Anyone who reads this site probably knows that I’m a huge Hunter S. Thompson fan, though I’ve always been more a fan of him as a writer than as a character. Incidentally, I finally watched Where The Buffalo Roam (link to Ebert’s review) on Netflix the other day, the 1980 movie starring Bill Murray “based on the twisted legend of Hunter S. Thompson.” Holy shit what a fermented steaming abortion that thing is. It’s a case study in how to make a film much, much worse than the sum of its parts. Netflix had it in the “cult classic” section, and if that movie has a cult following, that’s a cult I’d like to avoid. It’s no wonder it took another 18 years to get the (far superior) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas movie made.
In any case, E. Jean Carroll, who’s a bit of a character herself, recently made her 1993 Thompson biography Hunter: The Strange And Savage Life Of Hunter S. Thompson, available for free online (here and here). If you ever wondered how much drugs (many drugs?) Hunter did, Carroll’s book begins with the run down of Thompson’s daily drug routine:
I have heard the biographers of Harry S. Truman, Catherine the Great, etc., etc., say they would give anything if their subjects were alive so they could ask them some questions. I, on the other hand, would give anything if my subject were dead.
He should be. Oh, yes. Look at his daily routine:
3:00 p.m. rise
3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills
3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill
4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill
4:16 orange juice, Dunhill
5:11 coffee, Dunhills
5:30 more ice in the Chivas
5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.
6:00 grass to take the edge off the day
7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jiggers of Chivas.)
9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously
10:00 drops acid
11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass
11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.
12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write
12:05-6:00 a.m. Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.
6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo
I’ve always been a little wary of those who celebrate the “wasn’t it awesome how many drugs he did?!” angle of Hunter S. Thompson’s legacy, because it somewhat detracts from the much more important fact that, you know, he was a really good writer. Though one must admit, if Carroll is to be believed, it’s a pretty impressive drug intake. Less impressive knowing that he eventually blew his f*cking brains out, but you know, there you go.
Incidentally, Alex Gibney’s 2008 documentary, Gonzo, is currently available on Netflix, in case you’re interested.
[hat tip: OpenCulture]
“If a guy wants to beat his wife and the dog bites him, that’s between the three of them.” -Famous Hell’s Angels proverb.
Also, apparently in 1967, a guy could suggest beating his wife was a good thing to do and the crowd would applaud.