when the hunter becomes the game

Back in the ’70s a young inexperienced promoter named Michael Roberts got the chance to bring Hunter S Thompson out to Australia.**

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“Hunter was a chronic consumer of anything and everything, predominately fast drugs and Wild Turkey. From the moment he arrived in the country he didn’t hit the bed for five days. Thompson’s appearance at the National Press Club is now the stuff of legend. He sat at a table covered in a long white cloth beneath which he had placed multiple lines of white powder before the conference began. During the session he’d be asked a question, excuse himself, lean under the table then emerge, rub his nose for an embarrassingly long time then attempt to answer the question.

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In another memorable incident, two medical students arrived at his hotel with a cylinder of laughing gas. They were both wearing white hospital smocks and the cylinder was almost as tall as they were. They just wheeled it into the foyer and went up in the lift to Hunter’s room as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

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On day five Michael and Hunter were eating in the hotel restaurant. For Michael it was an early lunch but Hunter probably thought it was a late dinner. He ordered some soup and then, mid-conversation, collapsed head first into the bowl and passed out, not waking again for over 24 hours.

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Thompson hated the city of Melbourne and was determined to leave it as soon as possible. There was a problem with his flight booking so a small private plane was chartered instead. He had to be dissuaded from smoking marijuana before boarding as the pilot would be able to smell it so he took LSD tabs instead. Checking that he had enough cocaine for the journey (3 grams was deemed sufficient) he stopped at the nearest bottle shop for two large bottles of tequila, 2 dozen bottles of Carlton Draught, glasses and ice.

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The 6 seater took off with the party in full swing in the back seats. Thompson demonstrated how to urinate into a vomit bag as the plane had no toilets – then cautioned his fellow passengers to “make sure you tie the bag up tight and put the bastard somewhere where it can’t be ruptured.”

**from Stuart Coupe’s book The Promoters


Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 7:28 am  Comments (37)  
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  1. Melbourne does that to people.

    • It’s the weather 😦

      • And the Collingwood supporters – – –

  2. I enjoyed reading The Rum Diary and everything else by Hunter S. A total trashbag, but what a legend.

    • Mad, bad and dangerous to know.

  3. “I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

    What a bloke he was – and a motorcycle man through and through!

    • I know you’d like that aspect Affer

  4. Sounds like the Hunter we knew and loved. . .Live fast, die young…

    • I guess 63 is young…

      The King

      • Anything under 80 is young Your Majesty. You 43 year olds are just spring chickens.

      • OMG – I’ve lived longer than him – What have I done wrong?

  5. The one thing that amazed me about Thompson is how the hell he lived to see 63!

    • He must have had a cast iron liver

      • He must have had a cast iron brain to write anything while processing that many complementary toxins.

  6. Have you seen “Get Him to the Greek”? Seems a roughly similar plotline. Minus the love interest. Well, unless you count Hunter’s love of hallucinogenic substances…

    • I haven’t seen it but I do have a little crush on Russell Brand. Does that count?

  7. I’ve never heard of him – he sounds like a bit of a prat ….. is it worth digging deeper?

    • Alzheimers *sigh*

      • Oh stop making me giggle Nursey …..

  8. He is a huge hero of mine. I was just telling my friends that I’m planning to write a sequil of sorts called Fear and Loathing in Las Alpujarras. I’m just having trouble finding all of the appropriate ‘materials’ out here.

    • I believe Lisa is helping you out with materials 😉

  9. One year I went to a Halloween party dressed as Hunter S. Thompson from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In retrospect I wasn’t nearly drunk enough to do the costume justice.

    • Can you come to my Halloween party dressed as Tag Larkin?

  10. Oh man…this guy is such a legend! How could he have survived such a coktail???

    Such an interesting tale Nurse dear…loved it

  11. I have an old friend from college like Hunter. We call him Hunter behind his back, at least, but he doesn’t know that. It would go to his fucking giant bloated head and make him even more insufferable.

    But damn is he a fucking blast when he slips into his bathrobe and rides his ten speed over to the bar fucking coked out of his gourd, raving about prostitutes and pig knuckle soup. He doesn’t have a phone, has the backseat of a van instead of a couch, and he’s a goddamn asshole. Sometimes I really hate him.

  12. I’ve always been a fan of Thompson’s writing from his sports columns to fear and loathing in Las Vegas. The man lived his life his way and no body was going to tell him any damn different.

    I remember hearing about Johnny Depp when he moved in with Hunter to prepare for the movie role in fear. Said Thompson was pretty nice but there were nights when he was afraid to go to sleep.

    • oo oo, Me Sir please, hand up. I’ll help Johnny go to sleep.

      • I bet you would queenwilly!

  13. I wish that I could pass out after lunch, but I fear I may be sacked, rather than feted. Clearly, I am in the wrong profession.

  14. I’m shocked he lived until 63. That’s insane. I’m sort of stuck on the plane not having a bathroom.

  15. See, you revealed to the world the Thompson is not dead, but actually the Dali Llama

  16. I’m always highly suspicious of people who drink Wild Turkey regularly. On the other hand, I’ve always wished to have the luxury of booking a small, private plane.

  17. You’re 43? I would have said 26.

    Can we have sex now?

  18. so why did he hate melbourne? i am thinking of going to school there. i picked it out because it’s cheaper than sydney. i thought maybe cairns, but adding everything up, it seemed rather spendy considering i’d have to have a car up there to get around.

    i don’t know. using drugs on the face of it sounds like fun, but really… pissing in a vomit bag? and he looks rather sad sitting at the conference table.

    • I’m not sure why he hated Melbourne but most people who don’t like it say it’s because of the weather. Otherwise it’s a great city. but it would be better if you came to Sydney instead. We could hang out and I’d teach you how to play mah jongg

  19. If ever there was anyone who epitomized the excesses of the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties, it was The Hunter. Without his drugs, he’d be unknown. With them he wrote about universes only he traveled to. Long live Gonzo journalism!

  20. “make sure you tie the bag up tight and put the bastard somewhere where it can’t be ruptured.”

    HAAAA! HAAAA!!!! I need to find a reason to say this!!!


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