I was delighted to participate in this two hour panel discussion on The Hell’s Angels Letters with some of the best experts out there on Hunter S. Thompson. Here’s the lowdown on all involved:
Margaret Harrell is hands on with Life. A dual national, she has lived and written in Morocco, Switzerland, and Belgium as well as the U.S.
The copy editor/assistant editor of Hell’s Angels and other remarkable books at Random House, she also was the international coordinator
of a museum project in Belgium. Now living in Raleigh NC, she is a longtime freelance book editor, a light body meditation teacher,
and a cloud photographer. She has thirteen published books, including the Keep This Quiet! memoir series.
Professor William McKeen is the author of eight books and the editor of four more, including Mile Marker Zero (Crown, 2011), a non-fiction narrative about Key West; Outlaw Journalist (W.W. Norton, 2008), a biography of Hunter S. Thompson; Highway 61 (W.W. Norton, 2003), a memoir of a 6,000-mile road trip with his teenage son; and two anthologies, Rock and Roll is Here to Stay (W. W. Norton, 2000) and Literary Journalism: A Reader (Wadsworth, 2000).
His most recent book is Everybody Had an Ocean (Chicago Review Press, 2017), about the intersection of music and crime in Los Angeles during the 1960s. It focuses on how Charles Manson was able to infiltrate the peace-love-and-flowers world of rock’n’roll royalty in Laurel Canyon, becoming a roommate to Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.
McKeen also produced an anthology about Florida, where he spent most of his life. Homegrown in Florida (University Press of Florida, 2012) celebrates childhood in the Sunshine State. In addition to writing two stories in the collection, McKeen gathered contributions from Carl Hiaasen, Michael Connelly, Kristin Harmel, Fabiola Santiago and Tom Petty.
His major teaching areas are literary journalism, history of journalism, reporting, feature writing and history of rock’n’roll.
Ron Whitehead is the founder of the Louisville Gonzo Fest. He is also the Beat Poet Laureate of Kentucky (2019‒2021) who received the City of Louisville Proclamation (2019) for a Lifetime Achievement of Supporting the Arts. A poet, writer, editor, publisher, organizer, scholar, Ron has produced over 3,000 Arts Events from New York City to the Netherlands. Whitehead has also taught at the University of Louisville, New York University, Trinity College Dublin, and the University of Iceland.
Professor Peter Richardson teaches humanities and American Studies at San Francisco State University. His latest book, about Hunter S. Thompson, will be published by the University of California Press. His previous publications include books about the Grateful Dead, Ramparts magazine, and Carey McWilliams, Thompson’s editor at “The Nation” magazine.
And of course, myself. Many thanks to Alice Osborn for bringing all this together, it was a great discussion.