Posted in Montclair, People

Grateful Dead House – Oakland

The Grateful Dead once partied at a home on 6024 Ascot Drive in the Piedmont Pines section of Oakland.

6024 Ascot Drive
Oakland Tribune May9, 1948

In 1948 house at 6024 Ascot Drive was advertised as a ‘ A Little Bit of Mexico” in beautiful Piedmont Hills ( Piedmont Pines), nestled in a glorious 2 1/4 acres: balconies overlooking a beautiful swimming pool. All the tiles in the bathrooms came from the Muresque Tile Co. of Oakland, one of the premier West Coast tilemakers in the 1920’s and 30’s. Property highlights include a log cabin family room.

In 1968 Michael Leibert his wife Alexa and their 5 dogs lived at 6024 Ascot. Leibert was the founder of the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

The house had an normal existence until sometime during the late sixties, the house was rented by Owsley “Bear” Stanley (1935-2011) was an American audio engineer and chemist.

Stanley was the first known private individual to manufacture mass quantities of LSD. By his own account, between 1965 and 1967, Stanley produced no less than 500 grams of LSD, amounting to a little more than five million doses.

Owsley was a key figure in the San Francisco Bay Area hippie movement during the 1960s and played a pivotal role in the decade’s counterculture. Under the professional name Bear, he was the soundman for the rock band the Grateful Dead, whom he met when Ken Kesey invited them to an Acid Test party. As their sound engineer, Stanley frequently recorded live tapes behind his mixing board and developed their Wall of Sound sound system, one of the largest mobile public address systems ever constructed.

Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Google Books

Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Oakland Tribune Jul 16, 1970

In 1972 the house was advertised a true Spanish “Villa”. Back on the market.

Oakland Tribune May 21, 1972
SF Examiner 1998

The house on was sold in 2012 for $1.2 million dollars.   A September 2012 article, “Rest Your Head Where the Grateful Dead Once Partied” was posted on the  Curbed San Francisco website.

More Info –

The End

Author:

I have been an Oakland history buff since going on an Oakland Heritage Alliance Tour of the Fernwood Neighborhood in the Montclair District of Oakland, in the mid-80's. On that tour, I learned that there use to be a train (Sacramento Northern) that ran through Montclair, in the early 1900's and that people lived the area as early as 1860's. I have been hooked ever since. Since then I have spent a lot of time looking into the history of Montclair and I have learned a lot. I feel this will be the best way to get it out of my head and onto paper.

5 thoughts on “Grateful Dead House – Oakland

      1. Grrrr. I signed in but it says I’m anonymous. Wikipedia has the whole story. Bear had started putting lightening bolts on the sound equipment but wanted a more easily recognizable logo. Bob graduated from the California Institute of the Arts and was a painter and graphic designer. He painted the cover of the Live Dead album too.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Brilliant! I will forever wonder whether it was Melissa Cargill who was the brains behind the Owsley lab, yet he got the credit. Oh, well, he was a good audio engineer, for sure. It was written somewhere that Tom Butt, sitting mayor of Richmond, became excited when he learned that Owsley and Melissa had one of their temporary labs in the basement of a building in Richmond. But no one could remember the exact location, so their landmarks board could install a brass plaque. Can anyone help the mayor with this?

    Liked by 2 people

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