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Gonzo – Hunter S. Thompson

04.27.2020, Books, by .

I met Hunter S. Thompson in 1997. It was in New York CIty at a book party for the publication of a compilation of his writings, titled THE PROUD HIGHWAY. I was working for Random House, and the book was published by its Villard imprint. The party was at The Players NYC┬áin Gramercy Park. The place bills itself as “as a certain type of private social club.” I just remember it being the right place to host this party. Or was the party at The Lotus Club? There are reports of a party in NYC for Thompson and the publication of the Modern Library HC edition of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. I think I attended both…

Invite to the party

I don’t recall a lot from the party (it was over two decades ago). There was a lot of drinking so it seems. The party was set for 8pm-midnight. I showed up early and stayed late. I even stayed an hour later. Thompson didn’t show until later (11PM?) and was true to form. I just got in a few words, but that was fine. I believe William J. Kennedy attended too. I remember the two of them stumbling/dancing down the staircase.

I attended many book parties back in the day. This was memorable for many reasons. Part of it is the physical invite and the physical ARC. Sure, we do everything via e-invites and digital galleys today. And that is efficient. But it also makes the events more of a “throwaway.” I remember this because I have these items. I neglected to get anything signed or a photo (back then we didn’t have cell phones).

I left at 1AM. The party lasted all night. I should have stayed, Mick Jagger and Johnny Depp showed up. The lesson? Stay until the end, you never know who might show. Memory is selective…














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