Hunter S. Thompson's Dispatches
This flighty, frank, six-page screed Hunter S. Thompson wrote to Jann Wenner from Woody Creek, Colorado, his Western respite, is one of dozens just like it he sent over the years. In this selection, the gonzo journalism pioneer is rambling about, among other things that are hard to parse, "the hassle over the 'stolen' typewriter was unsettling."
Thompson's first story for Rolling Stone, "The Battle of Aspen" published October 1st, 1970, was – in his words – "a rambling discussion (with rude slogans) of Freak Power in the Rockies." At the time, Thompson was the "Freak Power" candidate in the race for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. Thompson didn't become sheriff. But that piece marked the beginning of his groundbreaking political writing career at Rolling Stone.
In 1971, Rolling Stone published the first serialization of Thompson's historic work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. A year later, he wrote Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, which emblematized Richard Nixon as the "dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character."
At the exhibition opening, Wenner spoke about the writers, like Thompson, he's edited over the last half-century. "Giving the right idea to the right writers is what will inspire them to do great work."