Henry Rollins first tried LSD in the early days of Black Flag, attempting to impress a brooding bandmate he describes as an “intellectual terrorist” and likens to Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now. But that drug voyage turned out to be more terrifying than eye-opening, as he explains in this hilarious segment from the upcoming Season Two premiere of Comedy Central storytelling series This Is Not Happening.
Rollins tells a live audience about the psychedelic trip – which begins at the instruction of his unnamed bandmate, who explains it will help cure him of being “a real asshole.” Unfamiliar with LSD and unsure how to acquire it, he calls up a female friend, whom he describes as the “one utterly psychotic brainiac I knew who did drugs.” Armed with little cash, he offers to “trade for a Minutemen cassette or a release from the Meat Puppets,” but the friend offers the LSD for free – as long as she can watch him take it.
Confused by his lack of physical effects, Rollins takes four tabs in total – which his friend matches, beginning their strange California journey. First, they venture to a burger joint, where Rollins hallucinates eating an “infant’s head.” But the mood becomes scary as his friend drives recklessly through a beach parking lot. “She starts driving really fast,” Rollins says. “I’m like, ‘Why are you driving so fast? There’s all these people up there crossing the street.’ She was like, ‘You pussies in Black Flag always talk about the end of the world and destruction! The destruction starts now! We’re going to kill all these fucking people!'”
The woman laughs off the scene as a joke, but the vibe grows even more grim during a drive up and down a canyon. His friend threatens to drive the car off a cliff and kill them both if he can’t give her a reason they should live. Rollins’ response? He needs to finish the vocals on the next Black Flag album.
Popular on Rolling Stone
The nightmarish story ends back where it started, with Rollins trying to impress his bandmate. “It was incredible,” Rollins recalls saying. “But I think I’m still an asshole!”
The “Psychedelia” episode of This Is Not Happening premieres Tuesday, February 23rd at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.