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  1. #1
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    You're record collection was probably greatly influenced by this guy.

    This happened back in March but I just learned of it today. I don't praise him nor do I judge him harshly. He's just an interesting story and the subject of Steely Dan's song "Kid Charlemagne". "Kid Charlemagne" is looking at Owsley's life using sardonic lyrics. The song is from the 1976 album "The Royal Scam" and tells his story from his stardom amongst the rock and roll elite to his fall from grace.

    IIRC, Mick Fleetwood mentions in his autobiography that Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac was in NYC and called Owsley and he was out the next day from the west coast with the "stuff" they wanted.

    While you can look at Owsley's life and say he was nothing more than an acid peddler you have to realize that he did care about what went into his stuff. He never produced "Brown Acid" (poorly manufactured acid that causes permanent damage to the brain). Mick Fleetwood claims Peter Green took some brown acid in Germany from amateur acid manufacturers and thus ruined his mind and career.

    Anyhoo, he's an interesting and tragic story that I thought I'd post about when I read that he had died. I'm pretty sure a lot of people here have at least one album his "product" helped influence. JMO

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/us/15stanley.html

    Owsley Stanley, Artisan of Acid, Is Dead at 76
    By MARGALIT FOX
    Published: March 14, 2011

    Owsley Stanley, the prodigiously gifted applied chemist to the stars, who made LSD in quantity for the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and other avatars of the psychedelic 60s, died on Sunday in a car accident in Australia....

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylr2D4Pwn58"]Steely Dan - Kid Charlemagne (Live) - YouTube[/ame]

    KID CHARLEMAGNE

    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
    Did you feel like Jesus
    Did you realize
    That you were a champion in their eyes

    On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene
    But yours was kitchen clean
    Everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motor home
    Every A-Frame had your number on the wall
    You must have had it all
    You'd go to L.A. on a dare
    And you'd go it alone
    Could you live forever
    Could you see the day
    Could you feel your whole world fall apart and fade away

    CHORUS:
    Get along, get along Kid Charlemagne
    Get along Kid Charlemagne

    Now your patrons have all left you in the red
    Your low rent friends are dead
    This life can be very strange
    All those dayglow freaks who used to paint the face
    They've joined the human race
    Some things will never change
    Son you were mistaken
    You are obsolete
    Look at all the white men on the street

    CHORUS

    Clean this mess up else we'll all end up in jail
    Those test tubes and the scale
    Just get them all out of here
    Is there gas in the car
    Yes, there's gas in the car
    I think the people down the hall
    Know who you are

    Careful what you carry
    'Cause the man is wise
    You are still an outlaw in their eyes

    CHORUS


    Written by Donald Fagen/Walter Becker

  2. #2
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    This is the bus Ken Kesey and The Merry Prankster's used;



    Hence the "technicolor motorhome"

  3. #3
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    "That the brown acid that is circulating around us isn't too good" Chip Monk.

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  4. #4
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    Heh, he attributed his throat cancer to the broccoli his mother forced on him as a child, lol. He touted the carnivorous diet.

    Interesting article, Steely, thanks! (oh, and for the other Steely, too!)

  5. #5
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    Mick Fleetwood claims Peter Green took some brown acid in Germany from amateur acid manufacturers and thus ruined his mind and career.
    A better-known story (and source for the song title below) is that Green took LSD called "green Manalishi," and subsequently encountered rough sailing along the way, shall we say. The song is great, and greatly disturbing, one of the last recorded before Peter Green dropped from sight for several years:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h6J2W17V9A"]Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) - YouTube[/ame]

  6. #6
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    Grateful Dead's early Owsley song - Owsley had been referred to in the papers as a "LSD millionaire":
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQybXHI2W-A&feature=player_embedded#"]Alice D. Millionaire - Grateful Dead - YouTube[/ame]

  7. #7
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    OT to the subject of the thread but a comment on one of the vid's posted here---I always had a crush (non romantic-non sexual) on Donald Fagen's (and Becker too but mostly Fagen because I also appreciate his vocal delivery) artistry with lyric.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    A better-known story (and source for the song title below) is that Green took LSD called "green Manalishi," and subsequently encountered rough sailing along the way, shall we say. The song is great, and greatly disturbing, one of the last recorded before Peter Green dropped from sight for many years:
    Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) - YouTube
    I'd double check myself but I lent Mick Fleetwood's autobiography to my brother. As I recall it, Fleetwood Mac played a gig in Germany and these weird hippie type cult people invited them to a party after the show and Mick and the other guys got a really bad vibe from them and declined. They thought Peter had gotten a bad vibe too, but when they couldn't find him Mick had to go to the hippie cult and PG was there and acting very strangely and did so for a long time after. Mick suspects that PG was given some of their home made acid. I think this happened after "Green Manalishi" was written but I could be wrong.

    I call what PG had as Syd Barrett's disease. Too much acid and a full distrust of the music industry. I think that if PG and SB were allowed to just make music and not deal with anyone from record companies they'd have recorded a lot more stuff. I also recall Mick putting his butt on the line for PG and negotiating a five record deal for him. However, literally, just before signing it he chickened out. He didn't want to make a long term commitment like that.

    Another interesting story from that book is off topic but interesting. After PG left the band FWM was touring America. On a flight to LA Jeremy Spencer, another guitarist in the band, started freaking out a little. He told Mick they shouldn't go to LA because something bad was gonna happen.

    Mick calmed him down enough to get him to agree to play the show. The morning of the show JS left the hotel to go to a book store and didn't return. Mick went out to track him down so he'd make the show and when he got to the bookstore he found out JS had left with someone from a cult. When Mick went to the cult they refused to let him see Jeremy. They did eventually let JS come out but he was behind a counter and they wouldn't let Mick talk to him alone. He said he was happy and wanted to stay with the cult and he did. They had to cancel that show and wired PG to see if he'd fill in until the show was done. Fortunately he came over right away and helped out.

    At the time Mick wrote his autobiography around 1980ish Spencer was still with the cult as far as Mick knew.

  9. #9
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    Syd Barrett's "The Madcap Laughs" and Skip Spence's "Oar" are often cited as the two quintessential albums
    exemplifying the term "acid casualty":

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k5WQnfCjmk"]Syd Barrett - Octopus - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t2ZufBbnD8"]Alexander "Skip" Spence - Little Hands (from "Oar") - YouTube[/ame]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat View Post
    OT to the subject of the thread but a comment on one of the vid's posted here---I always had a crush (non romantic-non sexual) on Donald Fagen's (and Becker too but mostly Fagen because I also appreciate his vocal delivery) artistry with lyric.
    You


  11. #11
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    Steely! Great thread again! I love it that reminice about my life so far through the great music I love. O and thanks for the trip down memory lane.heh
    JMO, MOO, Doing my best. I am not perfect and I don't expect you to be either.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    I'd double check myself but I lent Mick Fleetwood's autobiography to my brother. As I recall it, Fleetwood Mac played a gig in Germany and these weird hippie type cult people invited them to a party after the show and Mick and the other guys got a really bad vibe from them and declined. They thought Peter had gotten a bad vibe too, but when they couldn't find him Mick had to go to the hippie cult and PG was there and acting very strangely and did so for a long time after. Mick suspects that PG was given some of their home made acid. I think this happened after "Green Manalishi" was written but I could be wrong.

    I call what PG had as Syd Barrett's disease. Too much acid and a full distrust of the music industry. I think that if PG and SB were allowed to just make music and not deal with anyone from record companies they'd have recorded a lot more stuff. I also recall Mick putting his butt on the line for PG and negotiating a five record deal for him. However, literally, just before signing it he chickened out. He didn't want to make a long term commitment like that.

    Another interesting story from that book is off topic but interesting. After PG left the band FWM was touring America. On a flight to LA Jeremy Spencer, another guitarist in the band, started freaking out a little. He told Mick they shouldn't go to LA because something bad was gonna happen.

    Mick calmed him down enough to get him to agree to play the show. The morning of the show JS left the hotel to go to a book store and didn't return. Mick went out to track him down so he'd make the show and when he got to the bookstore he found out JS had left with someone from a cult. When Mick went to the cult they refused to let him see Jeremy. They did eventually let JS come out but he was behind a counter and they wouldn't let Mick talk to him alone. He said he was happy and wanted to stay with the cult and he did. They had to cancel that show and wired PG to see if he'd fill in until the show was done. Fortunately he came over right away and helped out.

    At the time Mick wrote his autobiography around 1980ish Spencer was still with the cult as far as Mick knew.
    [bbm]

    they had him brainwashed within hours? maybe their acid was better lol

  13. #13
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    this was one very interesting guy ... too many snippets to quote ... well worth reading the NY Times link that Steely quoted

    also, there is a link there to this article from 2007:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/...f-lsd-20110314

    where there is even more good reading

    thanks Steely!
    Last edited by LadyL; 11-05-2011 at 10:27 PM. Reason: had page 6 of article linked, instead of page 1

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyL View Post
    [bbm]

    they had him brainwashed within hours? maybe their acid was better lol
    I think he was weaker minded or maybe you're right.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyL View Post
    this was one very interesting guy ... too many snippets to quote ... well worth reading the NY Times link that Steely quoted

    also, there is a link there to this article from 2007:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/...f-lsd-20110314

    where there is even more good reading

    thanks Steely!
    Thank you!

    From the article;

    Although people speculated for years about how Owsley managed to conceal his stash, no one ever figured it out. He says his method was simple. He kept the LSD in an inexpensive footlocker that traveled constantly on Greyhound buses between Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco. "I could leave it for up to thirty days in the bus station and I would go to it wherever it was, take out whatever I needed, take it back in, and send it to myself in the next city. It was always in a safe place, and nobody had a clue, because I never told anyone I did that."...

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/...#ixzz1ctL1C563

    That dude was smart as hell but like so many people with genius IQ's he was a semi-social misfit.

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