I figured that a good place to start on this expedition into the abyss would be a look at the details of what the drug actually is that drove these crazy guitar riffs and a cult following. LSD-Lysergic acid diethyl amide is a colorless odorless drug that permeated the lives of the singers and listeners of the psychedelic rock movement and, further, the Hippie Movement in the 1960s. On the streets it’s called acid, blotter, California sunshine, dots, Electric Kool-Aid to name a few, and while it only takes a small amount to feel the effects, LSD is known to be a powerful hallucinogen. LSD was first created by a Swiss chemist named Albert Hoffman who was experimenting with ergot, a substance found on the rye grain that had been known to poison people who ate it during the middle ages. This compound was also used to help speed up birth and to calm women in labor. To be honest, I don’t think tripping during labor would be the worst thing… I’ve heard that is not pleasant. In the 30s lysergic acid was isolated from the ergot compound by a group of researchers in New York City. Hoffman isolated the 25th series of this substance and called it LSD 25; subsequently, he took a dose himself and realized that it had hallucinogenic effects.. and VOILA!
The post goes on to talk about all of the organic chemistry flak that goes in to making LSD and its ridiculous. Most surprisingly, it was legal to make until 1965 which coincides with the birth of psychedelic rock. I wonder if there was any sort of a prohibition type scenario that made the spread of LSD even worse. Thus, something to research more. Anyways, its kind of interesting, and brilliant of how artists took what they felt on this drug, and made something really really cool. I’m not an advocate for tripping or anything, but I think that’s pretty damn cool. I wonder if LSD hadn’t been around would psychedelic music have even happened? Because there are a lot of other influences that go into this genre… to be explored.