LSD king Owsley Stanley’s ‘Sonic Journals’ surface after 50 years—Sam Whiting, SF Gate
On June 23, the Owsley Stanley Foundation, headed by Starfinder Stanley will release the first of his late father’s legendary “Sonic Journals” in record stores. The seven-CD box set “Doc & Merle Watson: Never the Same Way Once” will introduce an archive of 1,300 tapes recorded live at San Francisco dance halls and nightclubs in the 1960s and ’70s.
Among the 80 artists on tape are Miles Davis on a double bill with the Grateful Dead at Fillmore West, Johnny Cash at the Carousel Ballroom, and Quicksilver Messenger Service at San Quentin, where Bear himself once lived.
The reel-to-reel recordings have been in storage for 50 years or more, which is way too long for history this important. Bear, the renowned sound engineer who built the Wall of Sound for the Grateful Dead, never had the time or money to catalog and transfer his concert tapes to digital files.