Whiskey and Gorillas: Doctor Thompson Farewell

“Running fast and loud on the early morning freeway…long hair in the wind, beards and bandanas flapping, earrings, armpits…stripped down Harleys flashing chrome jamming crazy through traffic at 90 miles per hour like a burst of dirty thunder.” HELL’S ANGELS, Hunter S. Thompson 1965.

“I was slumped in my bed in the Flamingo, feeling dangerously out of phase with my surroundings. Something ugly was about to happen, I was sure of it. The room looked like the site of some disastrous zoologoical experiment involving whiskey and gorillas. The ten foor mirror was shattered, but still hanging together, bad evidence of that afternoon when my attorney ran amok with the coconut hammer smashing the mirror and all the lightbulbs.” FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS.

Hunter Thompson died in Woody Creek, Colorado where he retired in the late Sixties as he put it to raise wild boar and Doberman Pinschers. THE HELLS ANGELS book rose from an article commissioned by THE NATION. It took thirty nine years for his novel THE RUM DIARIES to be published. While Tom Wolfe worked the Park Avenue beat, Hunter Thompson rode the Pacific Coast Highway writing about the brutal confrontation attending cultural upheaval and personal meltdown. He was the first writer whose prose made my hair stand on end; for all the Gonzo component Thompson wrote like a war correspondent from a battlefield few others ever saw. “We were somewhere near Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold…My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest to facilitate the tanning process.” From FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS.

Hunter Thompson was sixty-seven years old.