May 23, 2019

"After opening a red-paneled module on the [vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer], he noticed there was 'a crust or a crystalline residue on it.'"

"Naturally, he did what any person tasked with fixing up an [instrument that had been lying around for 50 years] would do: spray some cleaner on it, pick at the residue with his finger, and try to dislodge it by scratching it off. But 45 minutes later, he started to feel some tingling. It was the start of a nine-hour acid trip."

From "Synth repairman accidentally gets high after touching old LSD on a vintage ’60s synthesizer/The strain was possibly from Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead's notorious sound engineer" (Consequence of Sound).

28 comments:

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Accidental tripping is no laughing matter, because it can feel an awful lot like insanity if you don't know what's happening. My friend Wang got so freaked out by an dosing he got from a community punch bowl at a Berkeley party that he quit school and joined the Marines. At least he survived both trips.

stevew said...

Ooops. Not being and LSD aficionado I have to ask: the circumstance of this dosing seems highly unusual and suspicious, is it really that easy?

Yancey Ward said...

I call bullshit. You can keep the salt stable in solution if you keep it away from oxygen in the air and light- it degrades rapidly otherwise in solution. The common crystalline forms are hygroscopic, and would only survive long in extremely non-humid environments.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Stevew, LSD can be eaten, melted under the tongue and absorbed through the skin or eyeballs, so yes. It really is that easy. Just holding it in a sweaty palm will cause you to absorb the LSD from blotter paper. The crystalline form subsides easily too, going from solid to liquid state immediately upon contact with saliva or perspiration.

Nick said...

Doubtful. Consider the source.

rehajm said...

The leftie brats in high school used to fantasize about installing LSD toilet paper in the teacher bathrooms.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Just clicked through and man the article is short on details. Laughably, they use a quote from Abbie Hoffman (couldn't find a living human to comment on LSD I guess) in which he suggests LSD can be absorbed. I believe since the end of Kesey's Acid Test and now we have garnered more info about this unique and strange drug. I'll state unequivic ally that the science is settled. LSD is very easy to get into your system via skin, stomach, tongue, eyeball, anus or what have you.

What exactly was Althouse's interest in blogging this story? What interesting thing caught her eye?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

...would only survive long in extremely non-humid environments.

Such as a cool, dark, climate controlled (i.e. air conditioners pull moisture from the air) storage area in a university lab? Cmon man. It could happen!

Yancey Ward said...

I can tell you authoritatively- it is absorbed rapidly in the soft tissues of the mouth. I am less sure of the skin of your hands.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Great if it's true. The ghost in the machine in both the philisophical and near-literal senses.

Yancey Ward said...

Mike, open to the air, the humidity level would have almost nothing- glove box level moisture control.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Does he wear contacts?

Robert Cook said...

Happy accident!

Ice Nine said...

Yes, it can indeed be absorbed through skin as I discovered from getting a few whiffs of effect from handling tabs too long.

Ah, the good ol' days! Great fun. I'd still be dropping acid today, many years later, if I hadn't realized after about eight times that this shit so profoundly screws around with your brain that it cannot possibly be good for it for very long. MDMA - the best, and much more powerful - took only three times to figure that out, heh. It's like an insightful tourist realizing that tourism screws up that which is being toured.

Both phenomena are a pity, really.

CJinPA said...

So when I read stories of "making music while on acid," it's the instrument that actually took the drug. Fascinating.

Kay said...

I’ve heard that the manufacturers at Buchla would sometimes dose the keypads on their machines before shipping them out, but only to people who knew what they were getting. Pretty fun!

Kay said...

I love Althouse’s posts about psychedelic matters, and was wondering if she was going to blog about this when I read it yesterday. Very glad she did.

Nonapod said...

I would be absolutely terrified if that happened to me. While I have smoked pot before I've never taken LCD or even 'shrooms so it's unlikely that I would recognize the experinece for what it was. I would probably assume I was hallucinating due to a brain tumor or something.

PM said...

That's some half-life.

daskol said...

Other people's drugs

Nichevo said...

Robert Cook said...
Happy accident!

5/23/19, 12:23 PM


Big talk from a guy who says he doesn't do drugs.

robother said...

Sorry, this is just not credible on so many levels. Why would Owsley store acid in a synthesizer? Acid dealers in the 60s always kept tabs in the freezer; it was know to break down at ordinary temps. Unless the repairman was licking the mysterious crystalline stuff off the machine, I can't imagine he would get anything like a full-blown 9 hour acid trip. Really, from merely brushing his hands against the stuff while cleaning it off? Joliet Jake level BS to his pissed-off boss.

Michael said...

Interesting. Owsley would approve. Tim would approve. Ram Dass would approve. Andrew Weil would rat him out.

Crimso said...

"Clean this mess up else we'll all end up in jail. Those test tubes and the scale, just get it all out of here. Is there gas in the car? Yes, there's gas in the car. I think the people down the hall know who you are."

The much-reviled Steely Dan (one of the best bands ever) have said that song was not about a specific person, but they were clearly referring to Bear.

Gk1 said...

Interesting if true. It would not surprise me if someone may have accidentally spilt their eye dropper of acid on the keyboard as they were dosing sheets of Mick mouse stamps. I can imagine it soak into the machine only to dose some lucky engineer years later. I've heard stranger stories from retired merry pranksters who have retired to Oregon from the bay area and how they used to make acid and distribute it. Quality control was sometimes not a high priority with some folks.

richard mcenroe said...

Owsley Purple on the Bus, man!

Fernandistein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandistein said...

Laughably, they use a quote from Abbie Hoffman

ALBERT HOFman (article misspells it), the chemist who invented LSD and absorbed it thru his skin before his bicycle ride, not Abbie Hoffman the goofball.