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Nasty Review of New Hunter S. Thompson Compilation CD
1999-06-09 02:40:00

In case any of you decide to off yourself, may I please have your head?
-- Head Freezin' Gene


Who gives a crap what Hunter has to say about music? That's the question Everett True of The Stranger ( 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 sad fuck."

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.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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