Exclusive - Duncan Trussell - Dying on Acid - Uncensored

Brain on Drugs 01/22/2015 Views: 16,417

After almost choking to death on a piece of string at a Grateful Dead concert, Duncan Trussell comes to a life-altering realization. (14:36)

>> DUNCAN TRUSSELL: I'LL NEVERKNOW HOW MUCH ACID HE PUT ON MY

TONGUE BUT I DO KNOW.

THE LOOK ON MY FRIENDS' FACESWAS THE LOOK THAT SOMEONE WOULD

HAVE AS THEY WERE WATCHING APERSON FALL BACKWARDS

INTO THE GRAND CANYON.

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>>ARI SHAFFIR: THANK YOU,EVERYBODY.

IF YOU DON'T KNOW, HERE'S WHATTHE SHOW IS.

IT'S JUST A BUNCH OF PEOPLE ANDWE'RE ALL TELLING TRUE STORIES.

HE'S GOT AN AMAZING PODCAST YOUGUYS SHOULD ALL CHECK OUT

CALLED THE DUNCAN TRUSSEL FAMILYHOUR

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MY FRIENDAND YOURS,

MR. DUNCAN TRUSSELL.

>> DUNCAN TRUSSELL: IN THESUMMER BETWEEN MY JUNIOR

SENIOR YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL, MEAND A GROUP OF FRIENDS

DECIDED THAT WE WERE GOING TOA GRATEFUL DEAD CONCERT

IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.AND WE WERE GOING TO THE

CONCERT NOT BECAUSE WE LIKED THEGRATEFUL DEAD, BUT BECAUSE WE

LOVED LSD AND ANY HIGH SCHOOLSTUDENT WORTH THEIR WEIGHT

IN SALT KNEW THAT IF YOU WANTEDTO GET ACID YOU JUST WOULD

GO TO WHEREVER THE GRATEFUL DEADWAS BECAUSE THE GRATEFUL DEAD,

THEY DON'T TOUR ANYMORE.

BUT IN THOSE DAYS, IN THE 90S,THERE WAS AN UNDOCUMENTED

ACID BOOM, YOU COULD TRACE THEFLOW OF LSD THROUGH AMERICA

BY FOLLOWING THE TOURINGSCHEDULE OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD.

NO JOKE, THAT'S ON THE DEAWEBSITE. YOU COULD LOOK,

IT WOULD GO. THE GREATEFUL DEAD,IT WAS LIKE A PSYCHEDELIC

GODZILLA THAT WOULD JUST RAMPAGETHROUGH AMERICA LEAVING BEHIND

NOT DESTRUCTION, BUT JUSTFREAKED OUT TRUST FUND KIDS,

WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE JESUS ANDINFINTE SHEETS OF ACID.

IT WAS A TRUE ACID BOOM, ITREALLY WAS

WE JUST WANTED ACID BECAUSE,NOT BECAUSE WE WANTED TO

TRANSFORM THE CONSCIOUSNESS OFAMERICA, BUT BECAUSE IF YOU

HAD LSD WHEN YOU WERE INHIGH SCHOOL YOU WERE

BASICALLY GANDALF. YOU HADMAGICAL POWERS.

IF YOU HAD A HIT OF ACID YOUCOULD TRANSFORM THE HEAD

CHEERLEADER INTO A GOTH IN ONENIGHT JUST LIKE THAT.

IT WAS METAPHYSICAL; IT WAS AVERY POTENT THING.

THAT'S WHY WE WANTED THE ACID,ALSO THE FACT THAT TAKING LSD

IN THE MORNING WHEN YOU'RE INHIGH SCHOOL HELPS YOU

FORGET THE FACT THAT YOU'RE ATAN INTERNMENT CAMP FOR

TEENAGERS BEING RUN BY THE STATEWHICH IS REALLY NICE.

SO THE GRATEFUL DEAD. HASANYONE EVER BEEN TO A GRATEFUL

DEAD SHOW? SO YOU KNOW, OH YEAHYOU DEFINITELY HAVE, FRED.

HOLY SHIT, YOU KNOW. THEGRATEFUL DEAD PARKING LOT

WAS THE FIRST BURNING MAN. THATWAS THE FIRST BURNING MAN.

THE GRATEFUL DEAD PARKING LOTWAS BASICALLY AN OPEN AIR MARKET

FOR PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS AND IREMEMBER AND I REMEMBER WHEN

WE PULLED IN THERE, AND PARKED,THE WORRY THAT WE WEREN'T GOING

TO BE ABLE TO BUY A SHEET OFACID VANISHED WHEN SUDDENLY

WE REALIZED THAT, THAT'S ALLTHIS IS.

NOBODY LIKES LISTENING TO THEGRATEFUL DEAD, EVERYBODY

JUST LIKES TAKING ACID AND THEYFOLLOWED THIS BAND AROUND

BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE IT'S AT.BUT YOU WOULD SIT IN YOUR CAR

AND FROM A DISTANCE AWAY YOUWOULD HEAR SOMEBODY CALLING

OUT INNOCENTLY, BEER, COLD BEER FOR SALE, COLD BEER.

YOU'D LOOK BACK, THERE'D BE AVERY THIN HIPPIE HOLDING A

REALLY SMALL COOLER MAYBE COULDHOLD A TWELVE PACK,

SOMETHING LIKE THAT. LIKE YOUWOULD HAVE TO GO BACK

AND REFILL IT A LOT IF HE WASSELLING BEERS.

YOU'D SEE HIM WALKING, BEER, BEER

BUT WHEN HE GOT BY YOUR CAR HE'DBE LIKE DOSES, ACID, MUSHROOM,

VALIUM, DOSES, ACID, MUSHROOMS.

EVERYTHING WAS ABOUT SELLINGACID. THERE WERE DEA AGENTS

THERE, YOU WOULD SEE FROM TIMETO TIME, IT WAS ONE OF THE

MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS EVER, AHIPPIE WHO HAD BEEN BUSTED

WOULD COME TEARING THROUGH THEPARKING LOT WITH THE COPS

CHASING HIM AND THE OTHERHIPPIES WOULD JUST CLOSE IN LIKE

A WHITE BLOOD CELL BLOCKING THECOPS SO THAT HE COULDN'T GET

BUSTED. IT WAS ONE OF THE MOSTBEAUTIFUL THINGS YOU'VE EVER

SEEN. FRUSTRATED COPS, ALL THEHIPPIES LOOK THE SAME, THEY'RE

ALL IN TIE-DYE. WE DON'T KNOWWHAT IT FUCKING WAS.

IT WAS GREAT.

SO WE'RE SITTING IN THE CAR,WE'VE MANAGED TO SAVE UP TWO

HUNDRED AND TEN DOLLARS, WEFIGURE THAT'S ENOUGH TO BUY A

SHEET OF ACID. WE'RE SITTINGTHERE AND THIS WEIRD

HIPPIE WOMAN COMES UP NEXT TOOUR CAR, POKES HER HEAD IN THE

CAR WINDOW AND SHE'S LIKE, YOU BOYS WANT TO BUY SOME ACID?

I'LL SELL YOU A SHEET FOR A HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS.

WE'RE LIKE FUCK, A HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS? THAT LEAVES

EIGHTY DOLLARS FOR GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES, WE'RE SET.

SHE GETS IN THE CAR, OPENS UPTHIS TIE-DYE SATCHES AND

INSIDE IS A ZIPLOC BAG FILLEDWITH SHEETS OF ACID. MUST

HAVE BEEN A HUNDRED SHEETS OFACID IN THERE. OUR HANDS ARE

SHAKING, WE GIVE HER THE MONEY.SHE GIVES US THIS SHEET OF ACID,

VANISHES INTO THE CROWD ANDSUDDENLY WE'RE SITTING IN THE

CAR WITH THE HOLY GRAIL, AFUCKING SHEET OF ACID, A

SQUARE, WITH A HUNDREDPERFORATED SQUARES INSIDE

OF IT AND EACH OF THOSEPERFORATIONS IS A HIT THAT

RESPRESENTS EIGHT HOURS OFTALKING TO ALIENS.

THAT'S EIGHT HUNDRED HOURS OFCOMMUNING WITH THE UNIVERSE

IN THIS SQUARE. THIS IS ENOUGHTO LAST FOR THE REST OF THE

SUMMER, AND INTO THE NEXT YEAR.IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL MOMENT.

AND THAT'S WHEN WE MET SATAN.

AT THAT SECOND, A HIPPIE POKEDHIS HEAD THROUGH THE WINDOW

BEFORE WE COULD EVEN PUT THISSHEET AWAY, IF IT HAD BEEN A COP

WE WOULD HAVE BEEN BUSTEDIMMEDIATELY, POKES HIS HEAD

THROUGH THE WINDOW, SEES USSTARING AT THIS SHEET OF ACID

LIKE WE'RE GAZING INTO THE ARCOF THE COVENANT. LOOKS AT IT,

LOOKS AT US, IS LIKE, WELCOME TO IT, DUDES, WELCOME TO THE DEAD.

NOW MY FRIENDS ARE HYPNOTIZED BYTHIS GUY BECAUSE HE'S LIKE A

TRUE DEADHEAD. HE LOOKS LIKE APIRATE THAT FELL OUT OF A

RAINBOW. HE'S WEARING A BANDANNAWITH LIKE PSYCHEDELIC SKULLS AND

TRIANGLES ALL OVER IT AND HE'SGOT A BIG RED BEARD, A LAZY EYE.

HE SMELLS LIKE HE FELL INTO AVAT OF PATCHOULI, JUST REEKING

OF PINE SOL AND BODY ODOR.

AND MY FRIENDS LIKE AREIMMEDIATELY HYPNOTIZED BY

THIS GUY, GUESS HE REPRESENTSWHAT WE ALL WANTED TO BE IN

SOME PART OF OURSELVES, SOMEWEIRD, FREE SOUL.

YOU COULD JUST TELL THIS GUY HADBEEN FOLLOWING THE GRATEFUL DEAD

MAYBE FOR A MILLION YEARS, LIKEBEFORE THEY EVEN EXISTED HE

WAS FOLLOWING THEM IN THE DEPTHSOF SPACE LIKE AFTER THE BIG

BANG HE EXPLODED OUT OF IT ANDJUST STARTED FOLLOWING THE

GRATEFUL DEAD.

SO HE'S LIKE, LISTEN, YOU GUYS, NOW YOU COULD TAKE THAT SHEET

OF ACID BACK HOME WITH YOU, OR I COULD HELP YOU SELL IT AND WE

COULD TURN IT OVER IN AN HOUR, AND WE COULD BUY

TWO SHEETS OF ACID.

IM LIKE, I DON'T WANT TO SELL IT, YOU GUYS. WHY DON'T WE JUST?

NO, WE DON'T WANT TO SELL IT. I WANT TO TAKE IT BACK TO HIGH

SCHOOL, MAN. THE HIPPIE ZOOMS INON ME, REALIZING I'M RESISTING,

HE'S LIKE, OPEN YOUR MOUTH, DUDE. I WANNA EVEN UP THIS

SHEET. NOW THIS MAKES NO SENSE.EVEN UP THE SHEET?

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? LIKE,IT'S NOT SYMMETRICAL ENOUGH?

YOU WANT TO MAKE IT MOREAESTHETICALLY PLEASING WHEN YOU

TRY TO SELL IT AT A GRATEFULDEAD CONCERT? BUT I OPENED MY

MOUTH, AND I WATCH AS HIS HANDMOVES FORWARD AND PUTS SOME

AMOUNT OF ACID ONTO MY TONGUE.I'LL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH ACID

HE PUT ON MY TONGUE BUT I DOKNOW THE LOOK ON MY FRIENDS'

FACES WAS THE LOOK THAT SOMEONEWOULD HAVE AS THEY WERE

WATCHING A PERSON FALL BACKWARDSINTO THE GRAND CANYON.

IT WAS A LOOK OF SUCH INTENSEHORROR AND PITY AND SADNESS

ALL ROLLED UP INTO THIS ONEEXPRESSION. I KNEW THAT I WAS

FUCKED. I KNEW LIKE, OH I'M FUCKED. WITHIN AN HOUR I'M

HAVING THE BEST TRIP OF MY LIFE.

IT'S INCREDIBLE. EVERYTHINGMAKES SENSE. THE ASPHALT IS

WAVING AND BUBBLING AND THESEBEAUTIFUL BUBBLES. SUDDENLY

I REALIZE, OH NOW I KNOW WHATTHE GRATEFUL DEAD ARE.

THEY'RE WHAT'S LEFT OF THEELVES, THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE.

THE DEAD HEADS ARE ELVES ANDTHEY'RE FOLLOWING THE

GRATEFUL DEAD AROUND BECAUSETHEY'RE INTER-DIMENSIONAL

FAIRY CREATURES. IM LOOKING INTOTHE SIDEWALK, INTO THE PAVEMENT

AND I CAN ACTUALLY SEE EGYPTIANWRITING, PRIMORDIAL SYMBOLS. IT

LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE HAS JUST GONEAND PAINTED CONAN THE BARBARIAN

RUNES ON EVERYWHERE. I WENT INTOTHE PORT-A-JOHN, THERE'S NOTHING

WORSE ON EARTH THAN THE PORT-A-JOHN OF A GRATEFUL DEAD CONCERT.

IT'S HORRIBLE, BUT I WAS SO HIGHAND HAPPY THAT IT WAS

LIKE BEING IN HEAVEN. I WASLOOKING DOWN AND THE TOILET

PAPER LOOKED LIKE THE WINGS OFANGELS FLAPPING. IT'S LIKE

THIS IS HEAVEN IM SO GLAD WE METTHAT HIPPIE, HE'S TEACHING ME.

WE'RE LEAVING THAT NIGHT, MYFRIEND LOOKS AT ME AND HE'S

LIKE, DUNCAN, MY FACE IS MELTING OFF MY HEAD RIGHT NOW.

IT SEEMED REALLY HILARIOUS TO MEAT THE TIME.

SO I LAUGH REALLY HARD, BUT IHAD BEEN CHEWING ON A LITTLE

PIECE OF DENIM THREAD THAT WASFALLING OFF OF MY CRAPPY CUT

OFF SHORTS AND SO I SUCKED THATTHREAD INTO MY THROAT AND

STARTED COUGHING AND COUGHINGAND COUGHING.

AND I STARTED THINKING LIKE, WAIT A MINUTE, I JUST INHALED

A DEMIN THREAD INTO MY LUNGS.AND WITH THE WEIRD, EERIE

CLARITY THAT PSYCHEDELICS GIVEYOU, I COULD SEE INSIDE MY LUNGS

I COULD SEE THE INNOCENT PINK OFMY LUNGS SUDDENLY BEING

INVADED BY A MAGGOT-LIKE THREADOF WHITE DEMIN WHICH WAS AT

THAT VERY MOMENT BURROWING DOWNINTO MY LUNGS WHICH HAD STARTED

TO FROTH WITH PUSS AND BLOOD.AND THAT'S WHEN I REALIZED I

WAS DYING. I HAD INHALED ASTRING WHICH WAS IN MY LUNGS AND

MY LUNGS WERE HEMORRHAGING ANDTHERE WAS NO WAY YOU COULD

SURVIVE THAT.

THIS WAS BEFORE GOOGLE, YOUCOULDN'T GOOGLE, CAN YOU DIE

FROM INHALING A STRING? SO IDIDN'T WANT TO DISRUPT MY

FRIENDS' WONDERFUL EVENING, BYDYING IN FRONT OF THEM. SO I

DIDN'T TELL THEM THAT I THOUGHTI WAS DYING BECAUSE I

HAD A STRING IN MY THROAT. BUT ISTARTED MAKING THESE NOISES

EVERY FEW MINUTES.

[heaving]

AND THEN LIKE I WOULD ASK THEMKINDA OFFHAND LIKE,

HEY, YOU GUYS, LIKE IF SOMEBODY DID INHALE A STRING INTO THEIR

LUNGS, DO YOU THINK THEY'D DIE?

AND MY FRIENDS ARE LIKE,

YEAH, PROBABLY, YEAH, YOU'D PROBABLY DIE.

I WAS CERTAIN I WAS DYING AND WEGOT TO THE HOLIDAY INN PARKING

LOT WHERE WE WERE GONNA SPENDTHE NIGHT IN MY FRIEND'S CAR.

GOT OUT OF THE CAR, IN THEDISTANCE WE HEARD THIS [hissing]

WHICH IS THE SOUND OF NITROUSOXIDE BEING RELEASED TO FILL

UP A BALLOON. NOW THAT SOUND HASTHE SAME EFFECT ON HIPPIES

THAT ICE CREAM TRUCK MUSIC HASON KIDS. THEY GO IN THAT

DIRECTION TO THAT SOUND. SO MYFRIENDS ALL JUST STARTED, THEY

JUST LEFT ME, MOVING IN THEDIRECTION OF THE NITROUS OXIDE.

AND I WENT INTO THE BACKSEAT OFMY FRIEND'S CAR TO DIE, CERTAIN

THAT THIS WAS IT, I WAS GOING TODIE.

THIS THOUGHT OCCURS TO ME WHICHIS LIKE, WELL, SINCE I'M ALREADY

DYING, WHY DON'T I GO AND INHALE NITROUS OXIDE? BECAUSE MAYBE

THAT'LL HELP THE BAD TRIP.

THIS IS THE SAME IDEA IN DANTE'SINFERNO WHICH IS THAT IF

YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF HELL, YOUDON'T GO TO THE SIDE OF HELL,

YOU GO TO THE CENTER OF HELL,AND CLIMB DOWN SATAN'S LEG.

THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT WOULDHAPPEN IF I WENT AND DID

NITROUS OXIDE. SO I GO AND FINDMY FRIENDS, FIND THE

NITROUS OXIDE TANK. THEY FILLBALLONS UP WITH THIS GAS,

I INHALE THE GAS, AND THAT ISWHEN I HAD THE MOST BEAUTIFUL

AND INCREDABLE EXPERIENCES OF MYLIFE.

SUDDENLY I WAS NO LONGER ATEENAGER IN HIGH SCHOOL, AT

THE GRATEFUL DEAD CONCERT, DYINGWITH A STRING IN HIS THROAT.

SUDDENLY I WAS EVERYTHING. IBECAME THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

THERE WAS THIS MOMENT WHERETHERE WAS NO MORE ME,

JUST THIS WAVE OF ETERNALCONSCIOUSNESS. A KIND OF

NEVER ENDING LOVE FIELD THATEXISTS THROUGH ALL THINGS.

I WAS GONE, IN PARADISE FOR AMOMENT. AND THEN AS I STARTED

COMING TO IT WAS LIKE I WASHOVERING OVER THIS--

MY BODY, LOOKING DOWN ON MYSELF

AS THE UNIVERSE. AND I WASTHINKING, UGH, LOOK AT THAT

POOR, POOR KID. HE'S GOT A STRING IN HIS THROAT AND

HE'S, HE'S GONNA DIE. OH, I FEEL SO HORRIBLE FOR HIM.

AND THEN, I ZOOMED BACK DOWNINTO MYSELF AND IMMEDIATELY

PASSED OUT, FALLING ON THEGROUND. I CAME TO COUGHING,

CHOKING, COUGHING AND I SPITINTO MY HAND A GLOB OF PERFECTLY

HEALTHY MUCUS AND INSIDE OF ITWAS A TINY STRING. AND THAT'S

WHEN I REALIZED THERE WASNOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. AND TO

THIS DAY I STILL REMEMBER THAT,ANYTIME I GET WORRIED ABOUT

ANYTHING I REMEMBER COME ON, MAN, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS,

IT'S JUST A STRING IN YOUR THROAT. THERE'S NOTHING TO

WORRY ABOUT, BECAUSE HUMAN BEINGS ARE ESSENTIALLY A

STRING. WE'RE JUST A STRINGCAUGHT IN THE THROAT OF

ETERNITY. AND EVEN IF YOU'REDYING OF CANCER-- WELL, NO,

THAT SUCKS, BUT. THE NEXT TIMEYOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR

PHONE BILL OR WHATEVER IT IS,JUST REMEMBER, IT'S

ONLY A STRING IN YOUR THROAT,YOU'RE GONNA BE FINE.

THANKS YOU GUYS, GOOD NIGHT.THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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