First, the latest.
Romain Thomassin, a French filmmaker, is right now editing down hours and hours of film, made on location in mi-October for a commissioned 15-minute documentary on Hunter S. Thompson and San Francisco – featuring Hell’s Angels.
For that, he interviewed Peter Richardson, David Streitfeld, and me on location, in Hunter’s old hanging-out spots there. Just wrapped up. Now the hours and hours of film are being edited down to fit the show format. Final edits are in Paris in December. Then this will appear on French TV to an audience of 100,000. I’ll alert ou when short doc is posted on their website.
THEN THE JULY GONZOFEST, the final one. To celebrate Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday this year, a stellar lineup for a panel on The Hell’s Angels Letters gathered at Louisville. KY, July 13. Here are some photos from past Gonzofests I attended.
Gonzofest 2023 was held at the High Horse Bar July 14-15, 2023 from noon until late into the night – A large bar and music venue. And lots of music there was.
Attendees flocking from all over the country, snapped up the 400 tickets and made a most lively crowd. As did the expert Friday panel on The Hell’s Angels Letters. This Hunter S. Thompson themed festival is complete with an Art and Literary Contest, local breweries, and live music.
Image credit above: graphic artist Mary Fields
Photo credits: Juan and me and my face: artist/poet Jinn Bug
If you would like a signed copy of any of my books, let me know so I can take a copy for you to the Gonzofest! There is also now an e-book option for The Hell’s Angels Letters on Amazon here!
THE HELL’S ANGELS PANEL:
Earliest Hints of Gonzo:
Pranks, Agonies, as a Young Hunter Prepares His Launching Pad
Peter Richardson teaches Humanities and American Studies at San Francisco State University. His publications include critically acclaimed books about Hunter S. Thompson, the Grateful Dead, Ramparts magazine, and Carey McWilliams, who edited Thompson at The Nation magazine. He is currently writing a book about Rolling Stone magazine for the University of California Press.
Margaret Ann Harrell spent thirty adventurous years abroad in Morocco and Europe, returning to the United States in 2001. She is a three-time MacDowell Colony fellow and has authored eighteen books, including The Hell’s Angels Letters: Hunter S. Thompson, Margaret Harrell and the Making of an American Classic in collaboration with Ron Whitehead (Norfolk Press) and Space Encounters III—Inserting Consciousness into Collisions: A True Fantasy Adventure by the Earth through the Quantum Entangled World. Also, the Keep This Quiet! memoir series and Particle Pinata Poems. She is an editor and an advanced light body meditation teacher as well as a cloud photographer exhibited now and then in Romania, Italy, Bruges (Belgium), and New York City and a mentor to those wanting to go deeper into themselves and their potential.
William McKeen is a professor and the former Chair of the Department of Journalism at Boston University; he is the author or editor of thirteen successful books, including Outlaw Journalist, Mile Marker Zero, and Everybody Had an Ocean. McKeen teaches journalism history, literary journalism, and rock n’ roll and American culture and previously taught at Western Kentucky University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Florida, where he chaired the department of journalism. Before beginning his teaching career, he was a reporter, then associate editor of The American Spectator and the Saturday Evening Post. Mile Marker Zero is “a tall but telescopic-sight-true tale of Hunter Thompson, Jimmy Buffett, Tom McGuane, and a large cavorting cast running around with sand in their shoes at ‘ground zero for lust and greed and most of the other deadly sins,’ [in] Key West,” wrote Tom Wolfe. McKeen spent his early years in England, Germany, Nebraska, and Texas.
Dr. John F. Brick teaches English, first-year rhetoric, and creative writing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His scholarship includes a comprehensive annotated variorum of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which traces the development of Thompson’s 1971 classic across extant texts and archival documents and provides comprehensive historical, cultural, and literary context. The result not only recaptures something of the first blush of Vegas‘ satire and profundity but offers unprecedented granularity in examining Thompson’s creative process at the height of his powers. Dr. Brick’s most recent work examines intersections of sportswriting and nationalism. In his spare time he enjoys distance running and cycling, and playing for the Milwaukee Hurling Club.
Timothy Jack Denevi is a professor in the MFA program at George Mason University and the past nonfiction editor of Literary Hub. His work has appeared in the Atlantic, Time, the Paris Review, and New York Magazine, to name a few. And he has been interviewed prolifically, across the spectrum of major news outlets, including the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, following the release of his highly successful Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade against American Fascism. Denevi grew up in Los Gatos, California, and lives near Washington DC. He is a MacDowell Colony fellow and a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Ron Whitehead, co-founder of & Chief of Poetics for GonzoFest, is a Lifetime US National Beat Poet Laureate. His life is newly documented in the film Outlaw Poet: The Legend of Ron Whitehead (2022). “Ron Whitehead is Bodhisattva in Kentucky,” said Lawrence Ferlinghetti. “I have long admired Ron Whitehead. He is crazy as nine loons, and his poetry is a dazzling mix of folk wisdom and pure mathematics,” said Hunter S. Thompson. An award-winning poet and performer, author of 30 books and 40 albums, his words have been translated into twenty languages.
Art by Grant Goodwine