I will share the stories of influential women who informed the Grateful dead scene: our visions of how both culture & family could be different from the complacency & materialism in our own upbringing, our creativity in the arts and in valuing the handmade, our spirituality and sense of oneness with each other and nature that we learned from taking LSD, and how we became a family that made counterculture mainstream culture. I will draw from interviews with women who worked for & influenced the Grateful Dead & the Merry Pranksters as well as stories from my book, Owsley & Me: My LSD Family, to show how our lives embodied new values that connected us as a tribe to each other & our earth.
Rhoney Gissen Stanley, a graduate of the University of California, worked in the LSD labs of the 1960’s with her partner, Owsley Stanley. She is a practicing holistic orthodontist in New York. Learn more on Rhoney’s website.
Her book, OWSLEY AND ME: My LSD Family is a love story set against the background of the psychedelic revolution of the ’60S. OWSLEY “BEAR” STANLEY met Rhoney in Berkeley in 1965, when LSD was still legal and he was the world’s largest producer and distributor of LSD. Rhoney found herself working in an LSD laboratory, and the third corner in a love triangle. We have all heard the stories from the ’60s—but never from the point of view of a woman finding her way through twisted trails of love, jealousy, and paranoia, all the while personally connecting to the most iconic events and people of her time. Bear supported the Grateful Dead in their early years and gave away as much LSD as he sold—millions of hits. He designed and engineered the infamous Wall of Sound system of the late 70s, just before he began his two years in prison, with Rhoney raising their infant son. He died two years ago, but the era he helped create is now being rediscovered by a new generation interested in the meaning of it all.
“Rhoney has not only DONE the acid, she had MADE the acid under the tutelage of Owsley Stanley. She had been a lab technician for the skeleton crew who produced an estimated two million hits to fuel the Northern California psychedelic revolution of the sixties.” Tom Davis