e-book Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream (Gonzo Papers, Volume 3)

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Because Gonzo is not just a style of journalism, it is a battle for the preservation of Freedom and the American Dream. The Gonzo cause. And that is inextricably bound up with politics. The basis for his political involvement was formed in Editors of the most famous magazines were queueing up to hire him. Nobody expected him to return to the political arena after his defeat by Kennedy in Having arrived in New Hampshire, where Nixon was campaigning, it turned out to be impossible to speak to the man in person.

Nixon had instructed his staff that he would not speak about Vietnam or political campus demonstrations. No, the furthest he would go was to talk to an insider about football.


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While the Republican candidate was preparing for the drive to the airport, a campaign worker remembered that Thompson knew all there was to know about sport. He and he alone was allowed to come along. Nixon had the edge on him with his knowledge, but Thompson could respect that.

Nevertheless, the two could never get along from that moment on. A pitched battle between police and anti-Vietnam demonstrators broke out outside the convention hall. In the confusion Thompson fell through a glass door and was injured. Weeks later he still could not speak about the incident without bursting into tears: his faith in politics had been irrevocably damaged.

He realised the futility of national politics and decides, from that moment on, to concentrate solely on his own home ground: what had been personal became political. He seemed so all-American … that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism.

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You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful. Outside, above the door, a stuffed wild boar replete with yellow spectacles and decorated with coloured lights inspects the clientele. The Tavern is Woody Creek. Inside there is a pleasantly decadent atmosphere. Both men and women walk around in cowboy boots and all the regulars appear to have accepted postponement of their own American Dream. Comfort is to be found in the whining country music continually blaring out of the loudspeakers. And in the booze, of course. The walls are filled with newspaper cuttings and photographs, paintings of wild-west scenes, an enormous stuffed shark, pictures of legendary baseball players and postcards from every corner of the world.

At the bar, folk speculate amusedly about how long the Doc has to go in this far from perfect existence, the wildest stories circulate concerning both his liver and his nose cartilage. And stories about Thompson are what keep and maybe will keep the Tavern running: dozens of Doc-heads visit this structure every year, hoping to catch a glimpse of their hero, mostly in vain. At the bar they will, swear Thompson was quite prepared to shoot trespassers on his property.

We had brought a bottle of Chivas Regal for the special occasion. One of his favourites. A fear encouraged by Thompson himself, he had a healthy respect for the American customs officers. Gonzo Papers Vol. As he had hidden a quantity of drugs left over from another story in a nearby hotel, the assignment appealed to him. Together with his friend Yail Bloor Thompson leaves for Mexico, where the two are quickly bored to death after just a day and a half on a boat. But then things began to liven up, parties, enormous quantities of drink, coke, LSD, and speed.

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Mostly night. They were not there for the fishing although they did make one valiant attempt in the struggle between man and shark. The sharks were nowhere to be found.


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Thompson and Bloor decided it was time to flee the picturesque town of Cozumel leaving a trail of unpaid bills behind them. The first stop was Monterrey, Texas. And the nearer they got, the more it began to dawn on Thompson that Texas does not go easy on drugs smugglers. He had a brilliant idea, they would eat all the drugs. At the bar the two friends calmed themselves with a few margaritas laced with tequilla.

The mist cleared.

American Dream

All of a sudden they heared their names announced over the loudspeakers. Blind panic overcame Bloor. He stood in the toilet trying to piss, snort coke and smoke a joint all at the same time. To soften the blow he washed down the last few speed tablets and the two of them amble towards the gate. They got to the next stop, San Antonio, one of the most heavily guarded airports in the United States.

Bloor started to giggle uncontrollably. The Doc stayed cool: he bends down, picks the balls up, and puts them nonchalantly back in his pocket. The crowd raised hands and clenched fists as a greeting when Thompson stepped into the Tavern. He returned the welcome, stood for a moment soaking up the attention triumphantly and then strode over to his corner.

His movements seemed exaggerratedly controlled, like those of an old man. Meanwhile whole generations grew up thinking that Thompson is imitating a comic strip character. Thompson pushed the Chivas to the side of the table and raised a hand to place an order. He was once at a table with former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern and his wife and ordered two margaritas, a glass of wine and a bottle of beer.

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He had brought some marijuana with him and put it on the table. According to E. Carroll recorded that Thompson would usually rise at 3 p. A tight schedule, if slightly unusual.

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He could fly into a rage if the newspaper or his Chivas would not be at hand. As the great love of his life Sandy, long since his ex and mother of his son Juan Fitzgerald found out the hard way. In Thompson was told that he had only a year to live and since then his name has ranked high in The Death Game — a morbid game in the U.

All bets are off now. What are you up to these days, we asked him. It was one of many unfinished projects he took upon the last ten years of his life. One hundred percent fiction. All Gonzo inspiration.

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Hunter S. Thompson - NORML - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws

It sounds like offended muttering. He ostentatiously took a few more draws on the cigarette and put it out. Bubba looks sadly on, just like Thompson, as the American Dream is slowly but surely dismembered. And neither Bubba nor the verbal violence that Thompson brought to bear in his reports could do a thing about it. He was around in when Thompson as leader of the Freak Power Party made his bid for the title. Thompson had fled Haight-Ashbury, the hippie-mecca of San Francisco where Rolling Stone had sent him, at the time of his political awakening, in He sought sanctuary in Woody Creek.

Later the Gonzo insignia. He wanted to prevent that the whole valley should fall into the hands of property-speculators and greed-heads. His opponent, Carroll Whitmire, had crew-cut hair, like all the all-American-boys. Thompson stuck to journalism, mercifully, he fell votes short of victory. A close shave, but they have never shaken him off completely: he was long active in local politics, and was almost single-handedly responsible for the fact that the planned extension of the local airfield had been postponed for more than 25 years.

Give somebody a little power and he will become a nazi. Thompson lit yet another Dunhill, threw his Zippo in the air and caught it, mid-air. He was allowed to drive on, despite the clearly visible bottle of Wild Turkey and the reek of mescaline and bourbon. So it was that he was sent out to Las Vegas by the magazine. In that book he described an incident where a traffic-cop stopped him and emptied the can of Budweiser Thompson had been drinking onto the road.

At least ten more cans lay baking in the sun on the back seat of the Great Red Shark — his Chevrolet convertible. Same trick, same result, he was given a warning and allowed to drive on.