|American University, Washington DC, late 1975|
(That's me in the audience, front row, far right)
Hunter S. Thompson put a gun to his head and killed himself in the kitchen of his home eighteen years ago today. He was 67.
HST’s classic Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas inspired me to write, to translate lived experience to the page, even for novels.
I got turned onto him while a student at American University in Washington DC, 1975, and thereafter read pretty much everything he wrote.
Coming up twelve years ago I made a pilgrimage to Aspen and Woody Creek, Colorado in search of Hunter’s seemingly limitless spirit.
First stop was the bar inside Hotel Jerome (where I stayed) from which HST ran his campaign for sheriff in 1970 on the “Freak Power” ticket.
Second stop, Woody Creek Tavern, occupying HST’s favorite spot down the bar, against the wall, where he’d sift through mail.
It always takes a few days to manifest the orb spirit of anyone—and ultimately HST did not disappoint.
Snagged him in Jerome’s Library Bar, hovering above the bourbon.
Tonight it’ll be Wild Turkey on the rocks, toast the master of gonzo journalism.