Author Archives: hobo hippie

About hobo hippie

Hi I am an old hippie and a "beat" poet and writer. I have 40 book of poetry, and have had 3 tours of U.S. and Europe. My work has been taught in colleges in the U.S and Soviet Georgia. I was co editor and publisher of "Alpha Beat Press" alpha beat soup, bouillabaisse and cokefish and cokefishing in alpha beat soup magazines with my late husband Dave Christy. I am passionate about writing, My novel "eeenie meenie minee moe is for sale on amazon books. I also write short stories and create collages. Do check out my other blogs http://museaholic.com all about #art. and http://beatnikhiway.com about #hippies and #beatniks, #counterculture, #america, and #cool people and tilliespuncturedromance.wordpress.com about #trends, #humor and the #weird. The blog is named after a Charlie Chaplin movie.

Into the Woodstock Crowd, 1969

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Into the Woodstock Crowd, 1969

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15TH AUG, 2014

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Forty five years ago today, nearly half a million music lovers descended upon a dairy farm in the Catskills for three days of peace, love and rock’n’roll. The year was 1969 and a total of 32 bands performed at the event that would make music history. But today, we’re veering away from the stages that Hendrix and Joplin immortalised and venturing into the crowd; the muddy fields, the leafy woods that shielded naked bottoms and the green hills turned parking lots where the flower children, beatniks, hippies, yippies and music lovers spent three days celebrating their youth.

Two LIFE photographers Bill Eppridge and John Dominis were there armed with cameras, delving deep into the Woodstock crowd. These are the moments they captured…

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For festival-goers who were “lost” (dazed and confused), there were wooden signposts nailed to a tree with directions to the ‘Groovy Way’, the ‘Gentle Path’ and the ‘High Way’.

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Despite famous reports that at least two women gave birth at Woodstock, to date, no one has ever stepped forward as a Woodstock baby. It’s thought that one baby was in fact born in a car en route to the festival, and another was born in a local hospital after its mother was airlifted out of the festival in labor, but the identities of these babies are unconfirmed to this day. There are nevertheless countless people who claim to have been conceived at the Woodstock festival.

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More than twenty ticket booths were supposed to have been in place to charge the $24 admission (tickets bought in advance sold for $18), but those booths were never installed because of the overwhelming unexpected invasion of music lovers. Attempts to get people to pay were abandoned on day one, the fences were torn down and Woodstock was declared a free event.

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Despite Woodstock being largely remembered as an iconic moment of bohemians living out the hippie dream, there was a tragic and sobering side to the festival. Two people died at Woodstock; one man from a heroin overdose and a teenager who was killed in his sleeping bag when a tractor ran over him. The driver was never identified.

Above, festival-goers receive medical care.

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Hearing there was a shortage of food, a Jewish community centre made sandwiches with 200 loaves of bread, 40 pounds of meat cuts and two gallons of pickles, which were distributed by nuns. The U.S army also airlifted in food, medical teams and even some performers who couldn’t get through the traffic-blocked roads. Ironic, considering the festival mood was very much anti-war.

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This is likely where our LIFE photographers spent a lot of their time; a sort of make-shift press area for reporters to type up their articles and phone in to their editors.

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As dark storm clouds loomed, the crowd was urged: ‘Let’s think hard to get rid of the rain’ and they began chanting, ‘No rain, no rain, no rain.’ Unfortunately the heavens opened anyway and five inches of rain fell within three hours and the festival became a mudfest.

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The performance of The Star-Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix that closed Woodstock was described by the rock critic from the New York Post as ‘the single greatest moment of the Sixties’. But because of the rain delays that Sunday, when Hendrix finally took the stage it was 8:30 Monday morning. The audience, which had peaked at an estimated 400,000 during the festival, had mostly gone home by that point and the crowd was now reduced to about 30,000; many of them merely waited to catch a glimpse of Hendrix before leaving during his performance.

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We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn … there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.

And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.

—John Fogerty recalling Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s 3:30 am start time at Woodstock

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View the entire Woodstock photo coverage by John Dominis and Bill Eppridge.

COOL PEOPLE – The Grateful Dead

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Grateful Dead – Dick’s Picks Vol 25 – New Haven, CT 5-10-78

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The Grateful Dead turn 50 next year and to celebrate the occasion, they’ll release a career-spanning documentary directed by Amir Bar-Lev, who also had a hand in 2010′s The Tillman Story and 2007′s My Kid Could Paint That. Most notably, the film will be executive produced by Martin Scorsese. The film will contain never-before-seen footage of performances and new interviews with surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir. “Millions of stories have been told about the Grateful Dead over the years. With our 50th Anniversary coming up, we thought it might just be time to tell one ourselves and Amir is the perfect guy to help us do it,” the band said in a statement. “Needless to say, we are humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese. From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved. The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them.” No details about the film’s release schedule have been revealed so far.

Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia Hippie Interview

http://youtu.be/eYxbJzyVzaY

Own Al Capone’s First Chicago Home for Just $225,000

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Own Al Capone’s First Chicago Home for Just $225,000

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Hey listen up wise guys, the home of former mob boss and notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone is up for sale. As the listing states, “This was AL CAPONES Chicago Home WOW”. Wow, indeed. There’s really not much to look at, and there aren’t any interior photos in the listing. However this piece of Chicago history can be had for only$225,000. The red brick Grand Crossings home was built in 1908 and has three bedrooms on each floor. Capone and his family moved into the home way back in 1923, before he was known for terrorizing the city. According to DNAinfo, the current owner has been living in the home since 1963 when she purchased it for $29,500. The home looks like it could use some work, but maybe there’s some buried treasure hiding somewhere on the property that will pay for the repairs.
·7244 S Prairie Ave Chicago, IL 60619 [Redfin]
·Al Capone’s former Chicago home hits market for $225,000 [Daily News]
·Al Capone’s Former Home in Grand Crossing for Sale [DNAinfo]

1964: Alfred Hitchcock in a Beatles wig

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1964: Alfred Hitchcock in a Beatles

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Ernest Hemingway’s Very First Published Stories, Free as an eBook

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Ernest Hemingway’s Very First Published Stories, Free as

an eBook

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“I like the early stuff”: the classic masculine comment to make about the work of a well-known creator, demonstrating as it does the cultural consumer’s dedication, purism, judgmental rigor, and even endurance (given the relative accessibility, in the intellectual as well as the collector’s senses, of most “early stuff”). Now you have a chance to say it about that most ostensibly masculine of all 20th-century American writers, Ernest Hemingway. Above, see the cover of a coveted edition of the then-young “Papa”‘s very first book, 1923’s Three Stories & Ten Poems. The print run numbered only “300 copies, put out by friend and fellow expatriate, the writer- publisher Robert McAlmon,” writes Steve King at Today in Literature. “Both had arrived in Paris in 1921, Hemingway an unpublished twenty-two-year-old journalist with a recent bride, a handful of letters of introduction provided by Sherwood Anderson, and a clear imperative: ‘All you have to do is write one true sentence.’”

The Counterculture

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The Counterculture

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photo Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company, Lagunitas, California, 1967. Joplin’s gritty, full-throttle blues-rock style offered a new, liberating image for women in the world of rock music.

Unconventional appearance, music, drugs, communitarian experiments, and sexual liberation were hallmarks of the sixties counterculture, most of whose members were white, middle-class young Americans. To some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, and pursuit of happiness. Other people saw the counterculture as self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive of America’s moral order.

Authorities banned the psychedelic drug LSD, restricted political gatherings, and tried to enforce bans on what they considered obscenity in books, music, theater, and other media. Parents argued with their children and worried about their safety. Some adults accepted elements of the counterculture, while others became estranged from sons and daughters.

In 1967 Lisa and Tom Law moved to San Francisco, joining thousands of young people flocking to the Haight-Ashbury district. The counterculture lifestyle integrated many of the ideals and indulgences of the time: peace, love, harmony, music, mysticism, and religions outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. Meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs were embraced as routes to expanding one’s consciousness.


 

photo The “Freak-Out” show, Los Angeles, 1965. Rock music, colorful light shows, performance artists, and mind-altering drugs characterized the psychedelic dance parties of the sixties held in large halls in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

 

photo A concert in the Panhandle, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967

 

photo The Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, 1967. Students, hippies, musicians, and artists gravitated toward the community’s inexpensive housing and festive atmosphere.

 

 

photo Hell’s Angels motorcycle club members, the Panhandle in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967. While some people admired the Hell’s Angels’ audacious style, its members had an uneven and sometimes violent relationship with people in the counterculture.

 

photo Musician in the Panhandle, San Francisco, 1967

 

photo “Summer of Love,” the Panhandle, San Francisco, 1967

 

photo San Francisco, 1967

 

photo Easter Sunday Love-In, Malibu Canyon, California, 1968. This was a celebration of the counterculture movement.

 

photo Suzuki-Roshi, a Buddhist teacher, at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14, 1967. Also known as “A Gathering of the Tribes,” the Human Be-In was an effort to promote positive interactions among different groups in society.

 

photo Poet Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967. Ginsberg, known for his poem Howl, lived and symbolized the bohemian ideals of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and embraced the counterculture of the sixties.

 

It [the counterculture] was an attempt to rebel against the values our parents had pushed on us. We were trying to get back to touching and relating and living.

-Lisa Law, 1985

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photo Monterey International Pop Festival, Monterey, California, 1967. Monterey Pop was one of the first large outdoor rock festivals in the 1960s. Lisa and Tom Law sheltered people who were having difficult psychedelic drug experiences in their “Trip Tent.”

 

photo Timothy Leary, the Harvard-trained psychologist who coined the phrase “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” at the Human Be-In, San Francisco, 1967

Social Activism and the Counterculture

photo Musician Judy Collins performing at anti-Vietnam War rally, Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, 1967

In the 1960s, Lisa Law and thousands of other Americans were moved by the Vietnam War, racial injustice, fear of nuclear annihilation, and the rampant materialism of capitalist society. Many were inspired by leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Small groups staged sit-ins at schools, local lunch counters, and other public facilities. Masses gathered in the nation’s cities to protest what they saw as America’s shortcomings.

Many members of the counterculture saw their own lives as ways to express political and social beliefs. Personal appearance, song lyrics, and the arts were some of the methods used to make both individual and communal statements. Though the specifics of the debates were new, arguments for personal freedom, free speech, and political reform go back to the foundations of American society and the arguments of 19th-century social reformers and founders of new communities.


photo Artist Liberation Front meeting, San Francisco, 1967. This group of artists presented alternatives to “official” art in the form of street fairs that featured live music, mimes, puppet shows, and participatory painting.

 

photo Victor Maymudes, Bob Dylan’s road manager, with a mandala, a symbol of life, Monterey International Pop Festival, 1967. Maymudes carried this mandala made from burnt doll parts to protest the U.S. dropping of napalm in Vietnam.

 

photo Coretta Scott King, anti-Vietnam War rally, Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, 1967

 

photo Paul Krassner (center), editor of the underground publication The Realist, and Harvey Kornspan (far right), a member of the Diggers, the Panhandle, San Francisco, 1967. The Diggers were political activists and performers who distributed free food and clothing and staged theatrical events in the streets of San Francisco.

 

photo Tony Price playing the atomic gongs, El Rancho, New Mexico, 1970. Price made musical instruments out of materials salvaged from the U.S. atomic bomb research facility at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

 

photo Black Panthers, anti-Vietnam War rally, Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, 1967. The newly formed Black Panther Party, frustrated with the status quo, called attention to the purportedly disproportionate numbers of black men bearing the burden of combat in the Vietnam War.

 

photo “General Hershey Bar,” San Francisco, 1967. Antiwar demonstrators used street theater and satire to make political commentary. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey headed the Selective Service (Draft Board) in the Vietnam era.

 

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Communal Living

photo New Buffalo Commune, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, 1967

 


Some children of the sixties counterculture dropped out and left the cities for the countryside to experiment with utopian lifestyles. Away from urban problems and suburban sameness, they built new lives structured around shared political goals, organic farming, community service, and the longing to live simply with one’s peers.

The Laws lived in several groups of poets, musicians, artists, and idealists. These communities experimented with redefining family structure, the relationship between work and leisure, and the role of their community in the world. Their degrees of success varied, however. Many men and women struggled to balance personal and political freedom with individual responsibilities and commitments, and to develop the farming and building skills needed to sustain the community.


 

photo Caravan, including Lisa and Tom Law’s bus “Silver,” en route to Love-In protest at Los Alamos atomic proving grounds, New Mexico, 1968

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photo Horse trainer Tommy Masters teaching Prince to harness, Truchas, New Mexico, 1970

 

photo Building the communal house at the New Buffalo Commune, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, 1968. The Laws traveled to New Mexico to have their first child at a facility that practiced natural childbirth. They helped build the New Buffalo commune and decided to move to New Mexico to live among a group of friends.

 

photo Rick Klein and Steve, Jenna, and Carol Hinton, New Buffalo Commune, 1967. Rick Klein and other benefactors sometimes bought the land and founded communes, enabling members to implement their ideals.

 

photo Ben Marcus and Little Joe Gomez of the Peyote Church, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, 1967. New Buffalo Commune members interpreted the ways of nearby American Indians to model a new life of self-sufficiency and tribal community.

 

photo Lisa Law writing birth announcements and breast-feeding newborn daughter Dhana Pilar, Embudo, New Mexico, 1967. Lisa Law and Steve Hinton made the cradleboard. Photograph by Tom Law

 

photo Miles Hinton, New Buffalo Commune, 1967

 

photo Hog Farm Commune members and friends, Spence Hot Springs, Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, 1967

 

photo Musician, New Buffalo Commune, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, 1967

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photo Ken Kesey, aboard his bus “Further,” Aspen Meadows, New Mexico, 1969. Author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey and his troupe, the Merry Pranksters, celebrated both spontaneous street theater to engage a mainstream audience and the use of psychedelic drugs.

 

photo Indian Sikh Yogi Bhajan teaching Kundalini yoga class, summer solstice, Tesuque Reservation, New Mexico, 1969. As part of a spiritual reawakening, some members of the counterculture rejected drug use in favor of mind and spiritual expansion through yoga, meditation, and chanting.

 

We stopped smoking marijuana and started getting high on breathing. Enough of being potheads. Now we could be healthy, happy and holy.

-Lisa Law, 1987

 

photo Hog Farm leader Wavy Gravy, Llano, New Mexico, 1969. Spontaneity, playfulness, and openness were cherished elements of commune life.

 

photo Commune members Laura and Paul Foster’s wedding at the Hog Farm’s summer solstice celebration, Aspen Meadows, New Mexico, 1968

 

photo Barry, Patty, and Ever McGuire with Don and Cindy Gallard watching the sunset, New Mexico, 1967. Barry McGuire, formerly of the New Christy Minstrels, recorded the hit protest song “Eve of Destruction.”

 

photo Pilar Law and yoga altar at New Buffalo Commune, 1969

 

Fifteen of us lived together, one room per family, and a kitchen and a communal room. I can’t say that I enjoyed that kind of living. It always seemed that women ended up doing a lot more chores than the men. The men played music, smoked the herb, chopped wood and repaired vehicles. The lack of privacy was a test.

-Lisa Law, 1987

 

photo Lisa and Tom Law with children Solar Sat and Dhana Pilar on Law farm, Truchas, New Mexico, 1970. Seeking more independence and privacy, the Laws moved into their own house, farmed, and raised animals.

 

photo Planting first garden on Law farm, Truchas, New Mexico, 1970

 

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Organizing Woodstock

photo Hog Farm members in free kitchen, Woodstock, 1969

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair made history. It was, depending on one’s point of view, four days of generosity, peace, great music, liberation, and expanding consciousness, or four days of self-indulgence, noise, promiscuity, and illegal drug use.

In 1969, Lisa Law and eighty-five experienced commune organizers were asked to assist with the medical tents, security, food services, stage activities, and information booths at a music festival near Woodstock, a little town in upstate New York. Seven months pregnant, with a toddler in hand, Law managed to take photographs of the festival, help run a free kitchen, and film an hour of home movies. She captured images of an event that remains one of the most powerful symbols of the decade.

Woodstock enabled thousands of middle-class young people to experience the communal spirit. For the first time, these young people felt empowered by their numbers. Politicians and manufacturers in the music and clothing industries took note of the potential of a growing youth market.


photo Hog Farmers arrival at John F. Kennedy Airport en route to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Woodstock, New York, 1969. The Laws and others in the counterculture saw music festivals as “purveyors of consciousness and peace.”

 

photo The musical group Quill on stage, Woodstock, 1969

 

photo Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Woodstock, New York, 1969

Afterword

photo Dennis Hopper, director and co-star of the film Easy Rider, New Mexico, 1970. The New Buffalo Commune served as a model for Hollywood depictions of communal living.

 


Just as increasing numbers of people were coming to the communes looking for answers, the Laws’ final back-to-the-land experiment at Truchas, New Mexico, was faltering. In 1976, Lisa Law moved to Santa Fe, where she eventually made her living as a photographer.

The counterculture movement, greeted with enormous publicity and popular interest, contributed to changes in American culture. A willingness to challenge authority, greater social tolerance, the sense that politics is personal, environmental awareness, and changes in attitudes about gender roles, marriage, and child rearing are legacies of the era.

Today Lisa Law lives by the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico in a solar-powered house. Her tepee is pitched beside her organic garden. Law continues to use her camera to document social issues, including efforts to end nuclear arms testing, the struggles of the young and elderly of New Mexico, and issues of Native American sovereignty.


 

photo Janis Joplin and Tommy Masters at Law farm, Truchas, New Mexico, 1970. In 1970, Joplin and fellow musician Jimi Hendrix died of drug and alcohol abuse.

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Denver exhibit turns the psychedelic 60s into the stuff of museums

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Denver exhibit turns the psychedelic 60s into the stuff of museums

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Viewers have to look hard to decipher the text on this 1967 poster by Victor Moscoso, advertising an Avalon Ballroom concert by Quicksilver.

Viewers have to look hard to decipher the text on this 1967 poster by Victor Moscoso, advertising an Avalon Ballroom concert by Quicksilver. (Photos by William J. O’Connor, provided by the Myhren Gallery)

We don’t think of the psychedelic artists of the 1960s the same way we do the abstract expressionists of the 1940s or the Impressionistswho came a century before.

But an art historian can see the similarities between those unrestrained movements that defined their decades — first in Paris, then New York and after that in counterculture San Francisco. There was a style built from rebellion and reflective of broader social shifts, a new, insider language, generated as subversion but adopted as the popular culture of the day.

Pop-art posters from the 1960s used overlapping psychedlic imagery to sell rock shows and other events. This lithograph is by Victor Moscoso, from 1968.

Pop-art posters from the 1960s used overlapping psychedlic imagery to sell rock shows and other events. This lithograph is by Victor Moscoso, from 1968. (Photos by William J. O’Connor, provided by the Myhren Gallery)

And there were drugs, lots of drugs, interesting drugs, and everyone took them. Though maybe that was just San Francisco, and that’s surely not the point of the exhibit, “Visual Trips,” which is making theMyhren Gallery at the University of Denver a very fun place to hang out these days.

The exhibit features scores of posters, from 1965 to 1971, advertising rock shows for such performers as the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane. It’s one of the most complete and studied groupings of the genre ever assembled.

The era saw visual psychedelia reach new heights, and the posters indulge. There’s hardly a straight line or a clear image. Wavy, woozy, groovy, grainy stuff.

Objects appear, disappear and re-emerge as new objects. The longer you stare, the more interesting things become. Familiar styles, everything from Greek classicism to Art Nouveau tonewspaper comics, are oozed and infused with layers of meaning. Fonts follow their own rules, demanding two or three or a dozen tries to discern what they say.

Wes Wilson’s 1967 poster for a Jefferson Airplane concert at the Fillmore Auditorium. Poster artists often made hard-to-read text part of their

Wes Wilson’s 1967 poster for a Jefferson Airplane concert at the Fillmore Auditorium. Poster artists often made hard-to-read text part of their style.(Photos by William J. O’Connor, provided by the Myhren Gallery)

That’s more tothe point of “Visual Trips,” the assertion that these artists were communicating in a new mode, that they had a common language in their marks, that they were actually an authentic school of art. They may have been working commercially, producing lithographs that were stapled to telephone poles and taped to storefront windows, but they were collaborating as a group, purposefully developing something they intended would last.

Of course, it helps that they were working mostly for the same employers, most notably the legendary promoter Bill Graham and hawking concerts at the same venues, either The Fillmore or theAvalon Ballroom. Concert producers saw the artists’ dreamy methods as a way of branding the business and encouraged their experimentation.

It also helps that there was a small corps of creators, most of whom knew one another and lived with each other’s output. Five artists in particular: Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, and Alton Kelley.

Curator Scott Montgomery, a professor of Medieval and Renaissance art at DU, doesn’t hold back in his regard for their talents or his acceptance of their quirks, like the purposefully illegible words or drawing that varies in skill level. This is an exercise in elevation, moving a popular form into the world of fine art.

There are posters, but also a deep look at process. Mouse and Kelley’s collaborative offset lithograph for a 1966 Avalon Ballroom event is deconstructed, with the purple, green, black and red proofs displayed on the wall surrounding it.

The exhibit’s explanatory text, concise and easy to read, portrays the work as a product of its time, but also a leader of its moment. These artists defined what psychedelia looked like for anyone who walked the streets of San Francisco or bought albums by the Grateful Dead.

Montgomery wants us to understand just how broad the movement became. He gives due to peripheral artists in the show, like Bonnie MacLean and Lee Conklin, both serious talents. He includes posters for other events, like a 1967 production by the Pacific Ballet Company, to show how psychedelic ideas moved into the mainstream. In a few short years, those wavy lines would invade billboards and fashion and show up on lunch boxes and school notebooks.

As for the drugs, the exhibit simultaneously embraces them and distances itself. There’s no denying the influence of hallucinogenics — LSD in particular — on the artists’ imagination. The work can get wonderfully weird.

But Montgomery makes the point that these artists were drawing in this style before they dropped their first tab of acid and that this was serious business, not a Saturday in Golden Gate Park.

Drugs may have helped — well, let’s just assume they did — but they didn’t invent the imagination of these artists. They were products of their time, a line in history, and history is honoring their talents.

Ray Mark Rinaldi: 303-954-1540, rrinaldi@denverpost.com or twitter.com/rayrinaldi

VISUAL TRIPS The Vicki Myhren Gallery presents an exhibit of pop-art posters from 1960s San Francisco. Through Nov. 16. Shwayder Art Building, 2121 E. Asbury Ave., University of Denver campus. Free. 303.871.3716 or

vickimyhren-gallery.du.edu.

Read 11 Free Articles by Hunter S. Thompson That Span His Gonzo Journalist Career (1965-2005)

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Gonzo Journalist Career (1965-2005)

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Most readers know Hunter S. Thompson for his 1971 book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. But in over 45 years of writing, this prolific observer of the American scene wrote voluminously, often hilariously, and usually with deceptively clear-eyed vitriol on sports, politics, media, and other viciously addictive pursuits. (“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone,” he famously said, “but they’ve always worked for me.”) His distinctive style, often imitated but never replicated, all but forced the coining of the term “gonzo” journalism. But what could define it? One clue comes in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas itself, when Thompson reflects on his experience in the city, ostensibly as a reporter: “What was the story? Nobody had bothered to say. So we would have to drum it up on our own. Free Enterprise. The American Dream. Horatio Alger gone mad on drugs in Las Vegas. Do it now: pure Gonzo journalism.”

You’ll find out more in the Paris Review‘s interview with Thompson, in which he recounts once feeling that “journalism was just a ticket to ride out, that I was basically meant for higher things. Novels.” Sitting down to begin his proper literary career, Thompson took a quick job writing up the Hell’s Angels, which let him get over “the idea that journalism was a lower calling. Journalism is fun because it offers immediate work. You get hired and at least you can cover the f&cking City Hall. It’s exciting.” And then came the real epiphany, after he went to cover the Kentucky Derby for Scanlan‘s: “Most depressing days of my life. I’d lie in my tub at the Royalton. I thought I had failed completely as a journalist. Finally, in desperation and embarrassment, I began to rip the pages out of my notebook and give them to a copyboy to take to a fax machine down the street. When I left I was a broken man, failed totally, and convinced I’d be exposed when the stuff came out.”

Indeed, the exposure came, but not in the way he expected. Below, we’ve collected ten of Thompson’s articles freely available online, from those early pieces on the Hell’s Angels and the Kentucky Derby to others on the 1972 Presidential race, the Honolulu Marathon, Richard Nixon, and wee-hour conversations with Bill Murray. But don’t take these subjects too literally; Thompson always had a way of finding something even more interesting in exactly the opposite direction from whatever he’d initially meant to write about. And that, perhaps, reveals more about the gonzo method than anything else.

The Motorcycle Gangs: Losers and Outsiders” (The Nation, 1965) The article that would become the basis for Thompson’s first book, Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. “When you get in an argument with a group of outlaw motorcyclists, you can generally count your chances of emerging unmaimed by the number of heavy-handed allies you can muster in the time it takes to smash a beer bottle. In this league, sportsmanship is for old liberals and young fools.”

The Hippies” (Collier’s, 1968) Thompson’s assessment of the actual lifespan of American hippie culture. “The hippie in 1967 was put in the strange position of being an anti-culture hero at the same time as he was also becoming a hot commercial property. His banner of alienation appeared to be planted in quicksand. The very society he was trying to drop out of began idealizing him. He was famous in a hazy kind of way that was not quite infamy but still colorfully ambivalent and vaguely disturbing.”

The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” (Scanlan’s Monthly, 1970) A report from the bacchanal surrounding the Kentucky Derby, America’s most famous — and, in this depiction, by far its most grotesque — horse race. Also Thompson’s first collaboration with his longtime illustrator Ralph Steadman. (See also further background at Grantland.) “Unlike most of the others in the press box, we didn’t give a hoot in hell what was happening on the track. We had come there to watch the real beasts perform.”

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Rolling Stone, 1971) The Gonzo journalism classic first appeared as a two-part series in Rolling Stone magazine in November 1971, complete with illustrations from Ralph Steadman, before being published as a book in 1972.  Rolling Stone has posted the original version on its web site.

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in ’72” (Rolling Stone, 1973) Excerpts from Thompson’s book of nearly the same name, an examination of Democratic Party candidate George McGovern’s unsuccessful bid for the Presidency that McGovern’s campaign manager Frank Mankiewicz called “the least factual, most accurate account” in print. “My own theory, which sounds like madness, is that McGovern would have been better off running against Nixon with the same kind of neo-‘radical’ campaign he ran in the primaries. Not radical in the left/right sense, but radical in a sense that he was coming on with a new… a different type of politician… a person who actually would grab the system by the ears and shake it.”

The Curse of Lono” (Playboy, 1983) Thompson and Steadman’s assignment from Running magazine to cover the Honololu marathon turns into a characteristically “terrible misadventure,” this one even involving the old Hawaiian gods. “It was not easy for me, either, to accept the fact that I was born 1700 years ago in an ocean-going canoe somewhere off the Kona Coast of Hawaii, a prince of royal Polynesian blood, and lived my first life as King Lono, ruler of all the islands, god of excess, undefeated boxer. How’s that for roots?”

He Was a Crook” (Rolling Stone, 1994) Thompson’s obituary of, and personal history of his hatred for, President Richard M. Nixon. “Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place.

Doomed Love at the Taco Stand” (Time, 2001) Thompson’s adventures in California, to which he has returned for the production of Terry Gilliam’s film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp. “I had to settle for half of Depp’s trailer, along with his C4 Porsche and his wig, so I could look more like myself when I drove around Beverly Hills and stared at people when we rolled to a halt at stoplights on Rodeo Drive.”

Fear & Loathing in America” (ESPN.com, 2001) In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Thompson looks out onto the grim and paranoid future he sees ahead. “This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed — for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush.”

“Prisoner of Denver” (Vanity Fair, 2004) A chronicle of Thompson’s (posthumously successful) involvement in the case of Lisl Auman, a young woman he believed wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of a police officer. “‘We’ is the most powerful word in politics. Today it’s Lisl Auman, but tomorrow it could be you, me, us.”

Shotgun Golf with Bill Murray” (ESPN.com, 2005) Thompson’s final piece of writing, in which he runs an idea for a new sport —combining golf, Japanese multistory driving ranges, and the discharging of shotguns — by the comedy legend at 3:30 in the morning. “It was Bill Murray who taught me how to mortify your opponents in any sporting contest, honest or otherwise. He taught me my humiliating PGA fadeaway shot, which has earned me a lot of money… after that, I taught him how to swim, and then I introduced him to the shooting arts, and now he wins everything he touches.”

Related Content:

Hunter S. Thompson’s Harrowing, Chemical-Filled Daily Routine

Hunter S. Thompson Calls Tech Support, Unleashes a Tirade Full of Fear and Loathing (NSFW)

Johnny Depp Reads Letters from Hunter S. Thompson (NSFW)

Hunter S. Thompson Remembers Jimmy Carter’s Captivating Bob Dylan Speech (1974)

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on cities, Asia, film, literature, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on his brand new Facebook page.

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