It’s hard to believe that Dr. Gonzo has been gone for four years today. He is the premier reason I got into writing all the time. When I was young and naive, I didn’t know there were more to writers than what I had seen of them (purely bland, utter boringness — obviously I was wrong, warming up my ignorance).
Once I had learned about Hunter S. Thompson, I gained an inspiration to write. He was a daredevil. Unlike the conventional writers that I had thought I knew. He was a crazy-ass, drug-addled, insane man who was trying to make sense of everything by writing about the said everything while doing blotter acid and drinking tequila, not to mention staying up 48-72 hours straight without sleep, hammering away on a typewriter at 6:35 in the morning.
The Gonzo King was and is in a different class of all other writers. He broke the rules of journalism by writing in first person. He was high on the job almost constantly. The book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” came about when he was sent by Sports Illustrated to write photograph captions for the annual Mint 400 desert race in Las Vegas. Yet the plan went awry when he said, “Fuck it.”
Thompson was also supposed to cover the highly heralded “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974. Instead, he got drunk outside of his hotel by the hotel pool.
Selfish? Drug abuser? Sure. Inappopriate? OK. But to judge the man so harshly now is crass in the extreme. Have some tact for Chrissakes.
Hunter S. Thompson was a genius, with a mind as rare and brilliant as the Sloat Diamond. He was a champion, larger than life and funny to boot. He was a participant and chronicler of some of the greatest cultural upheaval in America. A self-proclaimed political junkie.
“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
– Hunter S. Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005)
Mahalo, Dr. Gonzo!