In his early days after recording 1993’s Julius Caesar, Callahan was living in an overcrowded house in California, down to his last $100 and a copy of How To Survive in the Wild.
“I took [the book] and went for a long walk one day, hoping to identify some edible berries - since I was running out of money,” he recalls. “I found a berry that looked delicious. I couldn’t identify it in the book. I ate one; it tasted good. So I ate a bunch.” Turns out the berry was in the book, only listed as “mildly hallucinogenic.” “I started to feel funny,” Callahan says. “I thought I would be fine if I could get back to the house in time to drink a couple of my roommate’s fancy beers. There was a message for me: ‘Dan called from Drag City. He says Kim Gordon mentioned you in the latest Rolling Stone and he just sent you your first royalty check.’ I thought I was hallucinating.”