateful Dead," Stanley's friend and former Grateful Dead manager Sam Cutler said in a statement.
Known as "Bear," Stanley was best known as a central figure in the drug scene of the 1960s counterculture, manufacturing enough LSD for about five million trips. His prominence in the scene and his product inspired many musicians to write songs about Stanley including the Grateful Dead's 'Alice D. Millionaire,' Steely Dan's 'Kid Charlemagne' and possibly even Jimi Hendrix's 'Purple Haze.'
Aside from Stanley's chemistry talents, he was one of the Grateful Dead's first financial backers and ended up serving as their sound engineer. Stanley also inspired the band's "dancing bear" logo and created their lightning bolt skull "Steal Your Face" design.
"Bear, as we knew him, was one of my all-time biggest influences," Dead co-founder Bob Weir said in a statement. "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."
Stanley later moved to Australia with his wife Sheila and became a citizen in 1996. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Stanley moved there because he believed that he would survive in the country in case of a potential a new ice age.
Stanley is survived by his wife, four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.