An engineer in Berkeley took a literal “trip” back in time when reviving one of the few Buchla synthesizers left in the world. The modular instrument, once considered one of the most groudbreaking in the world, had been sitting in a Cal State East Bay basement since the late 1960s.
While re-working some of the wiring, the enginer, named Eliot Curtis, noticed an odd crust on one of the knobs. He found out what the mystery substance was about 45 minutes after removing it with a finger when he began to “feel fuzzy” and eventually enter a nine-hour trip. Lab tests later confirmed that the substance he’d been unintentionally dosed with was LSD. The substance had been able to survive due to its dark and cool storage conditions.
Don Buchla, the creator of the synth who once worked with bands like Grateful Dead, was a notable figure in the 60s counterculture movement. He even had close ties to Ken Kesey, who was a major spokesperson for LSD and a manufacturer during his time. Unfortunately, how this synth got covered in the substance will remain a mystery, as both Buchla and Kesey are no longer with us.