Jimi Hendrix inspiration and LSD producer Owsley Stanley dies

Stanley also inspired The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa

Owsley Stanley, a counterculture figure who inspired Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa, has died.

Kentucky-born Stanley rose to prominence as a producer of the LSD drug in the 1960s. He died in a car crash in Australia on Sunday (March 13), reports the Associated Press. He was 76.

As a prolific LSD producer, Stanley‘s brushes with the law were referenced in the lyrics of Hendrix and Zappa.

Also, as well as being a sound engineer for The Grateful Dead and inspiring some of their lyrics, he inspired the group’s iconic dancing bear logo.

His influence was so big in the California drug culture of the ’60s that ‘Owsley’ became a slang term for quality LSD.

Reminiscing on his role in the counterculture, in 2007 he told the San Francisco Chronicle: “I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was community service, the way I look at it.”

Family friend Sam Cutler said: “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.”