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Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Gonzo Addendum

Posted by Andrew R Tonry on Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 10:53 AM

So we saw Gonzo, the newest Hunter Thompson documentary the other night. Not bad--I'd recommend it to any fan of the self-proclaimed "political-junkie" and outlaw journalist. Even better, I would imagine, for the uninitiated. (I should confess Thompson is one of my few heros.)

There's something I wanted to add, however, that's missing from the film re: Hunter's connection to music. In the film, the only prominent musician friend of Hunter's is Jimmy Buffett... Now, say what you want about taking Hunter in, or the "lost shaker of salt," but Buffett doesn't exactly appeal to the greater musical instincts of any decent person I know.

Hunter was also close friends with Warren Zevon, who couldn't contribute to the film because, well, he was dead too. Maybe those suckers are up there snorting lines of some teenager's neck as we speak. But yeah, Hunter and Zevon shot guns together and even wrote together. Here's a tiny little clip from a Zevon documentary featuring Hunter at one of his classic L.A. haunts, the Chateau Marmont:

Music was also very important to Hunter when he wrote. I remember something he said or wrote on the production of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. During the period of heavy writing Hunter was chomping speed in front of a typewriter in his basement bunker room. He played the Rolling Stones Let It Bleed furiously, on repeat (although it could've been Beggars Banquet, I can't remember exactly). I suppose it had the rhythms he was looking for.

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