One of the worst incidents of that era caused no complaints at all: this was a sort of good-natured firepower demonstration, which occured one Sunday morning about three-thirty. For reasons that were never made clear, I blew out my back windows with five blasts of a 12 gauge shotgun, followed moments later by six rounds from a .44 Magnum. It was a prolonged outburst of heavy firing, drunken laughter, and crashing glass. Yet the neighbors reacted with total silence. For a while I assumed that some freakish wind pocket had absorbed all the noise and carried it out to sea, but after my eviction I learned otherwise. Every one of the shots had been duly recorded on the gossip log. Another tenant in the building told me the landlord was convinced, by all the tales he'd heard, that the interior of my apartment was reduced to rubble by orgies, brawls, fires, and wanton shooting. He had even heard stories about motorcycles being driven in and out the front door.
It so difficult for me to understand the audience's reaction to the biker's comments. Are they just in on the joke? Or is that really the low-rent crowd of the '60s?
Thompson, if he is to be believed, has sampled the entire rainbow of legal and
illegal drugs in heroic efforts to feel better than he does.
As for the truth about his health: I have asked around about it. I am told that
he appears to be strong and rosy, and steadily sane. But we will be doing what
he wants us to do, I think, if we consider his exterior a sort of Dorian Gray
facade. Inwardly, he is being eaten alive by tinhorn politicians.
The disease is fatal. There is no known cure. The most we can do for the poor
devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his honor. From this moment
on, let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily led to beauty as to
ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said to
be suffering from Hunter Thompson's disease. I don't have it this morning.
It comes and goes. This morning I don't have Hunter Thompson's disease.
-- Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Excerpt from "A Political Disease", Vonnegut's review of "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72"
... Anyway, I assume you heard about the stomping up there and I'm sorry you weren't around to cut it off any quicker. As it was, I figure Tiny did me a hell of a favor by getting me on my feet before I got kicked to death - so when you see him tell him I say "thanks" and if he needs a good favor some day, tell him to get a hold of me.
There's not much sense in talking about it except to say it was a copmpletely "no class" piece of action and I'm glad none of the guys I liked and trusted were part of it.
I'm not sure how or why the thing got started and I never even saw the first thump that got me, but I have to assume it was a sort of drunken spontaneous outburst that I had the bad lick to get in the middle of. Earlier that day I'd noticed some resentment about my taking pictures, but I didn't worry about it because I figured you were straight enough to tell me to my face if we had any real problems. We've never bullshitted each other and I'd grown sort of accustomed to taking you at face value.
In all, I had no reason to expect that sort of action - as I'm sure you realize - and in general it disapointed me about the Angles. Not everybody, but at least a few. Obviously, I wouldn't be writing this letter if I was down on the whole club. Like I said, if Tiny hadn't been there to help me I'd probably be in a graveyard right now...
... There must be an easier and less painful way to make a living. You asked about the Angels stomping me. Indeed. It came as a total surprise, with no waring, but it pput me in the emrgency ward of the Santa Rosa hospital and caused me to look with new affection on my .44 Magnum. Sonny wasn't around and I didn't talk to him about it afterwards, so all I know is what little I can piece together from the day thjat led up to the outburst....Labor Day run, I wanted a book cover photo to counter Random's idea of using some phony design work, vaguely uneasy reception at the gathering point, Fat Freddy trying to run me down with his bike about noon, then 5 or 6 hours of loose and easy talk [...] but all the wile a mean undertone from a lot of new Angels I didn't know....I guess my mistake was thinking Sonny, Tiny, Terry & Co. would keep the uglies from giving me a hard time. I forgot bylaw No. 10: "When an Angel punches and non-angel . . . " So when somebody teed off on me, whammo!
Everybody else joined in. Not a hint of a warning. tiny got me on my feet after a while and probably saved my life. [...] If you talk to Sonny and he offers an explanation, I'd be curious to hear it. But I'm not about to ask for one myself. As far as I'm concerned I've already written it.
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