Who gives a crap what Hunter has to say about music? That's
the question Everett True of The Stranger
(www.stranger.com) asks. He didn't like EMI U.K.'s Songbook
Series CDs, a new series of personal musical compendiums by
"left field" artists, including super author Hunter S.
Thompson, and gonzo artist Ralph Steadman. He may have a
point, but he goes too far, when he calls Hunter "a
Okay, so the Hunter CD probably is terrible, but that's the kind of cheap-buck
shit that Hunter has always gone for. He's opportunistic like a shark. He
recently wrote a horrendously boring Nash Bridges episode, obviously FOR NO
GOOD REASON AT ALL. Utter tripe. But I'm getting a little sick and tired of
every young-Turk writer claiming that Hunter is a drug addled burnout.
Even in the old days, they had to put the screws to Hunter to get him to turn
anything in by presstime. That's when Hunter was running around the world
trying to make a name for himself, brewing his own beer, and barely able to
keep a roof over his head. Now he's old and successful, has some money, and he
can write whatever he wants. So he does a lot of lame, money grubbing stuff in
between his various projects. But when he wants to, he can STILL turn out a
brutal blast of crazy writing. I've seen it happen. He's just as sharp as he
ever was, I tell you!
Anyway, the Hunter CD doesn't sound like it would be all that bad to me. What
the hell does he expect Hunter to put on this CD? Stuff like Jefferson
Airplane and Bob Dylan seem perfectly reasonable to me. Most people would be
disappointed if he DIDN'T put the music that people associate with him on
there. (I mean, "White Rabbit," fuck, he's gotta have that on there!)
True is an ASS for saying that hunter has no passion for music, even if it's
true. It's just a mean statement, designed to give his article artificial
edge. So what if there's nothing from the last three decades on the
compilation? With Hunter, you can't conclude anything from that. Hunter
probably listens to all kinds of sick new stuff.
I remember when I went to see Hunter speak several years ago at U.C. Berkeley's
Zellerbach Hall. He was characteristically several hours late, and in the
meantime, the audience was sonically TORTURED, hours on end, by a cranky,
neo-punk band called Alice Donut, who made it absolutely clear that Hunter had
personally picked them to open the show. I guess True would have liked a bunch
of weird indie flailing on the Hunter CD instead of Lou Reed.