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Username: susan

Post Number: 101
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post

Most of you can only know Bear through various media accounts and some passages in books written about the 60's and 70's. Also as you know he avoided the camera and so photos are a rare commodity. Bear has been a part of our lives since 1968 when I was 18 and first met him at Pacific Recording Studio In San Mateo CA while working on the album Aoxomoxoa. He wooed Ron and I to come to Novato and join him and the Dead in early 1969. When we arrived we found there was no job with the Dead. Bear had already printed stationary for his dream of an “Alembic” to improve the quality of recorded music especially live music.

As an extended arm of the Grateful Dead, that was not going to happen. It was then that Bear decided to pass the name Alembic, the logo and dream on to me and Ron to fulfill. We officially made Alembic a company in May 1969. I know that he was pleased with all that Alembic had and continues to achieve, he told me so on numerous occasions.

How many people have been influenced by his presence on the planet? Too many to tally. Anybody who claims “DeadHead status” for one and of course any Alembic aficionados for another. His patronage of the artist Bob Thomas (my art mentor) as well as his own exquisite bronze statues and enamel and gold pieces many featuring Grateful Dead imagery brought more beauty to the world.

Bear had the idea for the Steal Your Face and Alembic Logos which he engaged Bob Thomas to create artwork for. Later came what many called the Dancing Bears, but Bear corrected that to be Marching Bears. That's a lot of decorated t-shirts, posters, decals etc. that people enjoy because of his vision.

Too many memories to list here. Suffice it to say he was one of the Good Guys. He was as demanding of himself as he was on the people around him. But it was all in the name of making things better. I feel lucky and privileged to have known him for all these years. I'm glad we spoke just a few weeks ago. He will be missed.
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1696
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 8:01 pm:   Edit Post

Dear Susan, thank you so much for writing to us here .
Blessed I am to have been alive at a time when I was still a young man with a mind searching for relevance for a bond of truth and introspection for humanity and cause and effect and to have been influenced by Bear at that time . To question the status quo and reach for the answers of what really matters. Although we were not of regular daily acquaintance ,however Bear was a influence on me on a large scale to and on multiple parameters ; Innovator , Artist, Sound Engineer, Philosopher and exemplary human being,I was walking in to the early Alembic locations as a young musician in San Francisco when I was still a teenager and now in retrospect a 55 year old (my birthday was 3/14) I can see how my intuition was leading me there. It is a truly a great fortune to have Alembic Inc. for the entire music community. A true statement of creativity beyond the status qua of mass produced stringed instruments. I was ultimately influenced from Bears gifts and generous mentation that one day at Kesey's in La Honda . I send my love to all effected by his loss.

Wolf .

(Message edited by sonicus on March 15, 2011)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10100
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 5:00 am:   Edit Post

Thank you Susan.
Username: bpeder

Post Number: 6
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 1:03 pm:   Edit Post

Many, many people were pleasantly surprised to find that if they wrote to Bear at his site, he returned messages! I was among them. Such a legenday guy but he was not surrounded by a bunch of flappers. He took time to write back and answer a question or weigh in on an issue. I'm sorry Bear checked out too soon, but his vibration in this world will be felt for a long time. What's that the Buddhists say about dying twice? Bear will never die twice...
Username: sparechaynge

Post Number: 13
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 8:44 am:   Edit Post

bpeder, I belive the Quote is as follows:

You only live twice;
once when you are born
and once when you look death in the face

Bear will be missed.

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