Saturday, June 10, 2017

A 'Gonzo' Bibliography- The Works Of Hunter S. Thompson At A Glance

 A 'Gonzo' Bibliography- The Works Of Hunter S. Thompson At A Glance

Click on title to link to something like a complete list of works (as of 2009) of the late Hunter S. Thompson.

Zack James’ comment June, 2017:

Sometimes you just have to follow the bouncing ball like in those old time sing along cartoons they used to have back in say the 1950s,the time I remember them from, on Saturday afternoon matinees at the old now long gone Stand Theater in my growing up town of North Adamsville. Follow me for a minute here I won’t be long. Earlier this spring my oldest brother, Alex, took attended a conference in San Francisco which he has done periodically for years. While there he noticed an advertisement on a bus for something called the Summer of Love Experience at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. That ad immediately caught his attention he had been out there that year and had participated in those events at the urging of his friend Peter Paul Markin who was something of a holy goof (a Jack Kerouac term of art), a low rent prophet, and a street criminal all in one. When Alex got back to the East after having attended the exhibition he got in contact with me to help him, and the still standing corner boys who also had gone out West at Markin’s urging to put together a tribute booklet honoring Markin and the whole experience.

After completing that project, or maybe while completing it I kept on thinking about the late Hunter S. Thompson who at one time was the driving force behind gonzo journalism and had before his suicide about a decade ago been something of a muse to me. At first my thoughts were about how Thompson would have taken the exhibition at the de Young since a lot of what he wrote about in the 1960s and 1970s was where the various counter-cultural trends were, or were not, going. But then as the current national political situation in America in the Trump Age has turned to crap, to craziness and straight out weirdness I began to think about how Thompson would have handled the 24/7/365 craziness these days since he had been an unremitting searing critic of another President of the United States who also had low-life instincts, one Richard Milhous Nixon.

The intertwining of the two stands came to head recently over the fired FBI director James Comey hearings where he essentially said that the emperor had no clothes. So I have been inserting various Thompson-like comments in an occasional series I am running in various on-line publications-Even The President Of The United States Sometimes Must Have To Stand Naked-Tales From The White House Bunker. And will continue to overlap the two-Summer of Love and Age of Trump for as long as it seems relevant. So there you are caught up. Ifs not then I have included hopefully for the last time the latest cross-over Thompson idea.           

Zack James comment, Summer of 2017                

Maybe it says something about the times we live in, or maybe in this instance happenstance or, hell maybe something in the water but certain things sort of dovetail every now and again. I initially started this commentary segment after having written a longest piece for my brother and his friends as part of a small tribute booklet they were putting together about my and their takes on the Summer of Love, 1967. That event that my brother, Alex, had been knee deep in had always interested me from afar since I was way too young to have appreciated what was happening in San Francisco in those Wild West days. What got him motivated to do the booklet had been an exhibit at the de Young Art Museum in Golden Gate Park where they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the events of that summer with a look at the music, fashion, photography and exquisite poster art which was created then just as vivid advertising for concerts and “happenings” but which now is legitimate artful expression.

That project subsequently got me started thinking about the late Hunter Thompson, Doctor Gonzo, the driving force behind a new way of looking at and presenting journalism which was really much closer to the nub of what real reporting was about. Initially I was interested in some of Thompson’s reportage on what was what in San Francisco as he touched the elbows of those times having spent a fair amount of time working on his seminal book on the Hell’s Angels while all hell was breaking out in Frisco town. Delved into with all hands and legs the high points and the low, the ebb which he located somewhere between the Chicago Democratic Convention fiasco of the summer of 1968 and the hellish Rollins Stones Altamont concert of 1969.     

Here is what is important today though, about how the dots get connected out of seemingly random occurrences. Hunter Thompson also made his mark as a searing no holds barred mano y mano reporter of the rise and fall, of the worthy demise of one Richard Milhous Nixon at one time President of the United States and a common low-life criminal of ill-repute. Needless to say today, the summer of 2107, in the age of one Donald Trump, another President of the United States and common low-life criminal begs the obvious question of what the sorely missed Doctor Gonzo would have made of the whole process of the self-destruction of another American presidency, or a damn good run at self-destruction. So today and maybe occasionally in the future there will be some intertwining of commentary about events fifty years ago and today. Below to catch readers up to speed is the most recent “homage” to Hunter Thompson. And you too I hope will ask the pertinent question. Hunter where are you when we need, desperately need, you.       
Zack James comment, Summer of 2017 

You know it is in a way too bad that “Doctor Gonzo”-Hunter S Thompson, the late legendary journalist who broke the back, hell broke the neck, legs, arms of so-called objective journalism in a drug-blazed frenzy back in the 1970s when he “walked with the king”’ is not with us in these times. (Walking with the king not about walking with any king or Doctor King but being so high on drugs, your choice, that commin clay experiences fall by the way side. In the times of this 50th anniversary commemoration of the Summer of Love, 1967 which he worked the edges of while he was doing research (live and in your face research by the way) on the notorious West Coast-based Hell’s Angels. His “hook” through Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters down in Kesey’s place in La Honda where many an “acid test” took place, where many walked with the king, if you prefer, and where for a time the Angels, Hunter in tow, were welcomed. He had been there in the high tide, when it looked like we had the night-takers on the run and later as well when he saw the ebb tide of the 1960s coming a year or so later although that did not stop him from developing the quintessential “gonzo” journalism fine-tuned with plenty of dope for which he would become famous before the end, before he took his aging life and left Johnny Depp and company to fling his ashes over this good green planet. He would have “dug” the exhibition, maybe smoked a joint for old times’ sake (oh no, no that is not done in proper society, in high art society these days) at the de Young Museum at the Golden Gate Park highlighting the events of the period showing until August 20th of this year.   

Better yet he would have had this Trump thug bizarre weirdness wrapped up and bleeding from all pores just like he regaled us with the tales from the White House bunker back in the days when Trump’s kindred one Richard Milhous Nixon, President of the United States and common criminal was running the same low rent trip before he was run out of town by his own like some rabid rat. He would have gone crazy seeing all the crew deserting the sinking U.S.S. Trump with guys like fired FBI Director Comey going to Capitol Hill and saying out loud the emperor has no clothes and would not know the truth if it grabbed him by the throat. Every day would be a feast day. But perhaps the road to truth these days, in the days of “alternate facts” and assorted other bullshit would have been bumpier than in those more “civilized” times when simple burglaries and silly tape-recorders ruled the roost. Hunter did not make the Nixon “hit list” (to his everlasting regret for which he could hardly hold his head up in public) but these days he surely would find himself in the top echelon. Maybe too though with these thugs who like their forbears would stop at nothing he might have found himself in some back alley bleeding from all pores. Hunter Thompson wherever you are –help. Selah. Enough said-for now  

Markin comment:

Anytime you need to read something funny about late 20th-early 21st century American bourgeois politics and culture grab some Hunter. He got me through many a tough night. He, and his savage wit, are missed by this writer, for sure.

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