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Shout Factory Releasing Hunter S. Thompson's Lost Recordings

August 20, 2008 5:14 PM ET

The Gonzo Tapes, a five-disc set of unreleased recordings by Rolling Stone's own Hunter S. Thompson, will be released on October 28th. Compiled while filmmakers were producing Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the audio on The Gonzo Tapes was recorded between 1965 and 1975, with Thompson using the tapes to capture his thoughts and descriptions of what was happening around him or to look back at what he experienced. Thompson's widow granted permission to director Alex Gibney, producer Eva Orner and archivist Don Fleming to go through the tapes that were stored in boxes in the basement of Thompson's Woody Creek, Colorado home. Disc 1 on the collection will feature Thompson's year riding with the Hell's Angels, Discs 2 and 3 both draw from his novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Disc 4 covers Thompson's exploits between 1973 and 1974 and the fifth disc features his 1975 trip to Saigon. The cover features original artwork by Ralph Steadman and the package will contain essays by Gibney and Thompson's fellow foreign correspondent Loren Jenkins.

Related Stories:
Movie Review: Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Gonzo For Beginners: A Hunter S. Thompson Reading Guide
Happy Birthday Hunter S. Thompson: Classic Stories and Photos

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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