Gonzo funeral doesn’t ring true, some say | AspenTimes.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Gonzo funeral doesn’t ring true, some say

Robert WellerThe Associated Press

WOODY CREEK – Hunter S. Thompson’s grand finale went off as planned: His ashes were blasted into the night sky in an explosion friends and fans agreed he would have loved. But some said the gonzo journalist would have sneered at the Hollywood trappings – champagne toasts by movie stars and former presidential candidates.Filmmaker Nancy Cohen tried to organize a group of 100 fans outside the gates of Thompson’s farm to crash the Saturday night party.”That’s what Hunter would have done,” she said.”This looks more like a fancy dress ball than a memorial for a counterculture icon,” said Cohen, of New York, producer of “My Dinner With Abbie,” a film about 1960s radical activist Abbie Hoffman.Crashing the party would have been difficult with the dozens of black-clad security guards who lined the roads leading to the farm.”It looks like the neighborhood has been invaded by the Viet Cong,” friend and neighbor Mike Cleverly said of the guards.”I am pretty sure it isn’t how Hunter would have done it,” said longtime friend George Stranahan.The writer’s ashes were fired from atop a 15-story tower modeled after Thompson’s logo: a clenched fist, holding a peyote button, rising from the hilt of a dagger. It was built between his home and a tree-covered canyon wall.The guests gathered in a pavilion next to the platform. Inside were blow-up sex dolls and a mask of Thompson’s archenemy, President Richard Nixon. With drums beating in the background, trays of champagne circulated before Thompson’s remains flew.Thompson shot himself in his kitchen Feb. 20, apparently despondent over his declining health.The national and most local media were barred from the tribute to the groundbreaking writer who was credited, along with Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese, with helping pioneer New Journalism – he dubbed his version “gonzo journalism” – in which the writer was an essential component of the story.His only son, Juan Thompson, said the hundreds of celebrities, including actors Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, musician Lyle Lovett and former Democratic presidential nominees George McGovern and Sen. John Kerry, wouldn’t have felt comfortable with the press around.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User