Going, Going, Gonzo

I’m about halfway through my advance copy of Warren Hinckle’s account of his experiences with Hunter Thompson over a period of thirty-five-odd years. Warren was the editor of the short-lived but highly acclaimed Scanlan’s, one of the first major counter culture publications. It was Warren who first teamed Thompson with the demented drawings of Ralph Steadman, a partnership that lasted through the decades until Hunter’s death by his own hand in 2005.

This is an excerpt from the book, recounting Hunter’s plan to hijack the America’s Cup sometime after their debut article on the Kentucky Derby…

“Ive lined up a 50 foot yacht, I think…the boat belongs to an ex-Aspen ski instructor and freak-drifter; he charters it in the Caribbean in the winter and in Connecticut in the summer… and I think he’d get a hoot out of participating in Scanlan’s America’s Cup coverage. We could seize the boat for expenses, then rent out space to selected members of the Freak Press – sail right into the midst of the Newport fleet, flying the red & black flags of anarchy and revolution, launching mace canisters off the bowsprit & hire the Grateful Dead to perform on the foredeck. Old Newport hands would break down and start vomiting at the sight of this fiendish vessel full of crazies. Paint a lurid fist on the balloon jib and a motorcycle hanging in the dinghy rack. It would be a rotten outrage, but if we called it the Scanlan’s Press Boat I suspect it might prove out to be a good investment. Or at least a very weird trip…”

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