Monday, February 21, 2005

10 reasons why Hunter S. Thompson was cool:

1. Hunter's articles in Rolling Stone chronicling the Richard Nixon presidency helped define that magazine as a powerhouse publication. His legendary hatred of Nixon gave the American youth a true villain for their times. The magazine occasionally let Hunter's essays run for tens of thousands of words.

2. Thompson appeared on a spoken-word album with Black Flag's Henry Rollins and Dead Kennedys' frontman Jello Biafra near the beginning of the two punk rockers' successful spoken word careers.

3. The soundtrack to the movie Where The Buffalo Roam, which starred Bill Murray and was based on Thompson's experiences, was compiled and partially performed by Canadian legend Neil Young.

4. Is often credited with the following hysterical take on the music industry: "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

5. The movie based on Fear And Loathing was directed by Terry Gilliam and starred Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro and Tobey Maguire, most of whom did the movie because they loved the book. 'Nuff said.

6. The character Uncle Duke in Garry Trudeau's comic Doonesbury is based on Thompson, who often used the name Raoul Duke as a pseudonym while on the road.

7. An essay entitled "The Beast With Three Backs" is about one of Hunter's trips to Montreal and his experiences at the city's infamous downtown strip club, Super Sexe.

8. In 1970, Thompson ran for Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado He vowed that if he won he would decriminalize drugs replace the streets with bike paths and rename Aspen, Colorado "Fat City", amongst other things. Sadly, he lost to the incumbent Republican sheriff.

9. To research a story Hunter hung out and rode with the Hell's Angels. In 1965 he took the Angels to Ken Kesey's ranch for an acid test. Attendee Allen Ginsberg wrote a poem about it. In 1967, Thompson released the book Hell's Angels: A Strange And Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.

10. Was close friends with the late Warren Zevon. Thompson quoted a Zevon song in The Curse Of Lono, while the songwriter dedicated his 1995 album, Mutineer, to Hunter.

(crt + c = )


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