18 Jul
2013

Hunter S. Thompson

Too weird to live. Too Rare do die. These are the words that sum up one of America's most notable, most prolific. and most demented journalists, Hunter S. Thompson. And today we're celebrating his birthday.

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"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."

Thompson has one of the most fascinating  journalistic backgrounds of any American writer, ever. He was dismissed with an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1958 after a recommendation from his senior officer, who wrote  "In summary, this airman, although talented, will not be guided by policy. Sometimes his rebel and superior attitude seems to rub off on other airmen staff members." For the next few years, Thompson bounced around a multitude of writing jobs from TIME magazine, to Puerto Rico, to Brazil, and eventually in California, where, in 1965, Hunter began his long journey with the Hell's Angels.

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"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up."

This lead to his first publish book,  Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. After spending nearly a year with the rowdy group, riding across the country, Thompson was eventually given a severe beating, or "stomped" by members of the group after demanding a cut of the money Thompson received for his writing.

black eye

Post Stomping.

The success of the book gave Hunter a chance to practice freelance journalism throughout the 60's, concentrating on the hippy movement and Vietnam protests in San Francisco and around the country. His knack for insubordination and raw, gut wrenching truths turned him into a counter-culture hero and icon. In 1970, Thompson ran for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado on the "Freak Power" ticket. He narrowly lost.

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It was also in 1970, that a journalistic style known as Gonzo, a manic first-person subjectivity of the story, which was fathered by Thompson, came to be while Hunter work at Rolling Stone magazine. It is most notably recognizable for Hunter's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (which was later turned into a movie staring Johnny Depp who stayed with  Hunter to study him and the two became great friends).

Hunter-S-Thompson-Shaves-Johnny-Depps-Head

Because you only let friends do this to your head.

Oh, and there's also another little movie titled Where the Buffalo Roam, which is also based off Thompson's eccentric lifestyle staring this guy...

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You may or may not know him.

In 2005, Hunter grew bored with himself, and with his illness of old age, and ended his life on his property in Colorado known as Owl Farm. His funeral was held on the same piece of property and respecting Hunter's wishes, his ashes were shot out of a cannon to the tune of  "Spirit in the Sky" and  "Mr. Tambourine Man." The cannon was placed atop a 153-foot (47 m) tower of his own design, in the shape of a  double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button (see ablove) originally used in Hunter S. Thompson's 1970 campaign for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. Red, white, blue, and green fireworks were launched along with his ashes -which is the most totally bad-ass, kick-ass funeral ever.

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"But the ticket. Take the ride."

Just so you don't finish this post bummed out, here, according to biographer,  E. Jean Carroll in here book HUNTER: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, was Hunter S. Thompson's daily routine.

3:00 p.m. rise

3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills
3:45 cocaine
3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill
4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill
4:15 cocaine
4:16 orange juice, Dunhill
4:30 cocaine
4:54 cocaine
5:05 cocaine
5:11 coffee, Dunhills
5:30 more ice in the Chivas
5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.
6:00 grass to take the edge off the day
7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jig­gers of Chivas)
9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously
10:00 drops acid
11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass
11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.
12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write
12:05-6:00 a.m. Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.
6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo
8:00 Halcyon
8:20 sleep

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"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

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