Synth repairman by accident will get excessive after touching outdated LSD on a classic ’60s synthesizer*

Classic Buchla Mannequin 100 modular synthesizer from Cal State College, photograph through KPIX 5

What would you do if you happen to discovered a 50-year-old dose of LSD laying round? When you’re Eliot Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Supervisor for KPIX Tv, you get excessive on acid… by accident.

Curtis lately undertook the mission of restoring a classic Buchla Mannequin 100 modular synthesizer. In response to San Francisco KPIX 5, the instrument had been sitting in a chilly, darkish room at Cal State College East Bay for the reason that 1960s, so he lugged it house and started repairing it.

After opening a red-paneled module on the synth, he seen there was “a crust or a crystalline residue on it.” Naturally, he did what any individual tasked with fixing up an outdated instrument would do: spray some cleaner on it, choose on the residue together with his finger, and attempt to dislodge it by scratching it off. However 45 minutes later, he began to really feel some tingling. It was the beginning of a nine-hour acid journey.

(Learn: Grateful Useless in 10 Songs)

Three particular person chemical assessments recognized the substance on the synth as LSD. An nameless LSD researcher defined what occurred. It seems that when saved in a cool, darkish place, LSD can stay potent for many years. On prime of that, there’s written proof from Albert Hoffman, the primary individual to ingest LSD, that he believed it could possibly be ingested by way of the pores and skin.

What was LSD doing on the instrument within the first place? No one is aware of, however there’s loads of theories. Look no additional than Don Buchla, the instrument’s inventor. Not solely was Buchla a part of the ’60s counterculture at massive, however his synths ended up on an old-fashioned bus bought by LSD advocate Ken Kesey and his followers in 1966. Throughout Kesey’s acid assessments at Winterland on Halloween, digital sounds interrupted an interview with Kesey. Moreover, Buchla was a buddy of Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Useless’s sound engineer and an notorious producer of a particularly pure pressure of LSD.

These in search of an identical expertise should look elsewhere. Curtis completed cleansing the classic Buchla mannequin for good — and this time round, he made positive to put on gloves.

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