The Gonzo Tapes Now Available for Pre-Order

You can now Pre-Order The Gonzo Tapes through Amazon. The five-disc set is priced $59.98 and you can check out the artwork below.

From Amazon : “Recorded by Hunter S. Thompson between 1965 and 1975, these tapes capture his thoughts and descriptions both as they’re happening and in reflection, as he would often go back to rerecord commentary while writing. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, producer Eva Orner and Gonzo archivist Don Fleming were given permission by Thompson’s widow to explore the boxes of tapes stored in the basement of his Owl Farm home in Woody Creek, Colorado, left behind after Thompson’s suicide in 2005. Fleming transferred the audiocassettes and reel-to-reel tapes to digital files, and they made their way to the cutting room for the film Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Now for the first time these previously unreleased recordings are available in a 5-CD set. The Gonzo Tapes features original cover artwork by Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman, an amazing 44-page booklet full of never-before-seen images from Hunter S. Thompson’s estate, along with memorable photos and an introduction by film director Alex Gibney, an essay by journalist and Thompson’s fellow foreign correspondent Loren Jenkins, and notes by The Gonzo Tapes producer Don Fleming, former front man of the Velvet Monkeys and Gumball who has produced Sonic Youth, Alice Cooper, Hole, and more.”

 

I want a copy nowwwwwwwwww!!!!

Ron Mexico

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Anita Thompson on The Gonzo Way, The Mutineer & The Rum Diary

Check out this interesting video of Anita discussing The Gonzo Way, The Mutineer and The Rum Diary

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Anita is now blogging over at talkleft.com  – You can check out her latest entry here

Ok for now,

Ron Mexico

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Official Tracklisting for Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo Tapes – Updated Aug: 28th

UPDATE AUG: 28th –  the set includes a 44-page booklet that includes track notes as well as archival photos courtesy of the Thompson estate.

Gonzo Tapes Tracklist:

Disc 1 – Hell’s Angels:

Bass Lake Run . . . Terry The Tramp Interview #1 . . . Driving Back Through Oakland . . . The Merry Pranksters Welcome The Hell’s Angels . . . It’s A Long Dirty Story . . . Ha-Ha, Not Thump-Thump . . . Terry The Tramp Interview #2 . . . Zing Zong Wing Ding Rush . . . A Question For The Ages

 

Disc 2 – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

We Have Seized The High Ground . . . One Toke Over The Line . . . If All Else Fails We Must Get Ether . . . In Search Of The American Dream . . . Terry’s Taco Stand, USA . . . Anybody In Search Of The American Dream Needs A Lawyer, A Doctor And A Bodyguard

 

Disc 3 – More Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Goddamn! This Monster’s Licking My Arm! . . . Oscar Fled In Terror . . . Drug Up . . . Weird Road . . . Across This Treacherous Sand . . . A Huge Tidal Wave Will Come In On Me Now . . . Vegas D.A. Final Notes . . . The Whole Room Is Total Chaos . . . Wenner Calls . . . With A Big “W” in 65-Pt Type

 

Disc 4 – Gonzo Gridlock 1973-1974

Guts Ball . . . Cozumel . . . Fear And Loathing In Acapulco . . . Freud Cocaine Papers . . . Fear And Loathing In Kinshasa

 

Disc 5 – Fear and Loathing in Saigon

I’m The One That’s Supposed To Be Crazy . . . Hotel Continental Palace . . . The Thursday Night Panic . . . Last Stand At Xuan Loc . . . Hong Kong . . . The Last Dispatch From Saigon

Jesus I can’t wait to get my hands on this !!

 

Later,

 

Ron Mexico

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Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo Tapes Due October

The Gonzo Tapes, a five-disc set of unreleased recordings by Rolling Stone’s own Hunter S. Thompson, will be released on October 28th. Compiled while filmmakers were producing Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the audio on The Gonzo Tapes was recorded between 1965 and 1975, with Thompson using the tapes to capture his thoughts and descriptions of what was happening around him or to look back at what he experienced.

Thompson’s widow granted permission to director Alex Gibney, producer Eva Orner and archivist Don Fleming to go through the tapes that were stored in boxes in the basement of Thompson’s Woody Creek, Colorado home. Disc 1 on the collection will feature Thompson’s year riding with the Hell’s Angels, Discs 2 and 3 both draw from his novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Disc 4 covers Thompson’s exploits between 1973 and 1974 and the fifth disc features his 1975 trip to Saigon. The cover features original artwork by Ralph Steadman and the package will contain essays by Gibney and Thompson’s fellow foreign correspondent Loren Jenkins. – Rolling Stone

Thoughts and more to follow…

Ron Mexico

Update: The Gonzo Tapes will be released by Shout Factory

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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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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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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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The Ginger Man in Dublin

“My eyes are glued together. Feet blistered. What have I done? At least I’m not in jail. Lay a bit to get the latitude and longitude. I’ll never do this again. Seems I had something to do with cattle. And with drink. And with several parties. And pints of cider. Claws the brain apart. I don’t like this when I don’t even know what month it is.”

J.P. Donleavy – The Ginger Man        

 

Ah yes Mr. Donleavy, I know the feeling and I don’t like it either, although in my case it was largely due to pints of Guinness and some women from Eastern Europe. Stumbling across a signpost on Dublin’s Grafton Street that informed me of a Literary Pub Crawl didn’t help matters either. After a near four hour bus journey to Dublin I had developed a raging thirst, the kind that could only be extinguished with a few pints of the black stuff. Followed by many, many more. Given that there is a bar on literally ever corner, a bar crawl in Dublin can quickly become a decadent orgy of unimaginable magnitude. Eventually my literary pub tour brought me to the fine establishment known as The Ginger Man. Located near the back of Trinity College it serves a fine pint of Guinness, which I gladly helped myself to before I eagerly set off towards Temple Bar in search of The Project Arts Centre where Mr. Donleavy was going to be making a rare appearence.

Typicaly however, I got hopelessly lost. Whoever is responsible for the signposts in Dublin should be strung up with barbed wire and left for the crows. Of course I had no trouble finding bars, but when it came to my main destination relying on the signposts was like asking a blind woman for directions on a foggy night. Beyond useless! I also had a sneaking suspicion that some bastard had turned certain signs in the wrong direction just for his own perverse amusement. If I had found him I would have strangled the prick in the middle of O’Connell St. with my shoelaces.  

After much frustration and loud outbursts of gutteral swearing I managed to find the damn spot. About 60 yards from my hotel no less. Oh Lord you mock me in the cruelest fashion! I quickly collected my tickets and bounded upstairs where I was faced with yet another bar. A man could never die of thirst in this fine city. A pint of the black stuff later I found myself sitting about five yards from the stage, no doubt stinking the front aisles to the rafters with the smell of Guinness. Fuck them all anyway, I couldn’t care less about upsetting a bunch of what looked like latte sipping dullards and middle aged virgins. Soon the lights dipped and our host from the national broadcaster RTE introduced the man of the hour – J.P. Donleavy.

Mr Donleavy ambled out from the shadows of the stage, dressed like a country gent in tweed and sporting a distinguised silver beard. After a warm welcome from the audience he started discussing a variety of topics, from the banning of The Ginger Man to his hopes of a film version starring Johnny Depp and the notorious hellraiser Shane McGowan. I don’t want to spoil it all for you, as you can listen to the entire event here.

Afterwards Mr. Donleavy took some questions from the audience and then started signing books for the audience. I eagerly jumped in line to get my copy of The Ginger Man autographed by the man himself. The line to meet him was huge but I eventually got to the top and met the infamous old git. As he was signing my book I asked him if he ever accepted Hunter’s offer to drop by his shack in Big Sur back in the early 60’s. On hearing the Good Doctors name he looked up and smiled with a glint in his eye – “Oh yes” he muttered in his distinct mournful voice and then he paused, considering the question a bit – “No, no…pity, pity” before chuckling to himself a bit. He seemed rather pleased with the question, if a little surprised. Then I was off into the Dublin night where I roamed around Temple Bar for a bit, before challenging three Polish women to a drinking contest in a bar whose name I forget. Never underestimate a Polish womans tolerance for vodka, it could be the death of you…

 

Ok for now,

Ron Mexico

PS: I had some photos I wanted to upload but my computer is banjaxed and my laptop is doing its best to drive me insane. If I had a .44 Magnum right now I’d blast them both to bits with extreme prejudice.         

 

      

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In Search of The Ginger Man

Well, Lionel, a chap named Donleavy has just written a book. He never made it to Beverly Glen, or even Esquirebut he can write the balls off of every punk who did – including me.”

Hunter S. Thompson – The Proud Highway

 

Tomorrow I am off to Dublin to hopefully get a chance to have a word with JP Donleavy, infamous author of The Ginger Man and famed recluse. Mr. Donleavy is giving a reading as part of the Dublin Writers Festival and will also be discussing the upcoming movie adaption of his wicked novel. It is also heavily rumoured that Colonel Depp will be there, as he is hotly tipped to play the lead role – that of Sebastian Dangerfield. The Colonel and Mr. Donleavy are good friends and have been discussing this movie for a while now. Shane McGowan is also supposed to make a cameo appearence in the film playing the equally boisterous Brendan Behan. Speaking of the Colonel, it was his birthday this week so hopefully he had a good one! Here is a clip from the Extended DVD of his appearence on Inside the Actors Studio. He is talking about what it was like to live with The Good Doctor.

 

 

Oh yeah before I go, if you want to read a letter that Hunter sent to JP Donleavy then click here and last, but certainly by no means least, for those of you who are interested in collecting the work of Dr. Thompson check out HST Books run by our very own Lono, it is a fantastic site with great information on collecting First Editions, Limited Editions, Rare Magazines and basically everything to do with Gonzo.

Good luck,

Ron Mexico       

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Jack Was Not Innocent, He Ran Over Dogs

“Jack Kerouac influenced me quite a bit as a writer…in the Arab sense that the enemy of my enemy was my friend. Kerouac taught me that you could get away with writing about drugs and get published. It was possible, and in a symbolic way I expected Kerouac to turn up in Haight-Ashbury for the cause. Ginsberg was there, so it was kind of natural to expect that Kerouac would show up too.”  

Hunter S. Thompson – Paris Review # 156

 

So I was having a browse on the net today when I discovered a great little CD called Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness. It is a tribute to Jack Kerouac and features contributions from the likes of Patti Smith, Johnny Depp, John Cale, William S. Burroughs, Eddie Vedder, Allen Ginsberg, Joe Strummer, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Steven Tyler and Michael Stipe. Oh and some fellow called Thompson has a piece called – Letter To William S. Burroughs And Ode To Jack. 

Enjoy!

Ron Mexico

 

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