A man who volunteered to fix a vintage synthesiser reportedly had an ‘accidental acid trip’ after trying to clean and repair the instrument.
As the Broadcast Operations Manager for a television station, Eliot Curtis tackles all sorts of boring technical problems on a daily basis. So when the opportunity came to fix such a renowned musical instrument, he jumped at it.
The vintage ‘analog music modular instrument’ is owned by the music department at California State University and was stored in a closet for years before the decision to repair it late last year.
As reported by San Francisco KPIX5, Curtis took the synthesiser home to his workshop to make the repairs.
Curtis reports seeing ‘something’ crystallised stuck under the instrument, but thought nothing of it.
The Broadcast Operations Manager said:
There was like a residue… a crust or a crystalline residue on it.
Continuing with his work, Curtis sprayed a cleaning solvent on the instrument and started to push the dissolving crystal with his finger as he attempted to clean the area.
About 45 minutes later, Curtis began to experience a ‘weird, tingling sensation,’ which lasted for approximately nine hours, saying: ‘It was… felt like I was tripping on LSD’. Later, he discovered this was exactly what was happening.
Three individual tests identified the crystal as LSD, with an LSD researcher and expert telling KPIX5 that the drug can remain potent for decades if kept in a cool, dark place – as it was in this case.
The expert also confirmed that it is possible to ingest the chemical through the skin under the right conditions. As was the case with Curtis.
His wife, Holly, witnessed the entire thing, and told KPIX5 she thought the entire situation was ‘super wild’.
I think it’s super wild. I think this whole situation is a nice chapter in the history of the counter culture.
But how did the LSD get on the instrument in the first place?
Well, it’s rumoured that musicians who used the instrument in the 1960’s would dip part of it in LSD so that when they were performing, all they had to do to get high was touch the instrument and then lick their finger.
It’s not confirmed if that’s what happened here, but it’s a pretty cool story.
Here’s hoping Eliot didn’t endure an involuntarily bad trip.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).