Posts Tagged ‘HUNTER S. THOMPSON’

So my good friend Martin Flynn sent me over a copy of Wayne Ewing’s new release Animals, Whores, and Dialogue.  I think I was supposed to have this done for Hunter’s birthday yesterday, but I was busy drinking Chivas on the shores of Portland, Maine– with three beautiful women.  I find due to the subject of this piece– it’s only fitting to be over my deadline. I believe Hunter would have been doing the same thing on his birthday.
Wayne Ewing has created a masterpiece. This is not your typical documentary. Imagine sitting in the kitchen with an old friend. Just the two of you, a bottle of Chivas, and a handful of friends and neighbors. What would you give to just watch the good doctor do his thing?  How would it feel to be part of the Owl Farm club?  Wayne Ewing has bought you the ticket, so you can take the ride.  I now feel as if I was and am a good friend of the family, after viewing this. The film is incredibly personal. It’s beyond just the Gonzo persona. It’s the good Doctor just being Hunter and telling you how it is.  Hunter shares his secret to success in life with you and the method behind the madness or “the formula” as he calls it.
It’s incredible to watch the excitement in Hunter’s eyes as either a friend or he himself  reads aloud past works.  It’s as if he was hearing them for the first time.  Hearing Hunter tell the story behind the stories is just for the lack of a better term simply amazing. I don’t think there really are any words that could capture the true Just-us factor this film has. This film is a must watch for any fan of Hunter S. Thompson. Anybody who’s ever thought or said  “I wish I could have hung out with Hunter S. Thompson one time.” Well now you can thanks to Wayne Ewing.  It was a high honor just to watch this film. In closing all I can say is after watching this “ I now feel as if I’m a close friend of Hunter S. Thompson and spent an evening at the Owl Farm and had a few drinks with the gang.”
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Writers and alcohol have gone hand in hand as long as words have been written and things have been fermented. Absinthe fueled many a poet, Bukowski made a career out of being a barfly, and Kerouac showed us the ugly side of a love affair with booze, just to name a few.  There is a brewery in Maryland named Flying Dog that has taken this relationship to new levels. Its not hard to see just by looking at their bottles. Wild Gonzo art and a quote from it’s master adorn every bottle they sell and a First Amendment battle was fought for four long years just to have a certain phrase printed on it’s bottles of Road dog Porter. In a day and age were most breweries are only using super models or stereotypical types to hock their brews it’s refreshing to see a company taking the road less traveled and taking a stand to promote literacy and tossing a blazing middle finger in the face of the man.  I decided to take the time to see why this was. So I sent out a  query and a few questions to see where they stood.
1. The first thing a person notices about your beer is the art on the
label and the “‘Good people drink good beer” quote from Hunter S.
Thompson. Could you please explain why the quote is on your bottles
and how you got Ralph Steadman to Illustrate them?
FD- Hunter S. Thompson met Ralph Steadman at the Kentucky Derby in 1970.  HST was looking around for an artist to do a Derby article for Scanlan’s with him.  HST wanted someone with a peculiar sense of humor, because it was going to be a really twisted story.  HST felt that it would require somebody with a “serious kink in his brain”.  Sanclan’s editor, Warren Hinckle knew just the person – Ralph Steadman, who was then working for Private Eye in London.  HST relates the entire story in the interview “A Conversation on Ralph Steadman and His Book, America, with Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”.
HST’s article on the Kentucky Derby is titled “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved”.
Ralph would visit HST at his “fortified compound” Owl Farm in Woody Creek, CO and on one of his visits he met HST’s landlord, neighbor and friend, George Stranahan.
In 1994, Flying Dog Brewery (then called Broadway Brewing) was founded in Denver, CO.
In 1996, HST asked Ralph, on behalf of George Stranahan, if we would do label art of Flying Dog’s Doggie Style Pale Ale and the Road Dog Porter.
Ralph did, we all loved the art, and Ralph has been gracious enough to do label art for Flying Dog ever since.  I think he has around 19 labels for Flying Dog.
2. You had a four year legal battle to print  “good beer no shit” on
the Road Dog porters. Could you elaborate on this?
FD- Ralph was painting the Road Dog for the BBC and apparently because Ralph has his own lifestyle flamboyance the words “Good Beer.  No Shit.” Because he could do it right on BBC television.  It was probably related to the essay that HST wrote for the launch of Road Dog.  At the end of HST’s essay, he quoted an ancient Celtic axiom that “Good people drink good beer.  Just look around any public barroom and you will see: Bad people drink bad beer.  Think about it.”
And so, Ralph was delighted that he was going to be able to put that wonderful word “Shit” not only on the label but in his handwriting on the BBC.  He was going to show the stuffy BBC a thing or two by splashing the word “shit” across his art.
We put took Ralph’s art and put it on the Road Dog beer.  The state of Colorado called it obscenity and made us pull the beer off the market.
We then reprinted the label with “Good Beer. No Censorship”.
In the meantime, the ACLU’s Mark Silverstein, took on the case.  So why would the ACLU take on this kind of case?  When Mark Silverstein announced the ACLU victory over the liquor board he said “You may wonder why it seemed important to the ACLU to take on what might appear as a sophomoric kind of joke, the capacity to put the word “shit” on a beer label.  It might not seem to be the most important first amendment case that we could have taken on.  Let me tell you why the ACLU thought it was significant to take on the case.  When it comes to the First Amendment you have to smell the smoke come under the door before the fire gets here because if there’s smoke coming out of the door is the fire is behind it and we felt that “good beer, no shit” was not sophomoric, that it was true smoke under the door and we had to defend it.”
3. You are obviously lover’s of literature at Flying Dog. Could you
please tell us some of your favorite authors?
FD-Hunter S. Thompson
Ayn Rand
Robert Heinlein
William S. Burroughs
Jack Kerouac
Cory Doctorow
Ralph Steadman  (The Joke’s Over, Tales of the Weird, Untrodden Grapes, The Grapes of Ralph)
4. What it is your favorite memory of Hunter S. Thompson? I understand
he was a good friend of the brewery, correct?
FD-HST was a friend of George Stranahan, Flying Dog’s founder, for more than 40 years.  Our focus going forward is on how to preserve HST’s legacy of fighting against all forms of authoritarianism; genuine reporting – Gonzo or otherwise – and truth in the media; and political activism – there’s nothing more effective than marching on city hall.  Flying Dog is working with Anita Thompson, HST’s widow and the Gonzo Foundation, to preserve what HST stood for.
To learn more about Flying Dog go visit there site http://www.flyingdogales.com/

http://hstbooks.org/2010/04/24/beatdom-beating-a-new-trail/

http://hstforbeginners.com/

Greetings and such. My name is Edaurdo Jones. I’m a regular contributor/ Art director of Beatdom magazine. As you can see by my topic post I am on deadline. I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a sort of interview about your fine brewery and the Thompson/ Steadman connection for an upcoming Issue. We are not for profit magazine. Which basically makes our staff a bunch of rejects from the isle of misfit toys. That’s not saying our staff is not a top notch group of writer’s and contributors. We are the finest bunch of freaks who ever got their grimy hands on a typewriter, pencil, camera, or catsup bottle. We have a true love for our craft and decided to make it our mission to allow the world to hear some off the best voices they may never had the opportunity to hear due to the way the publishing world tends to work. We provide free downloads of our issues and any profits made from hardcopy sales just go back into publishing costs.
Part two of this query is. I am a lover of your product, but being a starving writer it is not always easy to have the necessary funds to purchase your sweet amber nectar of the Gods. So I was wondering if I could obtain a sort of beer sponsorship from you. I will in turn give you more plugs than a leaky pirate ship through my various fan pages, blogs, etc,etc. I do have quite the cult like following and my first book is due to be released this year from City Of Recovery Press, a small independent publishing company. I’ve recently done an interview with Hunter S. Thompson books-HSTBOOKS.org about me and my work which I invite you to check out to see if I’m cut from the proper cloth.  Thank you for your time sincerely, Edaurdo Jones “The Voice Of The Doomed”

That’s right we are proud to present Beatdom Issue 6. Available @ Beatdom.com and LULU.com. As always downloads are free and hard copies are reasonably priced. Issue 6 features my newest piece LSD 25000, a previously unpublished short story by Aleene Lee or as many of you know better as mardou Fox from Kerouac’s the subterraneans  , as well as interview with UK hip hop sensation Scrooobius Pip, poetry from our resident poet Kyle Chase, and essays on travel. Go get it tomorrow it’s a not to be missed issue.