Johnny Depp Purchases Hunter S. Thompson Archive.

“I knew Colonel Depp was carrying a mixed bag of personal presents, including bottles of Absinth and night-vision binoculars and frozen shirts and Nazi SS jewelry. He also had rare medicines from Europe and oriental hand fans and many thousands of dollars and perfumes and cameras and pornography and sophisticated tattoo paraphernalia. He looked like an international Pimp with no respect for the law. If his luggage was searched he was doomed.” 

Hunter S. Thompson – Ambassador to Cuba

Johnny Depp has recently purchased Hunter’s archive – consisting of approx. 800 boxes of letters, unpublished material, artefacts etc etc. Colonel Depp is now officially the custodian and owner of the majority of Hunter S. Thompson’s papers. Once his team has sorted through the extensive material he has indicated that it will go to a University so that grubby scholars like myself can root through it like savages.

In case you are wondering what kind of stuff is in there why not check out our rare articles section. It will give you an idea what Hunters earlier work was like. There is many many more articles and short stories that have yet to see the light of day. Hopefully Colonel Depp can now start the process of getting this work onto the bookshelves.

Also Anita has now started her own column over at Huffingtonpost. Check it out!

Thats it for now,

Ron Mexico  

 

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Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?

A few weeks ago here at Totally Gonzo, I brought up the seemingly forever delayed Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson? by Warren Hinckle and appealed for any information regarding the hold up. Well thanks to the power of the internet I can now bring you some good news. I have been in touch with Warren Hinkle himself and he brought me up to speed with the project. After the book was announced over two years ago a great amount of new ‘Hunter treasures’ have been unearthed and as a result the book has doubled in size from the original 200 or so pages to approximately 400 or so. Warren also had this to say about the book –‘there’s a fascinating amount of undiscovered Thompson lore and art in there…’

Providing everything runs smoothly Warren said that he hopes the book will be out around November. As soon as there is a definite release date I will post it here at Totally Gonzo. I also came across a blog entry by Peter Richardson who ran into Warren at the recent Book Expo America in L.A. Warren was there to promote Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson? so it seems that we will have this book in our hands sooner rather than later. Speeking of books Peter Richardson is the author of American Prophet: The Life and Work of Carey McWilliams who as you all know suggested to Hunter that he cover The Hells Angels for a story. Peter also teaches a class on California culture at San Francisco State University. One of the books studied in that class is Hells Angels. Check out his blog, it is well worth a visit.

Another blog worth checking out is The Farm Report by William McKeen which is regularly updated as he travels across America promoting his excellent new book Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson.

Thats about it for now,

Ron Mexico

PS: Totally Gonzo was recently mentioned in the papers here in Ireland. You can read the articles here. Reporter Olaf Tyaransen frequently writes about Hunter in both The Herald and Hotpress Magazine. Thanks for the mention Olaf! Also the Gonzostore is now back online.

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Celebrating Hunter S. Thompson

UPDATED SAT. JULY 19th (see bottom of post)

Today July 18th is Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday. He would have been 71. Now everybody knows that Hunter liked to have a good time so lets just do that today and celebrate the man – he would have wanted to hear ice clinking in glasses and the sound of people having FUN!  

If you are lucky enough to live near a theatre that is showing Alex Gibney’s Gonzo then why not check it out tonight and then hit the town. For those of you living in Hunters hometown of Louisville there is an event on tonight that promises to be a real blast.

   

 

Today also marks the publication of Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson by William McKeen. There is a book-signing tonight by William at Explore Books in Aspen for those of you lucky enough to live nearby. You can check out a list of places where William will be signing his book here. Having read the book (along with all the other ones on Hunter) I have to say it is by far the best one out there. Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

There is also a big event at the Nomad Lounge in Omaha today with Beef Torrey & Kevin Simonson – authors of Conversations with Hunter S. Thompson. Along with signing copies of their book, there will be a screening of Breakfast With Hunter and Kevin will be sharing one of the largest collections of Thompson and Steadman paraphernalia in the country. For full details of the event check out the website.

 

Finally don’t forget our great competition!

Happy Birthday Doc,

Ron Mexico

UPDATE: Check out this great story about Hunter by Michael Cleverly.

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Warren Hinckle and Ralph Steadman – As Gonzo As Ever

“Dear Ralph…Prepare yourself; I suspect we have struck a very weird & maybe-rich vein…but instead of laboring over details I’ll just enc. a copy (see below) of a suggestion I sent about 2 wks ago to Warren Hinckle …to wit: “…I thought I’d pass on a suggestion that one of my enemies laid on me today: “Why don’t you just travel around the country and shit on everything?” he shouted. “Just go from New York to California and write your venomous bullshit about everything that people respect!” Which sounds like a nice idea…”

Hunter S. Thompson – Fear and Loathing in America

Hehe you have to be careful about what you suggest to certain people and you always have to be prepared that a dare will be accepted, especially when you are dealing with a Gonzo Journalist and their friends. We all know how instrumental Ralph was to Gonzo but I often wonder does Warren Hinckle get the recognition he rightly deserves for being perhaps the most important editor that Hunter ever had. I was thinking about this after stumbling across this great interview with Warren earlier today.

I must be getting forgetful these days because I never mentioned the question that I managed to ask Ralph a few weeks back courtesy of The New York Times website. So here is what I asked and also Ralph’s response.

Q: In Wayne Ewing’s documentary, Breakfast with Hunter, you stated that, in your opinion, readers of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas believed the artist and author to be one and the same. You also stated that without your drawings nobody would have noticed the story. Do you believe this or were you just trying to get a rise out of Hunter?

A: I would say anything to upset Hunter because he used to goad me ferociously and it became a game between us. I believe we treated our friendship as a kind of game, but a mutual admiration for what we both did separately kept alive a kind of delicious disdain. We could use the insult as an expression of love. I believe Wayne used some of my own footage in that film. Was I credited???

I always thought Hunter meant whatever he said. If he was insulting me I think he enjoyed it.

Thanks for that Ralph!

Rory

UPDATE: Check out this interview – Charlie Rose with Jann Wenner & Alex Gibney.

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Enough Of This Nonsense

Hunter was part of a century-old tradition in American letters, the tradition of Mark Twain, Artemus Ward and Petroleum V. Nasby, comic writers who mined the human comedy of a new chapter in the history of the West, namely, the American story, and wrote in a form that was part journalism and part personal memoir admixed with powers of wild invention, and wilder rhetoric inspired by the bizarre exuberance of a young civilization. No one categorization covers this new form unless it is Hunter Thompson’s own word, gonzo. If so, in the 19th century Mark Twain was king of all the gonzo-writers. In the 20th century it was Hunter Thompson, whom I would nominate as the century’s greatest comic writer in the English language.”

Tom Wolfe

 

Take a good long look at that quote. Tom Wolfe is a man who I, along with millions of others, admire and respect. When he offers his opinion people pay attention and for very good reason. He is not some kind of slack jawed yokel who has just discovered the power of speech. He is a ferociously intelligent man and one of the finest American writers of our time. He is also a gentleman and all round class act. Hunter Thompson was lucky to have him as a friend. 

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for certain other people in Hunters orbit. Since his untimely death there has been a number of individuals who have consistently leaped at every chance available to publicly bash and smear his standing as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th Century. Recent book publications and documentaries have predominantly featured these “friends” who seem to have no shame in attacking Hunter now that he cannot respond. They claim that towards the end of Hunters career his output was worthless, repetitive and the product of a man who had turned into a sad caricature of himself. Interestingly these claims come from people who had previously profited enormously from his prodigious output. However once Hunter was no longer making money for them, they waited all of about 5 minutes after his funeral before they started sticking the knife in. At best it is misguided over-the-top criticism of a man who was suffering from severe health problems. However one cannot help but think that it reeks of bitterness and cowardice. These people wouldn’t dare criticize Hunter while he could still respond. They knew that it was an argument they would lose, and badly so.  

Of course that is not to say that Hunter was producing 100% full octane literary classics in his final years. Only a fool would make that claim. However there is no doubt that he could still put out some truly hilarious and entertaining writing, and when the occasion arose he could still hit the bullseye like no other. Hunter NEVER lost it. Perhaps the only thing that Hunter lost towards the end was the motivation and particularly the energy required to write as only he could. The battles that presented themselves in the 21st Century were meant to be tackled by a young person, and not somebody who was in ill-health. Hunter knew this and no doubt he wished he was 30 years younger so he could go after those bastards in The White House. That’s not to say he didn’t try though. As John Nichols observed – some of Hunters best political writing is evident in his Hey Rube column. His article in the aftermath of 9/11 is proof enough of this and makes a mockery of any claims that he was a washed up loser. Hunter had already taken on Nixon and kicked his ass, it shouldn’t have been his task to do that again with George W. Bush. The fact that nobody stepped up to the plate to do the same with George W. Bush is the abysmal failure of my generation. Well perhaps make that second abysmal failure, voting the idiot into the White House was our biggest without a doubt.

Ok I have gone on enough about this now, the more I think about it the more I am getting pissed off and tempted to name the clowns that are spouting this nonsense. In closing I will leave you with a quote from one of Hunters genuine friends.    

“The fact that most of Hunter’s recent books were letters and reprints of columns, like Hey Rube, caused a lot of people to comment that he couldn’t write anything new anymore. But that was bullshit. If he had the time and the muse visited him, and he had the assistance and the help, he could write.” 

 Sheriff Bob Braudis 

 

All the best,

Ron Mexico

PS: A hefty thanks to John Earl for the fantastic new banner at the top of our site.  

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Hunter vs The Hells Angels And A Taste Of What Is To Come…

Ok as you all probably know, Alex Gibney’s Gonzo is now showing across the nation in selected theatres. For a full list of screenings click here. To view a clip from the film showing Hunter being interviewed on TV after the publication of Hells Angels – complete with guest appearance by one of the Angels, bike and all click here.

The movie has also thrown up some other interesting little nuggets of info which you can read about below.

I wanted to do something about Puerto Rico — the young novelist and the time he spent hanging out there with William Kennedy, the great novelist. There were wonderful audio tape recordings, and that’s one thing we’ve solved. Hunter used to make audio tapes late at night. Sometimes he’d combine stuff that he’d record in the field with his own running commentary, with music. We’re going to release five CDs of those on a special collection called “The Gonzo Tapes” in conjunction with the film.” – Alex Gibney

“Douglas Brinkley who is also the executor of Thompson’s literary estate, says Thompson would type out the entirety of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, studying the language -“I’ve read the original manuscripts of his work from that era and there’s scarcely a comma out of place,” he says. “It’s perfectly structured prose. We don’t give him enough credit for that. He knew how to write. He learned properly how to write. Once he learned that, it became a question of finding his own voice. He found that at the Kentucky Derby.”

Brinkley says a new book from Thompson’s hot period will be forthcoming in the next couple of years. It was written after Robert Kennedy’s assassination, which prompted Thompson to go to Washington to speak to gun lobbyists.” – chron.com

Have you seen the movie? If so why not send us a review here at Totally Gonzo and we will post it for your fellow Gonzo fans to read.

Thats about it for now, consider it the good news, because tomorrow I will be addressing an issue that this movie has again highlighted – and I aint happy about it one bit.

 

Ron Mexico

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