ESPN.com: 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.