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Owsley and Me: My LSD Family

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  134 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Owsley and Me is a love story set against the background of the Psychedelic Revolution of the '60s. Owsley "Bear" Stanley met her 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 all know the stories from the '60s—but n ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Monkfish Book Publishing (first published April 1st 2013)
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Jun 19, 2013 Brendan rated it it was ok
I had really high expectations for this book, and it failed to live up to most. With solid connections to both the Dead and LSD, I figured this book would have an entertaining story to tell; unfortunately most of the story here is lost in the flat, disjointed writing. There are certainly some decent moments, and it picks up a bit in quality in the home stretch, but overall this book contains very little "Owsley and me" and a whole lot of rather shallow documentation of the movers and shakers in ...more
Jan 02, 2014 Megan rated it it was ok
A reviewer on Amazon called this book "gossipy and superficial" and I would agree. This was a big disappointment to me since I was really excited to read an account of the psychedelic era from the point of view of a woman for once, but there was no depth. Just a long list of getting "very high" on LSD constantly and letting the King of LSD treat you like poop and eventually having his baby. I was visiting San Francisco when this book came out and just missed the book signing in The Haight, but ...more
David Ward
Owsley and Me: My LSD Family by Rhoney Glissen Stanley with Tom Davis (Monkfish Book Publishing 2012) (362.294092). Augustus Owsley Stanley III was California's leading underground chemist of the 1960's and the legendary brewmaster of the famous “Owsley Acid”, which was widely regarded as the purest LSD-25 synthesized in California' during the heyday of the hippies. Owsley started brewing the stuff when it was not yet illegal in California. Owsley had the foresight to purchase the necessary prec ...more
Steve Johgart
Nov 27, 2015 Steve Johgart rated it liked it
The book would have been much less interesting had I not already read several other books on the same era of early San Francisco psychedelic culture. This book gives some insight into some of the characters who only are on the periphery of the other books I've read. I always thought I'd have enjoyed the somewhat surreal, creative, freewheeling lifestyle of those days, but this story, like the others, tells a tale of craziness well beyond my most extreme comfort levels.

The book, if accurate, mak
Feb 16, 2013 Jesse rated it liked it
Shelves: deadfreaksunite
There are a lot of things that "Owsley and Me" isn't. There are many better books about sex/drugs/rock/the Dead/the history of LSD/the 60s, maaaaaaan, etc., and it's probably necessary to have read a fair bit of them for "Owsley and Me" to have maximum impact. Long one of the most mysterious figures in the history of the American counterculture, the images alone in this book more than quadruple previously known photographs of the legendary acid maker. His ex's memoir is an invaluable look at ...more
Wilson Trivino
Nov 29, 2014 Wilson Trivino rated it really liked it
The psychedelic 60s have a certain romance to them but in reality it was just a bunch of kids trying to make it.
Rhoney Gissen Stanley paints a vivid portrait as she captures in her memoir Owsley and Me: My LSD Family.
She shares how she crossed paths with one of the premium producers of LSD Owsley “Bear” Stanley. The met one night when his forward advances swept her up. She was in the heart of the psychedelic revolution and got a front row seat of the influences of such greats of the Grateful D
Feb 16, 2015 Glenn rated it liked it
Shelves: music, drugs
Rhoney Stanley's memoir of her relationship with Owsley Stanley (the father of her son, sound engineer for the Grateful Dead and expert LSD chemist) reads somewhat like an acid trip. Certain details are magnified to a significance far beyond reason and then there are jarring and abrupt shifts in space and time. There's a disturbing lack of insight into both the narrator and the subject, but also tons of insider stories on the creation myths of the psychedelic movement. The three star rating is ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Mike rated it liked it
I was mildly disappointed by this book. I was interested in the Grateful Dead vs Owsley connection to begin with and I wish that this book revealled more detail in that respect. I understand that this was written from one person's perspective but it is not the one that I was interested in. I did not care for the carnal details that were revealed by the author, however there may be some that may enjoy them. The book was not poorly written, it just wasn't written in a style that matches my taste. ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Renee rated it liked it
Picked this book up at an independent book store under a staff recommendation and I can't understand why.
The story centers around the authors experience with Owsley "Bear" Stanley, one of the largest LSD manufactures and distributors in the country in the 1960's.
Lots of free love, commune living, acid tripping and venereal disease spreading hippies who were the most self absorbed group I've ever read about.
The book was interesting enough to read, but the descriptions of their general lifestyles
Mar 06, 2015 Judith rated it did not like it
The “author” is one of the most annoying people I’ve ever come across. I’m a big fan of Owsley, and his product, and figured that I would enjoy the book because I was around during that period. But I had trouble getting past the needy, clingy nature of the author’s relationship with Owsley. I won’t blame it on the drugs, because we were all pretty stoned during that decade. I wouldn’t recommend the book to anyone, because you can find out the facts about Owsley online and spare yourself the ...more
Amy Eighttrack
Jan 15, 2014 Amy Eighttrack rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot. I wished that it didn't end. Co-written by Tom Davis of Franken and Davis fame.

If you have any interest in the psychedelic era and its music, you'll like this, too. She definitely has a point of view and offers a rare, authentic, valuable insider's perspective. Though I may not agree with her assessments, I was glad that she shared them here. The book was a turn-on in more ways than one.
Quitting after a week and 80 pages. I couldn't take it anymore. I mean I knew it was going to be a tough book to get through (in a excruciatingly boring read kind of way, not in a difficult Tolstoyian kind of way) but about page 60 I really started to question the accuracy of her story, because it happened over 50 years ago now, and she was high on LSD for most of it. This whole book might have been a total hallucination.
Shawn Lahr
Feb 24, 2015 Shawn Lahr rated it liked it
This was a fun trip down anecdotal acid-head lane. Lots of defining episodes from the depths of the hippie counter culture. It's great to read how Owsley had the vision to fuse LSD and music for a higher level of consciousness. The truth was just needed to take the right dose to see it clearly.

Jul 22, 2013 Monica rated it did not like it
The dialogue is poorly written, and the writing is not that great overall, which is odd, considering there was a co-author. Owsley sounds like a know-it-all asshole, and Rhoney just seems like a confused hippie chick. This might be more interesting if you're interested in the Grateful Dead and their history, but otherwise, skip it.
Hank Kirton
Sep 24, 2014 Hank Kirton rated it it was ok
Shelves: social-history
Another fascinating life story torpedoed by poor writing. Tom Davis seems to have been no help at all. Worthwhile for the time capsule aspect but I liked Owsley a hell of a lot better when he was a mythic, underground figure.
rebecca hutchinson
Interesting,compelling,fabulous writing

clear writing,picture perfect words,,like your are living their life with them,what I didn't like,left some things out the abortions ,too much of the making of the LSD,although some would want the recipes,
Mat Brewster
Oct 18, 2014 Mat Brewster rated it liked it
Shelves: own
An insiders guide to the 60s counter culture by Owsley's sometimes girlfriend. Its an interesting read though she's more interested in pining over Owsley (who was also involved with another woman) rather that digging into the cultural revolution going on about her.
Allan Cronin
Apr 17, 2014 Allan Cronin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice little memoir, very well written by a woman who was very close with the legendary chemist and sound man. If you're interested in this era this is a nice little historical document.
Meg Elison
Jan 10, 2014 Meg Elison rated it it was ok
A litany of name-dropping that suffers from an impotent editor.

Full review here:
Jul 02, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it it was ok
Found it a little bit boring, and could not really connect to whatever she was trying to convey... too much acid, I guess ;)
Jun 09, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing
You don't get many first hand accounts of manufacturing LSD. This is a fascinating one. Its the Breaking Bad of the late 60's.
Gerald Griffin
Gerald Griffin rated it really liked it
May 15, 2016
Chris Kramer
Chris Kramer rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2013
Richard rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2013
Melyssa rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2016
Thomas J Pressey
Thomas J Pressey rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2016
Robert rated it it was ok
Dec 22, 2015
Redcat rated it liked it
Mar 26, 2015
Bonnie rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2014
Kyle rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2015
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“St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution oil painting by Alex Grey, 2006 color image in the book Net of Being by Alex Grey, 2012” 0 likes
“Jerry [Garcia] held his guitar and picked some random licks. I spoke from an LSD haze.

'LSD changes perception. Music transcends the musician. You are the vehicle for communication.'

Garcia stopped and stared at me.

'I practice,' Garcia declared. 'Anyone can do that.'

That shut me up and he returned to the guitar”
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