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Gonzo Renaissance

BY M. John Fayhee | August 1, 2018 | Feature Features

Hunter S. Thompson's legacy is reborn with a movie, documentary, book and TV series.
Hunter S. Thompson, dressing for the part, during his run for Pitkin County sheriff in 1970.

Hunter S. Thompson’s death by suicide in 2005 was followed by a tsunami of written and video homages, including book-length works by longtime Aspen mainstays Jay Cowan and ex-Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, both of whom were Thompson chums. Then, predictably, the Thompson-related work trickled off. In the past year, though, there has been a rebirth of media dedicated to Thompson, who lived in Woody Creek for many years.

Thompson’s legacy will eventually be brought to the small screen, as entertainment behemoth MGM announced in October that a TV series based upon the Good Doctor’s life and work was in the infancy stages of development. Titled Fear & Loathing, the series is a titular nod to two of Thompson’s best-known books, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. Davey Holmes, creator of Get Shorty, will be the showrunner (read: the Big Boss).

In December, San Francisco-based Last Gasp Publishing released a weighty—literally—book, Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?, the first half of which consists of a 200-plus-page “introduction” by longtime Thompson co-conspirator Warren Hinckle III. Hinckle, who died of complications from a heart attack when Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson? was being printed, was the man who, while at the helm of short-lived Scanlan’s Monthly magazine, hooked Thompson up with British artist Ralph Steadman and sent the two to cover the 1969 Kentucky Derby. That partnership resulted in the article, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” which, in the minds of many, birthed the concept of “gonzo journalism,” of which Thompson is the pioneer.

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