I was the most outrageous and stoned writer of the baby boomer era.
I invented a special kind of journalism that became a pop culture fad – you get personally, subjectively involved with your subjects. Truth? What is truth? Truth is what you experience. Experience is seldom polished, rational, or polite.
I became bigger than my writing. I became the story. I became a celebrity. But I was always on the outskirts of recognition and today many baby boomers will hardly – if at all – remember me.
I was an authority-hating rebel, and really hated Richard Nixon, who I lambasted at every opportunity.
I was a beatnik, a new left politico, a drugged-out freak, and rode with the Hell’s Angels. My biker writings brought me national attention. It also brought me a nationally-reported “stomping.” Those goons said I was exploiting them and demanded a share of the profits. When I refused, they beat the crap out me. Now that’s getting involved in your story.
I had a lot of crap left.
I didn’t like most hippies – a bunch of self-centered elitist kids with little political or artistic sense. I wasn’t shy about expressing those views. I’m amazed I can even spell the word “shy.”
I didn’t like most people, especially politicians and editors. I thought Bill Murray, who played me in a movie, was a stand-up guy. I made lots of enemies but they all read my articles and books. I even appeared on the cover of the Rolling Stone. And I was the inspiration for a recurring character in Doonsbury.
I over indulged in everything. I never met a drug I didn’t like, especially alcohol, LSD, meth and cocaine – preferably all at the same time. As you can imagine, I had some health issues later in life. After years of illness, I called it day at 67. How did I ever live that long? I went out with a bang. Literally.
I’m sure you noticed, I started almost every sentence with “I.” I make no apologies. I never have. Answer at end of post
Baby Boomer Trivia Questions
►You know that the comic strip Doonesbury is written by Garry Trudeau. But do you know who he is married to?
►The Rolling Stone cover usually featured musicians or show business personalities. How many of the following politicians made it?
Answers at end of post
Quotes from the wild thing:
“I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes.”
“If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”
“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.”
> Hunter Thompson married Sandra Dawn Conklin in 1963. Three of their children miscarried, two died shortly after birth, and one survived.
> He ran for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado in 1970 on the Freak Power ticket, which advocated making marijuana for personal use legal, tearing up major streets to replace them with grassy malls, banning anything that blocked the view of mountains, and changing the name of Aspen to Fat City in order to discourage businesses from locating there. Thompson almost won.
> Thompson was an avid gun collector.
> Attending his funeral were John Kerry, George McGovern, Ed Bradley, Jack Nicolson, Bill Murry, Sean Penn, John Oates, and Benico del Toro.
The movie version
►Garry Trudeau married CBS news host Jane Pauley in 1980. They have three children.
With the Hunter Thompson-inspired character in Doonesbury
►Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan made the cover of Rolling Stone. Mr. Independent Ross Perot and Mr. Liberal Ted Kennedy did not.