Hunter S. Thompson: Gonzo is Gone

The celebrated author Hunter S. Thompson, who carried the beat romanticism of Jack Kerouac, the political conviction of Allen Ginsberg and the acidic skepticism of William S. Burroughs into the world of popular journalism, has died a Hemingway-esque death in Colorado. Please share your thoughts for HST.

99 Responses

  1. What d’ya dowhat dya dowhen
    What d’ya do

    what dya do
    when you’ve overstayed your welcome
    when you’re runnin on empty
    when you’ve played your best hand
    and it’s so critically bad

    what dya do
    when all the cynicism in your heart
    leaks into your bloodstream
    and even the jokes
    curdle your mind

    what dya do
    when the best you’ve seen
    is the worst of banality
    when your words
    hit bottom
    and your mission shrieks without a voice

    whatdya do, man, whatdya do
    when even that karmic law
    of return
    seems better than what taunts ya in your mirror

    whatdya do

    ya end it
    ya just end


    hunter baby, good bardo to you, sir, and thanks for everything

    i’m just sitting here in the middle of a kibbutz library, in the middle of the desert, crying.

    not much else to say.

  2. Would it ever end any other
    Would it ever end any other way?

    HST lived hard and died fast, prefering to leave behind a bloodied mess rather than a good looking corpse. But could it ever have gone any other way? I can’t imagine he would have wished to die in his sleep. It’s a sad loss to the world he left behind of that there is no doubt. Perhaps he thought his time had come and his work was done.

  3. HellThis is a man who held

    This is a man who held through the Kennedy assassinations, the ’68 Convention and the Nixon and Reagan administrations.

    Is this then a last indictment? a last angry volley in and out?

    It was never as simple with HST as blurring the fact/fiction line — he blurred inside & out & absolutely.

    Sorry. I’m too upset to keep on with this.

  4. mad love to the good
    mad love to the good doctor.

    this is such a shock, even though it seems in character. he had films in production and was (seemingly) living the life he wanted, as he wanted. too bad.

    again i say, mad love to the good doctor.

  5. I am speechless and there is
    I am speechless and there is no why today, just gonna hang my head and cry…

  6. Too weird to live.It has only
    Too weird to live.

    It has only been in the last few years that I have found the beat writers and have found them because of Hunter S. Thompson. Ever since first picking up my Dad’s old tattered copy of Hell’s Angels I can honetsly say not a week has gone by that I haven’t picked up one his books.

    It is because of Hunter S. Thompson that I now find myself becoming enamoured and enlightened by all forms of literature. I owe so much to a man I will never meet but will always dream of meeting.

    It is with the ageless brevity of loss that all forms of mourning shall take because I don’t believe anyone could ever capture the awesome elemental force of nature that his life and work became.

    Too weird to live and too rare to die, my friend I salute you

  7. I know exactly where you’re
    I know exactly where you’re coming from, thank you for the poem Judith.

  8. Sad StatsReducing (3) writers
    Sad Stats

    Reducing (3) writers to statistics:

    Jul 1961 – Hemingway shoots himself

    Oct 1984 – Brautigan shoots himself

    Feb 2005 – HST shoots himself

    Similarities: writers, alcoholics, gun owners

    Birthdates / Years lived:
    7/21/1899 – Hemingway (62)
    7/18/1939 – Thompson (66)
    1/30/1935 – Brautigan (49)

    The last one means nothing, (other than Brautigan being born some 6 months later, month-wise), but I looked them up so thought I’d share them with you.

    Question of the day –

    Who is more likely to commit suicide, writers or painters?

  9. let’s not forget yukio
    let’s not forget yukio mishima, the author of sailor who fell from grace, and his true hari kari departure….

    by the way they both seem to have a propensity for doing themselves in cecil, painters and writers….

  10. The Doctor of JournalismLast
    The Doctor of Journalism

    Last night I was thumbing through Fear & Loathing in America and thought “I wonder what Hunter is doing right now”. I found out when I awoke this morning. I wish I had had a chance to meet him.

    But today I sit on my back porch with a bottle of rum, my smokes, and a notebook. Raise your glasses and toast to the Doctor of Journalism. So long, my friend.

  11. Hi, wired… I’m not sure
    Hi, wired… I’m not sure about painters doing themselves in, at least thruy suicide. An awful lot seem to reach old age, still paintin’ their asses off.

    Who do you know of that committed the “self-inflicted wound”?

  12. right off the top of my head
    right off the top of my head Vincent Van Gogh and Arshille Gorky the daddy of the abstract expessionists, oh yeah let’s not forget Mark Rothko….. Cecil this is a subject that hits hard, I have lost more than a few friends this way, but of course being an Ironworker and an Artist in two pretty big towns means I do know quite a few people.

  13. He Is a ChampionSpeaking of
    He Is a Champion

    Speaking of the calamitous fall of idealism after the summer of love peaked and collapsed, Hunter S. Thompson said in 1972, “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back…”

    HST was one of my favorite writers. I wish I had talked to him a lot more when I met him in the 1980’s.
    Earlier today, Wireman inspired me to write this haiku:

    Psychedelic eyes
    Hunter saw the water mark
    Summer of Love wave.

  14. DevastatedI feel like

    I feel like drinking myself stupid tonight. Because the only voice left in America that made me feel good about not being stupid has shot himself in the face.

    This has been a hard year for writers. Iris Chang killed herself, as did the California writer who broke the evil CIA in South America story. John Gregory Dunne died. So did Susan Sontag.

    And now Hunter S. Thompson has gone. Never have I felt it more apt to say that someone has left us behind.

    Yesterday my fiancee and I were laughing out loud about the scene in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” where HST, played by Depp, was trying to step off the spinning bar. We decided it was probably time to see the movie again. I said that the first time I saw it, I probably had too high expectations, as I had just finished the book.

    Hunter S. Thompson is my longest-running cool writer. He was cool when I was 12 and would read Rolling Stone magazine in the school library. He was cool when I was 15 and realized that Doonesbury’s Duke was for real. He was cool when I was 19 and feeling political. He was cool after I had discovered Kerouac, and realized how influential he had been. Thompson was cool when the worst thing in the world was the decline of baseball, and he wrote his ESPN column, and he was cool when things got worse.

    Hunter S. Thompson may be called the Keith Richards of literature, having endured epic self abuse. But his were the most compelling, honest, and liberating views that I’ve ever read, and he had the non-stop no-bullshit chops to express those views in ways that made me laugh and cry and think and feel moreso than any writer I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a few.

    R.I.P. you son of a bitch. You left us too soon. What are we supposed to do now?

  15. I came home from work early
    I came home from work early to do just that, here’s to the good Doctor!

  16. I know. He was one of the
    I know. He was one of the coolest writers ever! Damn.
    I keep thinking, did he find out he had a terminal illness? Was he playing russian roulette? Or did he just get depressed and tired of living? Maybe I’m trying too hard to rationalize it.

  17. Dr. GonzoRest in peace good
    Dr. Gonzo

    Rest in peace
    good Doctor Gonzo,
    today we cry and
    tomorrow we will
    moan, one thing
    about ya that I
    always loved was
    how ya took the
    “Bull” by the horns.

  18. I’m wondering if Feral will
    I’m wondering if Feral will weigh in on this one. I know he appreciates HST big-time.

  19. gonzo not goneIf I had it
    gonzo not gone

    If I had it here I would start with the text from the end of Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga in which Thompson describes a motorcycle ride as a metaphor for the search for “the Edge” that enigmatic zone where reality is stretched to it’s limits and it being a fairly malleable state the flux and flow between perception and actual reality is the zone that Thompson successfully captured in his writing. The start of his career was one of a journalist, writing for newspaper type magazines of the late fifties and early sixties like . . .ahhere it is . . .I knew it was here somewhere. Reprinted in “Gonzo Papers. Volume 1 The Great Shark Hunt”

    “But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room for mistakes. It has to be done right . . . and that’s when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can only barley see at a hundred; the tears blow back so fast they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it . . .howling a turn to the right, then to the left and down the long hill to Pacifica. . . . letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge . . .The Edge. . . There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others-the living- are those who pushed their control as far as they could handle it and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came to choose between Now and Later.

    But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it’s In. The association of motorcycles and LSD is no accident of publicity. They are both a means to an end. A place of definitions.”

    Hunter’s writings were no accident either. He set himself into the whirling center of his stories. Never a bland outsider view but from somewhere immersed and, granted, filtered through his ever-present tinted glasses, chemically altered brain and unique perspective.

    There is another story that comes to mind and I just did another quick book search to find it but again no luck, it’s here, somewhere . . . but the story where a contemporary of Thompson, Tom Wolfe was still hanging a round the tattered edges of the Merry Pranksters with Kesey and companion where moving something and needed some help. Tom Wolfe who dressed in his outfit of New York journalist, white suit neck tie etc.offered his assistance and got some fresh paint on himself, to which Kesey said, in his down home parable speaking way “You can’t expect to mess with something Tom and not get some of it on you.” The point is that Thompson was totally involved and allowed his own experience to enhance the tale.

    The passing of another sixties writer always leaves me in a very retrospective state of mind. There was a time when the world seemed full of hope and expectation, a world where one could be different and make a difference. In these conservative, cautious, and censorious times I wonder where the great writers of the future will come from. Where is the outlet for those who are out of step, so to speak, and of the “counter-culture” that has dwindled away? It is here where the American Dream is made tangible in the right to the undeniable freedom set forth in the Bill of Rights, Gonzo journalism indeed!

    So I propose, dear contributors, what is your remembrance of and maybe more importantly,what is the legacy of Hunter S Thompson, Gonzo Journalist?

  20. I wonder if the fact that
    I wonder if the fact that today is President’s Day has any bearing on this. You know, like, he gave up hope for the country?

  21. I’ll always remember it was
    I’ll always remember it was like we were on a mission with him and Ralph and the drugs and liquor and ya had to have a red convertible, everything 1st class, numero uno, that’s what I was always waitin’ for with the publication of his next gem and I watched him grow into an icon, yes the man is that…

  22. Thx, wired. You learned me
    Thx, wired. You learned me something today… the only one I knew about was Van Gogh…

  23. Gonzo but never forgottenWhat
    Gonzo but never forgotten

    What can I say. I thought it might have been a morbid trick being played by my freaked-out computer — it’s been eating peyote lately — don’t know where it gets it from — nasty habit. But no.

    He’s dead.

    Since the man lived by the written word, there is nothing that I can add. He was a master. He had style. He also had problems. He loved blowing things away with guns. He finaly did himself.

    I’ll drink a can of Miller, and take “one of the blue ones” in tribute.

    Good-bye old friend. You finally found the edge.

  24. Sad but not surprisedThe
    Sad but not surprised

    The additional sad thing for me, besides the loss of a great original voice, an honest perspective, and a meaningful participant in our political and cultural spheres, is that it can come back and get you. That desire to end it all. I do support people having a choice in the matter (esp. since we don’t have a choice about being mortal), but to think that he got through it all to this point, he knew how time and perspective and other experiences can modify the urge for death and reacquaint one with life, and finally, he decided it wasn’t enough. Like those fractal diagrams. You extricate yourself from one recursive spiral just to find yourself in another one, maybe bigger, maybe smaller, but on and on and on. So everything might not be enough, at any point in time, not limited to youthful angst or midlife crisis.

    The best thing I can think of to do in memorium is see his life through his work, and not through his death. Time to re-read F&L.

  25. Death of a SalesmanThe
    Death of a Salesman

    The salesman for gonzo journalism and his own celebrity — Hunter S. Thompson — went over the edge unhinged forever.

    No doubt that he was an astute reporter, excellent writer — head and shoulders above others of his ilk — and good journalist, with –sometimes — clear commentary but the personal tale your correspondent will always tell: “In 1990, I paid twenty-bucks to hear him mumble incoherently onstage and could bought everything he’d written for that much.” Everyone’s retort: “Whadjya expect [from HST]?”

    HST quotes gleaned from wire reports:
    “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone . . . but they’ve always worked for me,” he once wrote.

    “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

    “Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairy-tale artist,” Thompson told The Associated Press in 2003. “You have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you’re writing about before you alter it.”

  26. Where’s that comment from
    Where’s that comment from because I rememberhearing it on Taipei TV when I saw F&LILV.

    That comment makes the USA’s 1960s sound like the Weimar republic. Being just a kid then, from what I heard, it was a lot of rednecks chasing longhairs with scissors.

    Arriving in San Francisco in ’81, the self-styled hippies I met were street people or dime-bag marijuana salesmen.

  27. HST MonumentIn 1978, the
    HST Monument

    In 1978, the British TV show “Omnibus” did a special on HST, bringing him and Ralph Steadman together on a trip to Hollywood to begin work on what was to become “Where The Buffalo Roam.” At the end of the documentary, HST is at a funeral parlor working on arrangements for a monument to be erected on his land after his death–a 100-foot high chrome tube with a giant double-thumbed fist atop, clutching a peyote button. When asked if he is serious by the interviewer, HST says, “It’s all in the will.”

    I really hope someone builds that monument.

  28. I remember that documentary,
    I remember that documentary, if the vibe’s there it’ll get built. I loved it when the good doctor went and sat in the parking lot in Hollywood with his beers and told the film crew to “leave me the fuck alone”…

  29. I can’t stop thinking about
    I can’t stop thinking about what the good Dr. was thinking last night. It had to be depressing. Was it that – We’ve gotten nowhere! – It’s all been for nothing! Nixon/Viet Nam = Bush/Iraq. You tell people they are free – free to think what you tell them to. The U.S. was built on freedom, by people who wanted the right to think differently. But now, it seems the majority are afraid to take a stand. They feel the only protection is a big-ass stick ready to strike at the earliest provocation.

  30. Roll Over on Highway 101″What
    Roll Over on Highway 101

    “What the fuck?”
    no news for the weekend
    I return to find HST dead
    offed his head
    (the best gun control
    is where you aim the gun…)

    Him & Ralph & Rolling Stone
    my ‘edumacation’
    the pen splattered pages
    the gonzo bullets
    pierced my innocent brain
    I sprung up in inky blood
    my eyeballs rolled
    outta my head…

    the good/bad Doctor
    he lived in excess
    he died excessively
    not intact but bits
    & bits of scattered fleshy
    brain matter
    I can picture it now
    like a canvas Ralph
    would paint…

    At least you left
    something for me…

  31. Fear and Loathing in Las
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    “You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. […] we had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

    This is one of my all-time favorite passages from a book.

  32. I dont think you’re trying
    I dont think you’re trying too hard to rationalize it, Bill.

    I think the easy way out to try to think about this is to say that you weren’t surprised. That’s a copout. Personally, I was shocked.

    When I was growing up, I approached much of life by thinking, “what would my father do in this situation?” The other side of that is that I also frequently, out of habit, thought, “what would HST think about this?”

    For me, he was a father figure; he was the voice of reason. He felt so deeply the hurt that America inflicted on its own but approached it with a hope and a self sufficient attitude that made me realize that I could get thru the day, the year, this life and those morons, by “walking tall, kicking ass, loving music, and never forgetting that we come from a long line of truth-seekers, lovers, and warriors” (paraphrased).

    I have to believe that the pain of his recent surgeries and injuries was too much for a reasonable man to bear, or that he found he had liver cancer, or something, because, despite his manic life, he was, for me, the ultimate reasonable man. He made shooting things perfectly reasonable, and I’m sure that shooting himself was the only reasonable thing to do.

    But it’s a fucked up sophmoric copout to say that we’re not surprised, because this implies that the way he led his life was always leading up to this, and that is simply not true. I realize that I’m not making myself clear here. Perhaps the people who say they’re not surprised are actually simply not articulating what I’ve articulated above, which is that they’re not surprised that something finally made him see that suicide was the only thing left to do. I guess if I approach it that way, then I’m not surprised either.

    But his suicide was not (COULD NOT) have been about simply tiring of life, or becoming despondent. If anyone knew how to deal with torture, it was Hunter S. Thompson. I have to believe that it was about dealing with something more than the torture of life.

    I’m rambling. But I find myself a day later and still upset. The upside of all of this is two-fold, one, that I’m inspired to write more honestly than ever, and that’s always good, and that there is someone waiting to take over where the Good Doctor left off. And that makes me happy.

  33. Hunter ThompsonThe Somoan
    Hunter Thompson

    The Somoan lawyer must have picked him up in that cadillac for another drive across the desert.

  34. “The best gun control is
    “The best gun control is where you aim the gun” — that’s a great line, SooZen!

  35. Monday DispatchFebruary 21,
    Monday Dispatch

    February 21, 2005

    Today it was announced that Hunter S. Thompson’s lifeless body was found at his Colorado home. It looks like suicide. Note-less suicide. It’s kind of ridiculous when you think of a writer leaving a suicide note, though, isn’t it? He wrote down as much for us as he could for as long as he could, didn’t he? I think so.

    What HST offered us on paper was always about him and never about him.

    Some bloated stiff on CNN blathered on about the pros and cons of HST’s career for about 10 minutes. He got it all wrong. So did the bitchy interviewer woman. Paula Zahn or just another Paula Zahn copy.

    They both agreed HST’s career had peaked and fizzled out some time in the 1970s. Well, here these two turds were right in front of me 10 minutes ago and I can’t even remember what their names were. I didn’t even learn to read until a couple of years after HST’s heyday on the ’72 campaign trail, and I can tell you, honestly, all day my guts have felt like sad angry mush. HST had a career the whole damn time; it just bypassed the Rubes.

  36. Blind SpotI do admit that I
    Blind Spot

    I do admit that I didn’t know about HST — until I found him mentioned in one classic Litkicks thread. And only then did I read ‘Fear and Loathing’ and found it an extraordinarily refreshingly freaky thing to do, with some realistic self-felt ‘helpless’ melancholic streaks in it, amidst of all the glaringly ‘liberating’ fun.

    Maybe there are a number of people here in Germany who know about the film, more of the ‘freaky fraction’, who don’t know anything about the Beats, the ‘historic context’ and maybe just acknowledge the splendour of the weirdness, some protest reaction they don’t allow themselves outside the cinema or subgroup.

    I read your reactions and wrote to my wife from work:

    “I’m tired … only could find sleep in a strange way, restless, yesterday – and woke up too early, again disturbed by that humming noise, coupling to the cold in my ears, a drifting(-away) kind of day, together with my presentation this morning — and then that touching-intense reaction of the LitKicks Community about the death
    of Hunter S. Thompson, it really hurts: to hear about those different aspects, views, contexts — and these colors I can share, even with my blind spot w/r to HST, feeling sad about his death/’decision’ w/out knowing too much because it moves these minds that feel so familiar vibes.

    It fits in with the general picture of the development, reducing, suffocating … like a freezing, solidification, bscuration/eclipse, like growing silent, mutilated.

    I can look forward to see you, my wifey of brown hair and eyes, golden caress and warmth, loving you in this my life … somehow I was proud of both of you this morning as you were going by bike, to school, into the snow, against cold winds, through the darkness … a contribution, participation … to go on living … with dreams in mind …
    regarding that wave, high-water mark, some alien hopes, carving tiny messages, at least, showing we’re here, talk open talk share and, typically enough, only now, it’s nearly evening, the day filled up with nonsense. Behaviors all around crying for a cure / maybe a vision, expectation to be different (and make a difference), that I come to send you the often –interrupted scribbles … and today once in a month, the Hamburgian ‘Poetry Slam’, more than a hundred young people … there is some hope and great hunger, and ‘all we can ever do is try’,
    and exhaustion and age (and despair / sometimes an unfortunate balance) is part of this business we call a life. ArA.”

    You carry on.

  37. Our empty lossSlept through
    Our empty loss

    Slept through most of Sunday and returned on Monday. My nightmares were filled with the demon of death/release of light. I knew something was off. Drank my time away as usual.

    Traveling in the car I was alerted of the news … the good Dr. was gone.

    No words can express the feeling of this empty loss, only tears. It was Monday and I went to the tattoo parlor. It is Tuesday and I have a blade, fist, and button on my back.

    Although not clear to us I know your reasons were just.

    Rest in peace you crazy bastard.

  38. The very fact that major news
    The very fact that major news organizations are primarily denying his relevance during the last 20 years is a clue not merely that he was, indeed, relevant, but that he was even more controversial. His early gonzo journalism fit right in with the times. But as a contemporary observer, his paranoid but honest and extreme liberalism was an anomoly in today’s mainstream, where Republicans aren’t Republicans anymore, the order of the day is a 4th estate full of elitism, laziness and fear, where journalism has been supremely trumped by amateur “hacks” banging away at their blogs.

    It’s easy for the dopes in today’s media to comment on subversive writing from 30 years ago. But to acknowledge the importance of going to to see someone calling Bush a fucking twerp is to acknowledge their own insignificance. These talking heads are merely cookie cutter gingerbread men pissed off that HST exploded a cake in their oven.

    What astounds me most about your post is that, like everything else you write, you evoke such truth by slamming it into your own style. Altho of course you didnt slam anything. You caressed it down. It’s refreshing (tho humbling) to see such originality. Nice work.

  39. Well, My Good
    Well, My Good Man…

    …couldn’t you have taken out a few rat bastards with that piece first? I mean Jesus Christ, we need all the help we can get.

    Ah well…thanks for everything. I hope that there is an unlimited supply of liquor and blow wherever the hell it is that you end up.

  40. “Step on it,” he muttered
    “Step on it,” he muttered intensely. “And this time, take no hitchhikers.”

  41. I mean this in all
    I mean this in all seriousness. He was one of the greatest contemporary writers of our lifetime.

  42. True dat. I think the
    True dat.

    I think the Guinness shifts to a Wild Turkey for a minute, in salutation.

  43. Canceled Suicide NoteMine was
    Canceled Suicide Note

    Mine was the first tale she’d heard without a happy ending,
    And that fact slapped her around with petty concerns.
    She assumed something pure was automatically something fair.
    Confusion crept into the picture, but emotions come in bundles,
    And Disorientation is fucking Disinterest behind Panic’s back.
    So, she left.

    Towering truths tremble as the wind races the gray daylight,
    Now my own downfall appears imminent yet not immediate.
    I walk on the shadows of skyscapers and fallen idols, rotting,
    Past the place that once resembled heaven to me, or enlightenment,
    And I don’t even notice it anymore, just proceed to continue.
    Yea, I’m lucky.

    Wretched considerations lie in each dresser drawer, and under beds;
    Around corners waiting to seduce my spirit into dark acts.
    But my shield is my horror: my anxiety in such situations,
    Which protects me from the lethal abandon that swallows many.
    Life’s just like everything else that’s bad, easy to start, hard to end.

    There, you happy?

    holler at your boy

  44. Where the Buffalo Roams”I
    Where the Buffalo Roams

    “I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone… but they’ve always worked for me.” A quote from Hunter S. Thompson, from “Where the Buffalo Roam” Movie (1980)

    I have to admit, since Hunter is now dead, that I was one of the hitchhikers he picked up in the Nevada desert…One of my only claims to five seconds of fame. Acosta and Thompson were sharing the driving. I had a learner’s permit, but didn’t dare want to have these guys coach me from the backseat. They took turns taking pot shots at rattlers, roadrunners, or any other animal or rock that shook their fancy. It was a bit nerve- racking riding with them in a top down ragtop caddy. The whole ride lasted several hours and I tried not to show that I was rattled by the echoes in the canyons and the yee-haw laughter of us all as the targets either were hit or skeedaddled…

    In between sporadic shooting, they had quite interesting tales to tell of court hassles and so on. Hunter really impressed me with his take on just about everything. Hunter had a steel eyed vision of a great America to come in the face of the “Amerika” which was present at the time. Acosta’s revelations were also mind bending.

    Now that old “Amerika” has come back with a vengeance and is a long way from the past times of the ragtop caddy ride and three inch splints. (In order to get an idea of the time, one has to see the above movie–critics panned it, but I always loved the grade B funk attached to it. I have not seen the 1998 version “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”– with Johnny Depp, was it?)

    I was really grateful to Hunter and Company for saving my butt from getting really thirsty in the desert. It was really hard to get rides while on the side of the road in Nevada. I had to keep my hair under my hat. Hunter and Company were headed to Lovelock, Nevada. I got a ride from Truckee, CA, near Lake Tahoe all the way to Lovelock. Lovelock was a great place to get a ride. I stood under a sign which read: “Biggest Whorehouse in Nevada”. I did not mention Hunter and Acosta in the book, EXPERIENCE FOR SALE, because I promised not to. However, now that they are both dead, I am freed up of that promise…So here is this little piece.

    Hunter, old Dr. Gonzo, you were quite a dude, to coin a phrase. It certainly must be a heartache to your family and grandchild(ren). I probably could write a total recall piece at a later date about that wonderful, frenetic and wild hitch in Nevada in 1972. May St. Peter let Hunter enter by a small door in the Great Gates. Maybe Dr. Gonzo finally gets to meet his friend, Acosta, and find out what happened to him. That is partly what THE GREAT SHARK HUNT was about.

  45. Goddam, that’s
    Goddam, that’s good!

    “Disorientation is fucking Disinterest behind Panic’s back.”

  46. Thanks buddy, and I believe
    Thanks buddy, and I believe it too…btw, watch your snail mail…a little post toasty for you and FC.

  47. Hey dude, nice to ‘see’
    Hey dude, nice to ‘see’ ya…it was kinda chickenshit of Hunter and pissed me off but at least he left me with something. Glad I didn’t have to clean up after him…

  48. the caddy had a flat102 in
    the caddy had a flat
    102 in the shade
    ‘cept there was no shade
    only shady characters.

    It’s still hard to laugh about it…

  49. Hey J…great take. I am
    Hey J…great take. I am still in shock and still mad. I will get over it … I just wished he had.

  50. Omnibus…what a great show
    Omnibus…what a great show that was. If the monument is built, I am promising myself to make a pil-grim-age!


  51. Great quotes all. I wish I
    Great quotes all. I wish I could’a heard a mumble or two.


  52. Peggy…a positive
    Peggy…a positive perspective. I am working on that. It’s gonna take me some time.


  53. There was only one HST, will
    There was only one HST, will be only one in History…


  54. I know, Fristy…made me
    I know, Fristy…made me wanna ramble and rant too!

    He was my first foray into literature.

    Funny thing is, Mnaz (Mark) was just in town a couple of weeks ago and stayed with us. Had a copy of F & L which he had never read…he has it now. I hope he read it before the suicide.


  55. I wish Feral would check
    I wish Feral would check in…

    When I think of HST I think of you two boys…and wrestlin’


  56. Join me in a drink tonight.
    Join me in a drink tonight. We will get a little crazy or something…


  57. Hi me boy…I am pretty
    Hi me boy…I am pretty pissed myself. I will get over it, sadly, he won’t.

    Nice to ‘see’ ya and hope you and I are feeling better soon…


  58. Howdy BP, Perhaps? No one
    Howdy BP, Perhaps? No one will know, I guess although there will be plenty of those guesses and guessing games.

    He sure made me mad, mostly because he left his son and wife to clean up after him but they probably always have…

    Peace buddy,

  59. 3 days goneinto runningmind
    3 days gone

    into running
    mind has gone
    the gamut, feel
    like it’s run
    the gauntlet,
    maybe it’s age
    maybe it’s rage
    maybe it’s just
    the fact that I’ve
    seen it happen too
    many times, and for
    all the wrong reasons
    waxed, waned, and pained
    but I always come back to
    cop out, and it is, suicide!

  60. The problem of suicideThere
    The problem of suicide

    There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.

    So states Camus, who goes on to discover if suicide is a legitimate answer to the human predicament. Or to put it another way: Is life worth living now that god is dead? The discussion begins and continues not as a metaphysical cobweb but as a well-reasoned statement based on a way of knowing which Camus holds is the only understanding we have at our command. We know only two things:

    This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction.

    With these as the basic certainties of the human condition, Camus argues that there is no meaning to life. He disapproves of the many philosophers who “have played on words and pretended to believe that refusing to grant a meaning to life necessarily leads to declaring that it is not worth living.”

    Life has no absolute meaning. In spite of the human’s irrational “nostalgia” for unity, for absolutes, for a definite order and meaning to the “not me” of the universe, no such meaning exists in the silent, indifferent universe. Between this yearning for meaning and eternal verities and the actual condition of the universe there is a gap that can never be filled. The confrontation of the irrational, longing human heart and the indifferent universe brings about the notion of the absurd.

    The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world. and further:
    The absurd is not in man nor in the world, but in their presence together…it is the only bond uniting them.

    People must realize that the feeling of the absurd exists and can happen to them at any time. The absurd person must demand to live solely with what is known and to bring in nothing that is not certain. This means that all I know is that I exist, that the world exists,and that I am mortal.

    Doesn’t this make a futile pessimistic chaos of life? Wouldn’t suicide be a legitimate way out of a meaningless life? “No.” “No.” answers Camus. Although the absurd cancels all chances of eternal freedom it magnifies freedom of action. Suicide is “acceptance at its extreme”, it is a way of confessing that life is too much for one. This is the only life we have; and even though we are aware, in fact, because we are aware of the absurd, we can find value in this life. The value is in our freedom, our passion, and our revolt. The first change we must make to live in the absurd situation is to realize that thinking, or reason, is not tied to any eternal mind which can unify and “make appearances familiar under the guise of a great principle,” but it is:

    …learning all over again to see, to be attentive, to focus consciousness; it is turning every idea and every image, in the manner of Proust, into a privileged moment.

    My experiences, my passions, my ideas, my images and memories are all that I know of this world – and they are enough. The absurd person can finally say “all is well”.
    I understand then why the doctrines that explain everything to me also debilitate me at the same time. They relieve me of the weight of my own life, and yet I must carry it alone.

    Camus then follows his notions to their logical conclusions and insists that people must substitute quantity of experience for quality of experience. The purest of joys is “feeling, and feeling on this earth.” This statement cannot be used to claim a hedonism as Camus’s basic philosophy, but must be thought of in connection with the notion of the absurd that has been developed in the early part of the essay. Man is mortal. The world is not. A person’s dignity arises from a consciousness of death, an awareness that eternal values and ideas do not exist, and a refusal to give in to the notion of hope or appeal for something that we are uncertain of.



    he shall be missed

  61. Jota.I’m glad you wrote this.
    I’m glad you wrote this. I wouldn’t have thought to use Camus’ observations, but it was a good idea and very fitting.

    My father always said, “What’s the point of living if you don’t enjoy your life?” and he continued to smoke, drink, & eat all the food that are said to be bad for you. On the other hand, people who become very health conscious might still die at the same age as my Dad (73). So, who knows?

  62. wass sie sind, war ich /
    wass sie sind, war ich / wass ich bin ,werden sie
    HST auf der Reperbahn! Just imagine.

  63. Beware :the answer is
    Beware :the answer is writers ,’specially if including ALL methods(jumping off a ship ala CRANE etc.)

  64. ya made a
    ya made a mistake

    Hemingway?…nah, you
    were more like a Gonzo
    wild dog Marquis de Sade,
    if ya really did’nt like
    it ya shoulda headed into
    rockies with yer gun and
    left everyone to wonder,
    that’s what Lew did, and
    and Arthur Cravan in the
    DADA days, you wild man you
    like a true Hunter ya had
    to shoot yer quarry down.

  65. Thanks for the memories and
    Thanks for the memories and the lsd

    I was pretty young when first read his stuff in Rolling Stone that I stole from my much older socially inept, drug-crazed, very cool older brother in the early 70s. Armed with Carlos Castenada books and Hunter S. Thompson’s writings, my take on the world changed drastically from Dr. Seuss to acid tinged rose colored lenses. My career as a drug addict was begun. Lsd and marijuana just seemed so right, especially with these guys telling me it was a requirement to “turn on and tune out”. Glad I listened. Don’t regret a thing. Still smokin’ after all these years. Hunter always said it best though. He was right. He always had suicide as a way to get off of the ride when most people stupidly wait for it to end at the end of the tracks. Guys like Hunter don’t wait for the end, they make grand exits. Later,Bro. Thanx for the words…

  66. Body available for
    Body available for re-entering:

    If you’re looking for a body to re-enter the atmosphere dude, here it is. I shave me heed too so you won’t be missing the hair. Tell William S, DimebagD and Timothy L hey for me. If you see my dad,he was old skool biker and has some stories for ya of Cali biking in the 50s and 60s. Should have seen him back then when I was a kid. Big red Indian Chief, cigar hangin from a corner of his mouth, Marine dogtags, tattoos, leather boots, white cottonT, Levis, drunk to all hell. You guys were and are my heroes. RIP. Party on.

  67. lil’ Bush did it by winning
    lil’ Bush did it by winning again…

    Hunter is like the rest of us, just couldn’t stand to see another 4 years of lil’ Bush. He’s lucky. He paroled himself. Damn, dude, I still got stuff to do or I would join ya …

  68. Shot out of a what?…and
    Shot out of a what?

    …and what do my wandering eyes see, word from the art mob that says HST’s family will be shooting his ashes out of cannon, per the writer’s request.

  69. I’m sorry to survive
    I’m sorry to survive you

    Especially in this era of the big lie. You are so needed now. Nevertheless I won’t imagine you “looking down from above” or some such shit, although I’d like it if you were. Because the truth (THIS IS ALL THERE IS) is harsher, and you always did like harsh. But you are among those I will keep alive, if only in memory.

  70. still not much more to
    still not much more to say
    cept there is so much more to learn
    to see
    to feel

    so much
    to be

  71. Sorry but it’s “turn on, TUNE
    Sorry but it’s “turn on, TUNE IN,drop out” which presents quite a different meaning.

  72. Read report that he was in
    Read report that he was in great pain from a broken leg & recent hip surgery.

  73. StrangeAs the saying goes, no

    As the saying goes, no one is a pessimist ater 30. One wonders, at his age: Why?

  74. Jota – I’m confused by the
    Jota – I’m confused by the little post-script…did you or did you not write the wonderful mini-essay that came before it? If you did: Well Done. Beautifully written.

    Even if you didn’t, thanks for digging it out. I wish I could have read this years ago.

  75. warrior goneAn ok warrior for
    warrior gone

    An ok warrior for the light side (not the right side), fighting and fuming and getting points across. Do not forget him, do not assume anything. Remember the many who have passed: notably John Lennon, the Kennedys, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, and on.

  76. Didn’t John Berryman jump off
    Didn’t John Berryman jump off the Brooklyn Bridge? I seem to recall a story of him waving to cars passing by just before he leaped.

  77. Whoops! The aforementioned
    Whoops! The aforementioned bridge of Berryman’s demise was in Minneapolis.

  78. For HunterMista Thompson, he
    For Hunter

    Mista Thompson, he dead.

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    From a poem by W.H. Auden

    Every once in a while something happens in this world that softens this hard heart of mine.

    Hunter and I grew up together. No, we never crossed paths. Physically we never met. Except in his writing and shared experiences we traveled this world separately. Oh, we traveled the same ground : Just never together. But we saw the same things, laughed at the same bullshit and ran our hands through our hair with the exact same level of despair when the shit started to get sticky.

    And therein we were war buddies

    He wrote the Nixon screed I couldn’t find the words for. He articulated the drug-induced madness while I sat blinking like a toad in a hailstorm, at the side of the road, speechless. Put words to the song I was trying to sing. Inspired me to ultimately pick up my own pen and try to tell the world what I saw, who I ran into and how it hit me. He took my mind to places I never thought I could go on my own.

    And he told me it was allright to go there, that the world needs the deviant, that Lenny Bruce was really onto something and it was perfectly acceptable to wade in, waist deep and test the waters.

    This is not an obituary because Hunter ain’t dead. Every time a printing press fires up, every time the odd journalism student stumbles into foul territory in the course of his research and brings up the name THOMPSON then the Old Man lives.

    Hunter said he never expected to live past 27 and every day after that was a shock. And he also said that he and Timothy Leary believed everything was possible after midnight. I believe that too. Quoted it, actually.

    Rolling Stone Magazine is flying its flag at half mast today. Or at least they by God better be. Jan Wenner show your colors, man. A legend is passing before you. I only read you for the Hunter articles anyway, you cretinous idiot!

    If you haven’t read Hunter Thompson and you are even vaguely interested in what went on in the sixties and seventies, love a good rant or just want to laugh out loud in general then I would urge you to get thee to a used book store and drink it all in because as of now, the price is going up! Hunter stuff just hit premium status (a side-effect he would have loved) and the shit’s gonna go fast! I got my fix : I knew a long time ago.

    Fear and Loathing aside I’m going to miss him. Because he was a big part of my life. He was my compass in the early years, a beacon when I was being a little too hard on myself for living the high life and a comfort in my middle ages because I knew he was still out there doing it for me.

    I intend to organize a pilgrimage to Owl Farm, Woody Creek in early fall. I’m going to need straight looking emissaries and people who aren’t put off by aberrant behavior. And this time, if we’re lucky, Hunter won’t be shooting at us for trespassing.

    Words to live by :When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Right? Right.

    Good-bye Hunter. Thanks for the great ride.

  79. Shall be missed. I first ran
    Shall be missed.

    I first ran into the work of this guy from recommendation of my father (of all people, who to this day does not approve of my vices) to see the movie Fear & Loathing. Beautifully done I thought, both in visual effects & narritive. Soon I read the book & was blown away. There is very little other work I have read by his in its entirety. I did get to see Where the Buffalo Roam & read countless Rolling Stone articals. My favorite piece by him is an audio file I have in which he declares his appreciation for Jack Kerouac. Well I suppose he now has the chance to tell ‘ole Jack in person. May they be pals in eternity.

  80. Great read Dylan. That trip
    Great read Dylan. That trip up to woody creek should be a blast…..

  81. HSTHunter S. Thompson killed

    Hunter S. Thompson killed himself the night my flight to Vegas was cancelled.

    Read the Rum Diary!

  82. The Fragile SelfThe Fragile
    The Fragile Self

    The Fragile Self

    A wesome the wonder of being unfolds

    U nder a canopy of blue it envelops my soul

    T ime lingers and waits as I beckon

    I reach out to touch the fragile reflection

    S ounds bounce off the pillows of my mind

    T houghts of touch and feeling collide

    I ache within to fathom the emotion

    C alling gently, listening for my own timid reply

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!