We are on the eve of the release of The Gonzo Tapes: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, and the nice people at The Shout Factory, have asked if I could help them promote the release of these tapes.
I have pre-ordered my box set and wait patiently for the voice of that lunatic saint to make its way over to this god-forsaken desert and muster me from my slumber. Uncle Hunter, I need you now more than ever. Not usually one to push products, but The Shout Factory seems like the real deal, and all they asked me to do it publish their press release.
They also sent me this link to a live stream, but Windows equipment is not playing nice with my Mac. Maybe you will have better luck getting a sneak peak. Looking forward to writing much more on the tapes once I hear them.
The Gonzo Tapes:
The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Featuring original cover artwork by Ralph Steadman, an introduction by
Academy Award®-winning director Alex Gibney, an essay by Loren Jenkins,
and notes and production by Don Fleming
In Stores October 28
Shout! Factory will make available the previously unreleased Gonzo Tapes in a newly produced collection titled The Gonzo Tapes: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, in concurrence with the Magnolia Pictures film release of Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, directed by Academy Award®-winning director Alex Gibney.
Legendary Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson knew from the beginning of his career that he would one day be famous and so became a dedicated archivist of his own writing, saving copies of all his correspondence including personal letters, drafts for magazines and books, angry letters to his editors, and even notes written on cocktail napkins. But most important to Thompson was his tape recorder, which allowed him to document his experiences as a participant rather than an observer, often setting it down in a bar or hotel room to pick up the mood and conversation, or to record what it was like spending days speeding down highways with the Hell’s Angels.
Recorded by Thompson between 1965 and 1975, these tapes capture his thoughts and descriptions both as they’re happening and in reflection, as he would often go back to rerecord commentary. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, producer Eva Orner and Gonzo archivist Don Fleming were given permission by Thompson’s widow to explore the boxes of tapes stored in the basement of his Owl Farm home in Woody Creek, Colorado, left behind after Thompson’s suicide in 2005. Fleming transferred the audiocassettes and reel-to-reel tapes to digital files, and they made their way to the cutting room for the film Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
Gibney, the producer/writer/director of the film who also made “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” and “Taxi to the Dark Side,” writes in his introduction to The Gonzo Tapes, “These tapes were pure gold, lending an intimacy to the film that it couldn’t have had otherwise.” As Loren Jenkins writes in the notes that accompany The Gonzo Tapes, “The idea that these tapes will now be made available to the public to help reveal some of what went on behind the Gonzo screeds is something I believe Hunter would delight in if he were still alive today.”
The Gonzo Tapes features original cover artwork by Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman, an introduction by film director Alex Gibney, an essay by journalist and Thompson’s fellow foreign correspondent Loren Jenkins, and notes by The Gonzo Tapes producer Don Fleming, former front man of the Velvet Monkeys and Gumball who has produced Sonic Youth, Alice Cooper, Hole, and more.
Disc 1 of the 5-CD set is titled “Hell’s Angels,” and includes Thompson’s notes from a year of riding with the infamous biker gang, an unprecedented feat from which Thompson made a name for himself and which famously became a book. Discs 2 and 3 contain the notes that materialized as his well-known novel Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, and eventually of course a major motion picture.
Disc 4, titled “Gonzo Gridlock 1973–1974,” captures Thompson in the years following the completion of his book Fear And Loathing: On The Campaign Trail ’72, recording his thoughts for a new novel, drafts of a never published Rolling Stone story involving Fear and Loathing cohort Oscar Acosta, a cocaine-fueled never-written assignment from Rolling Stone on a book titled Cocaine Papers: Sigmund Freud, as well as notes and an argument with Ralph Steadman during a 1974 trip to Zaire where he was to report on the legendary “Rumble In The Jungle” between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali for Rolling Stone, and which he skipped for a swim in the hotel pool.
Disc 5, titled “Fear and Loathing in Saigon,” finds Thompson traveling to Vietnam just days before the fall of Saigon in 1975, where, armed with a cooler of beer and wearing Bermuda shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, he rode to the front line and observed the final major combat action of the war. The day before Saigon fell Thompson left for Laos to work on a story he had in mind about CIA concentration camps.
Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture – The Stuff You Grew Up On But Never Outgrew. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts Grammy®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists and lovingly assembled album reissues. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. For more on Shout! Factory, visit www.shoutfactory.com.
The Gonzo Tapes: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Distributed by Sony BMG
Release Date: October 28, 2008
Selection No.: 826663-10992
Suggested List Price: $59.98
Disc 1 - HELL’S ANGELS Bass Lake Run . . . Terry The Tramp Interview #1 . . . Driving Back Through Oakland . . . The Merry Pranksters Welcome The Hell’s Angels . . . It’s A Long Dirty Story . . . Ha-Ha, Not Thump-Thump . . . Terry The Tramp Interview #2 . . . Zing Zong Wing Ding Rush . . . A Question For The Ages
Disc 2 - FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS We Have Seized The High Ground . . . One Toke Over The Line . . . If All Else Fails We Must Get Ether . . . In Search Of The American Dream . . . Terry’s Taco Stand, USA . . . Anybody In Search Of The American Dream Needs A Lawyer, A Doctor And A Bodyguard
Disc 3 - MORE FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS Goddamn! This Monster’s Licking My Arm! . . . Oscar Fled In Terror . . . Drug Up . . . Weird Road . . . Across This Treacherous Sand . . . A Huge Tidal Wave Will Come In On Me Now . . . Vegas D.A. Final Notes . . . The Whole Room Is Total Chaos . . . Wenner Calls . . . With A Big “W” in 65-Pt Type
Disc 4 - GONZO GRIDLOCK 1973–1974 Guts Ball . . . Cozumel . . . Fear And Loathing In Acapulco . . . Freud Cocaine Papers . . . Fear And Loathing In Kinshasa
Disc 5 - FEAR AND LOATHING IN SAIGON I’m The One That’s Supposed To Be Crazy . . . Hotel Continental Palace . . . The Thursday Night Panic . . . Last Stand At Xuan Loc . . . Hong Kong . . . The Last Dispatch From Saigon