So long. Page 2 : Shotgun Golf with Bill Murray — This may be the last published piece by Hunter Thompson who apparently killed himself this last weekend. I can’t say I was pals with Thompson, but I knew him and chatted with him a lot when he was writing for the SF Examiner. Among other things I helped move him off the typewriter to computer assisted writing in the 1980’s. “OK, so computers are our friends then?” he once said to me. I think this was after he shot one.

Another comment I recall was that his primary literary influence was Faulkner. I don’t know who, if anyone, ever reported that. But once he told me I could see it in his writing.

He was an interesting fellow obviously tormented by all sorts of inner demons. Most remarkable, to me, was his attentiveness when you’d discuss your take on his writing. He seemed fascinated by anyone who didn’t seem to think his material was crummy. I get the suspician that this was because of editors. I used to hear them moan about his inability to meet deadlines and his style. Thus, over the years, he ended up at ESPN online instead of the New Yorker. Now he’ll be praised as a genius. But nobody will explain why, if he was such a genius, THEY never hired him.

Both Johnny Depp and Bill Murray played Thompson in movies and both were pretty near close to Thompson’s weird mumbling style of communication. Depp was probably closer. According to the local writers in San Francisco, Hunter was the great hope of the fiction community. The next stage after Hemingway kind of thing. Drugs and alcohol were blamed for this never happening. But that never stopped Hemingway or others before him. Thompson, along the way, just wasn’t interested enough to take his own importance seriously.

As an aside he used to hang out with all sorts of Washinton types and always claimed that G. Gordon Liddy was “Deepthroat.”

If you liked him I’m sure toasting with a tumbler of Chivas 12 would be appropriate.

related link:
The original HST Homepage. Hopefully it will remain intact for a while.
Excellent interview with HST in Salon.

  1. Tob – Hunter was a man of the people and what you say is maybe the key to what gave him the awareness that the long trip had come to an end. Hunter was a man of the people and like all writers, never really was sure that anybody was listening to what he was saying. I read an interviewer the other day who said that Hunter repeatedly wanted to know what the interviewer felt of his writing. He required feedback and reassurance and with his increasingly situationally imposed isolation he got incrementally less over the later years of his life. Such is fame. He was a deeply insecure man from the start and the fortification at Woody Creek made spontaneous social interaction increasingly rare.

    In an interview on August 29, 2002 with a radio journalist for Radio National Australia, he predicted the Iraq invasion thinking that it would take place 9/11/2002. In that interview he also thought that Maureen Doud was the only national American journalist who was actually writing about the unthinkable thuggery that was being planned by the Bush administration. “Boy it really is lonely out here…” he says.

    I believe that for him the final round came with the electronic voting frauds in 2002 and 2004. In the Australian interview in 2002 he mentioned that the vote was the only actual means of change that was available to people. With the success of fraudulent electronic voting schemes and the idea of perennial Republican victories beyond the event horizon of even HIS ‘doors of perception’ he realized that to live on the planet any longer was only to bring increased pain and suffering to him and that maybe there was somewhere else he might want to explore.


  2. A. MacKenzie says:

    He had all the momentum; He was riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave until it came to and end on the sandy beaches of his own hand. It is a good thing that his waves water will last forever, being pulled out by the next wave leaving a lasting impression on the world forever. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was the first book I ever read from cover to cover. It showed me that there was entertainment outside that evil box of glass and plastic. His writing made me laugh out loud, made my mind think from all angles, and made me want to read more and more. I have experimented with drugs myself and it takes a really strong person to not let them ruin you life. I can’t say if the Duke was crazy from the extensive amounts of drugs he consumed or if it was from the realizations of what this world is developing into. It is very unfortunate that there will be no more page 2 columns, or novels, or wise words from this truly inspirational writer. RIP HST.

  3. rog says:

    HST is gone,and that is a shame,but all men must die(then comes judgement) , he was a tormented soul that spoke to tormented and longing souls . He had a GOD given talent to be sure, did he use it in a manor that the maker found pleasing ? i sure hope so, in your more honest moments you gotta ask yourself where is he now? , can we believe he is in a better place and why? . because WE enjoyed his written word ,because of his intelligence, his insight. i don’t know about anyone else but i don’t think that ‘s how the triple beam weights out our final worth.we are just passing through here folks, i have to say in my later years, thank GOD i have come to put more faith in the writings of the first centuries then in the 20th ,that;s me . i liked his writings for what they are and were, and in my younger years my appetite, not unlike his were for things of this world, ah ,but not anymore , i’ve set my sites on higher ground. he will be missed and rightly so ,but if you been around for any length of time you understand thats the way it goes, instead of surmissing how his works and the man will be remembered ,it seems to me the more important question is where you gonna be in a hundered years and why? food for thought later

  4. Tim Renick says:

    We should run his hat,cigarette holder, glasses and a gun along w/ a bottle of Chivas in the next Presidential election….’our’ candidate would surely have more to say than any stooge that the Republican swine could run against him…..RIP HST….tell Zevon, Townes Van Zandt, George Harrison, etc. ‘Hello’ for the rest of us…

    Deepest and Warmest regards for the Thompson family.

  5. James Summers USN says:

    This thing we call life is that much more drab and empty without you Doc. I feel more vulnerable now than ever. i used to take comfort in knowing Hunter was roaming the countryside with a head full of acid and armed with high-powered weaponry.
    May the lords of Karma look favorably upon you. See you when i get there!

  6. El Pinche Gabacho says:

    Hunter, man, you made our college days tolerable by describing the world as it truly was. The world has since become even worse, but you will no longer cheer us with your saeve indignatio.
    So we will have to supply it now ourselves.

  7. smoked out says:

    to jiimaan who left post number 15, you are obviously an ignorant piece of work, and it is you who is the hypocrite, you say that you never read any of thompsons work yet your critising him? guess you really don’t get it, and as a answer to your comment about taking his own life, the diference between you and hunter is that the world will be a darker place without him, if you offed yourself the world would be a better place, so do us all a favour……

  8. game time says:

    let’s face it there can never be another gonzo journalist but if you go by hunters example you will find that he opened doors for us aspiring writers and journalists to come up with our own style of writing. thanks for turning reality into words hunter you will be missed

  9. Sir Duncan says:

    What a writer

  10. Aaron Cooper says:

    This is most definitely a dark day for humanity, a grim meat hook reality that we all took, hook line and sinker. But there are always some of us not born of this world for this world and the doctor was of this understanding of life. I know he isn’t going to read this….But dammit Man! He can Hear It. ….
    ….Strange Memories on this nervous night in las vegas, Has been five years, Six? It feels like a lifetime, the kind of peak that doesn’t come again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of, but no mix of words or music. Feelings or sensation can touch that sense of knowing that you alive in that corner of time in the world whatever it meant…

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