The Starz network put together a really nice biography on Hunter S. Thompson this year. It wasn’t as much of a bio as a memorial, a remembrance. All of the people he worked with and knew, all the celebrities and personalities who’s lives he touched getting together on film to remember Hunter.
Everyone from Gary Busey to George McGovern was there. Reflecting on Thompson, his life, and his work. Including Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, both of whom played Thompson in feature films.
There were some interesting revelations. For instance, the man who coined the term “Gonzo” and lived his life almost perpetually in motion needed his “home base.” His farm in Woody Creek, CO. He needed to feel tethered to some thing. Some place. He needed that sanctuary from The Weirdness. One would expect someone who lived in a state of excess like Thompson to be completely unrooted and ungrounded, but quite the opposite was the case.
by Ralph Steadman
Long-time friend Ralph Steadman is the satirical cartoonist who illustrated several of Hunter S. Thompson’s books, including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” This remembrance originally appeared in the British newspaper The Independent.
“I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn’t know I could commit suicide at any time,” he told me many years ago, and I knew he meant it. It wasn’t a case of if but when. He didn’t reckon he would make it beyond 30, anyway, so he lived it all in the fast lane. There were no first, second, third and top gears in a car — just overdrive. He was in a hurry. Drive your stake into a darkened heart in a red Mercedes Benz. The blackness hides a speeding tramp. The savage beast pretends. But never mind the nights, my love, because they never really happened anyway. So we wrote in a Beverly Hills house one
After Thompson’s suicide, attorney saw clues
By David Abel, Globe Staff | February 22, 2005
If one of Hunter S. Thompson’s last wishes comes true, the body of the late maverick journalist will be cremated this week and his ashes blasted from a cannon across his sprawling ranch in Woody Creek, Colo.
That will be the extent of Thompson’s funeral, as he told friends and family, said George Tobia Jr., a Boston-based entertainment lawyer who has represented the author for the past 15 years. Tobia said he has spent a few hours every week, often in the wee hours of the day, fielding requests from and chatting up the man who created gonzo journalism.
In a phone interview yesterday, Tobia said only in retrospect does it makes sense that the 67-year-old author sat in his kitchen Sunday afternoon, stuck a .45-caliber handgun in his mouth, and killed himself while his wife listened on the phone and his son and daughter-in-law
Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself
By CATHERINE TSAI, Associated Press Writer
DENVER (AP) – Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” fatally shot himself Sunday night at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67.
“Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family,” Juan Thompson said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News.
Pitkin County Sheriff officials confirmed to The Associated Press that Thompson had died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thompson’s wife, Anita, was not home at the time.
Sad but true. HST shot himself at his fortified compound in Woody Creek.
Thompson had a huge effect on me. Not that I espoused his abuse of chemicals and of his body. But his way of writing – using brutal imagery to underscore great insight in a way that no one would dare argue with the logic. During his prime he surely stomped the terra. The Gonzo ethic also rung true for my own work in technology – the sudden bursts of creativity, often at the last minute … a blinding explosion of activity. Knowing that someone else out there worked in the same bizarre way as I did was, at least, a comfort.
For almost 20 years, the one thing I have taken on every long airline flight was my copy of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” I must have read it 100 times by now, but never get tired of the tale, or the way it is…