Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Albert Hofmann dies

thanks to my friend
the fountain valley lounge lizard
who daily sends e-mails to a group
of friends, 'the dj-list' as we refer to it
packed with music news and music related
events, i found out today that
Albert Hofmann, the chemist who synthesized LSD
died yesterday at age 102

and strangely enough just 2 weekends ago
i saw a documentary at the History Channel called
from Peyote to LSD: A Psychedelic Odyssey
where this scene was recreated:

{Edward's text}
"Hofmann was a synthetic chemist who worked for Sandoz Laboratories, now Novartis, in the 1930's when we began studying chemistry of ergot, the common name for a fungus that grows on rye, barley, and some other plants. Hofmann devised a technique, making a series of derivatives of lysergic acid and began looking for medically useful compounds. His 25th compound synthesized in 1938 was lysergic acid diethylamide.

On April 16, 1943 Hofmann would return to the 25th compound and began testing the compound on himself. Three days later on April 19th, he would ride home on his bicycle after an "extremely small dose" which left him to highly psychedelic experience. To this daysome celebrate April 19th as "Bicycle Day".
{end of Edward's text}

"I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses. "Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror," he said, describing his bicycle ride home. "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast." Upon reaching home, Hofmann began experiencing what he called "wonderful visions." Three days later, Hofmann experimented with a larger dose. The result was the world's first scientifically documented bad trip. "The substance which I wanted to experiment with took over me. I was filled with an overwhelming fear that I would go crazy. I was transported to a different world, a different time," Hofmann wrote.
{end of from}

I think is worth mentioning that Hofmann was never
and advocate of the use of LSD as a recreational drug
he actually referred to LSD in his book as "his problem child"

but regardless of his intentions surely
the psychedelic area was product of hallucinogenics
the 60's came and tickled our perception
revealing some beautifully (and sometimes painful)
sensations, altering the conscience of humanity forever

i have never personally tried LSD... but
sure i have had one or two mild psychedelic experiences
and i am an advocate and approve of responsible and sensitive!!
experimentation, and of alternative methods for
psychiatry and mental health

and talking about experimentation
so here i experiment with my broken camera
an altered purple at the end
of my little canon who really is 'tripping'
into a limbo-ish state...


and recommended reading on the 60's
some literary journalism mixed with
hysterical realism mister Tom Wolfe's
anecdotes "on the Bus"
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
my wrenched paperback

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