Monday, February 21, 2005

In Memoriam

Hunter S. Thompson, who has committed suicide, gave a speech at the University of Texas at Austin during my senior year in 1975. It was part of the "Texas Union Distinguished Lecture Series" and was held at the LBJ Auditorium. It was standing room only, and I don't remember a single word he said, but I've always kept one of the posters that promoted the event (pictured above in the series of photos).

A day or two after his arrival, there was story in the student newspaper The Daily Texan explaining how he was met at the airport by a student delegation, and that he either was supplied with or brought his own supply of adrenalin, which he injected during his stay. On stage, he brought out his usual bottle of Wild Turkey. That explained why I don't remember anything he had to say that night. He spoke in staccato, mumbling bursts that, for the most part, were indecipherable.

His two Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail books were good, I thought. Long before those appeared, when I was a teenager, I had read his book Hell's Angels, written before he became famous, which provides an eye-opening glimpse inside the outlaw motorcycle culture. It ends with him getting severely beaten up by some of the Angels.

It is a shame that he chose to take his own life. That's the trouble with being a practicing drug addict and alcoholic. There are never enough drugs and alcohol to fill you up. His writing suffered as a result, and, in the end, they drove him to kill himself. He had a good run, though, considering the circumstances in which he lived his life.  Posted by Hello

Flash forward nearly 30 years...

Hunter Thompson's book signing in LA last October strikes a devoted fan as pathetic. [Defamer]

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