The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved

Produced by Hal Wilner, the Robert Altman of all-star concept LPs, this dramatized reading of Hunter S. Thompson's 1970 essay casts Tim Robbins in the lead, with cameos by Dr. John and Ralph Steadman, Thompson's sidekick and frames illustrator. Basically Fear and Loathing at the Track, this album is a rifle-scope piss-take with a heart of darkness and a soundtrack composed by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, who colors the tale with skewed Dixieland brass, shivering strings and groaning woodwinds. The joke, per usual, is that monsters are everywhere. "Shit," Thompson writes after examining Steadman's horrifying crowd portraits. "We both look worse than anything you've drawn here."

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Photos: Random Notes

From The Archives Issue 1155: April 26, 2012