#1264 - Timothy Denevi
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And this book is all about one of my favorite all time. Authors, two great and powerful hunter S Thompson. And I think he did a fantastic job explaining his ration- for the man and his work. Please give it up for Timothy Dnevi. The Joe Rogan experience joy. You live. What's up, man? How are you doing this me? My pleasure. Sorry for the false starts been having issues with our equipment. See them up could be here and talk hunter Thompson. My pleasure. So your book free kingdom. You know, we live in interesting times right now, it's kind of kind of shit show at every just about a fist from your face pull that sucker which my hands should've put him do whatever you want your hands shoot with this one. What is all this? You got a lot of writing. Well, when I wrote the book I wanted to make sure my sentences never sounded like Thomson sentences. So I didn't write out a lot of his sentences but this morning before coming on. I went and got some of my favorite quotes. Just put him out longhand to get sense of. What is a what is perspective was the most again didn't he do that? With the great Gatsby. He laid a few times a hand typed it out. I love that idea that he was trying to find like the rhythm of the words, that's such a fascinating notion because comedians do that in the early days of comedy like a lot of guys in like before they ever start going on stage themselves. They'll imitate their favorite comedians bits like they'll do a Richard Pryor bit, and they'll do it to their friends, and they'll get get a sense of the rhythm and the timing and get those laughs from doing Richard Pryor bit to their friends. And then they get that bug. It's like part of what infects them. I mean. That's the hardest thing to steal. We're not plagiarizing. But we're trying to understand what decisions they made beautiful work. Yeah. Sure, it wasn't plagiarizing. But it's it's so unfortunate when when someone does. Yes, you know, when when you have someone whether it's hunter Richard Pryor. Anyone just got a truly exceptional unique mind or someone who doesn't like our president and decided when he ran in two thousand sixteen to plagiarize Richard Nixon's, nineteen sixty eight convention speech directly. Really that was the headline in the fucking times that said Nixon's inspiration. I'm sorry. Trump's inspiration Nixon is the one. So the lies about crime in barberry at the gates crime law and order all from Nixon's. Shitty. But successful nineteen sixty eight Miami, convention speech and Thompson tops knew how effective that that was. Yeah, I wonder if he did that on purpose because he was so good. And one thing that Trump is so good at he's so good at getting the media talk about him. And like one of the best ways to get the media to talk about him was give them something be angry about that. No one else is going to give a fuck about. He was like, oh, Alania plagiarized. But. I plagiarize much better. Knicks it this. Right. So what a loved it Malania took some lines from Michelle Obama's. Yeah. Yes. Right. Yeah. You plagiarized Nixon? That's okay. So freaking them the book about one hundred something. I mean, it's really about taking the fucking motion of living in this present looking back at Thompson's career. And then trying to write a novel to dramatize all of the experiences. He went through that are today, so applicable to us into show his perspective that so applicable to us today. What do you got in your Jim from near? Invention inspiration Nixon. I was like you're running on Nixon you're on here. Some parallels in. Oh, I mean, do you remember when? When hunter got together with Bill Murray and bill's brother, and they did that thing where they were trying to get people to Nixon got a bad deal. We gotta bring back and people were going along with it. Yeah. Yeah. I remember that like that. There's a lot of parallels with Trump in that regard. I mean, one of my favorite quotes by Thomson is like. Richard Nixon is with his Barbie doll family and his Barbie-doll life is like America's answer to you know, it's America's doctor Jekyll Mr Hyde. You know, he is the where wolf he speaks to the werewolf in us and Nixon chose to hide that where we'll his whole career until it finally came out because he was insane with power Trump ran on the where wolf he's like, no, I'm not gonna hide it. That's who. I am. That's what I'm going to use to try to get elected. And like George Wallace did like other politicians. Did it had resonance and it happened with Trump because of Armenian virement because of the place we live in now to amplify all the way to the most powerful position in the world. Which is insane. It would be really fascinating to see if hunter was alive and in his prime. Now, how he I think his take on it would be very similar to Mattaya vs. Matt Taibbi in is in my opinion. Our more reasonable more put together version of hundred Thompson because he's more stained long career like rational. And he's there all the time. I'm like, I'm sure you've heard the recently uncovered recording of hunter calling into some company that installed a DVD player. He's fucking screaming and yelling. It's like fifteen minutes gets lost. The fuck eighty player doesn't work. Fucking cords. That was not the best. I think what does what Thompson did very well hundred Thompson was really good at looking at Nixon saying, how are you manipulating the way we see you need a version of you out? And maybe looks at the way the media gets played. He looks at the way that an administration manipulates the media, and he dramatizes that while everybody else just gives us the information. The administration's giving us that goes back to Thomson with Nixon Thompson had space when he worked for Rolling Stone. He could read about how Nixon made everybody watches speeches the press on a closed, circuit television. And they made the press just like Trump off in the corner when the plane arrived, you know, being berated by everybody very similar to what is going on now. And again, we see people giving hot takes received people doing, Ed. We don't see people dramatizing how manipulative these corrupt administrations are in work and Thompson deputy fli table w was Nixon being berated by the press that why he chose was. I mean, he was a crook. So he doesn't want the press to investigate them. Like, he. He was a creek within Clementi like his loans with BB Rebozo. And all of that creek way. Use the IRS to investigate his enemies. He was correct when he tried to break into the Brookings Institution to destroy and Vom evidence. Like, he didn't want the press around because he'd committed very serious crimes that I think that similar what we see? Now. I mean as people sit on the show, no president wants the journalist digging into their lives specifically because you don't want chumminess with journalists. But think Trump Nixon both knew they had so much to hide to actually have a journalist like hundred Thompson who was good investigative journalist. Matt Taibbi around that's dangerous for them. They'll go to jail, which Nixon should've. Yeah. Perhaps should well. Who knows what's going to happen? How did you? How'd you get involved with writing this book? I mean, I've always loved onerous Hampson in exposed to them, you know, in in. Seventeen years old in a Catholic high school at Bellman college preparatory up in San Jose. And we had a counterculture writing class. And so I read some of it there, and then a friend had an audio book the fear loading. And so I just remember the first time hearing that old audiobook fear building, we're somewhere around barstool into the desert, and then in my twenties, I really got into strange rumblings in Aswan would about a conspiracy within the Los Angeles Police Department regarding the death of ruin Salazar a prominent journalist and every that I'm like, oh my God. Did this isn't somebody? That's just dancing on stage. Or like performing a road narrative. This isn't investigative journalist who's going to the most powerful people. Exposing things they don't want us to see and in a sense risking his life to do. So because he says in strange rumblings awesome on which Rolling Stone in nineteen seventy says they're willing to kill Ruben Salazar who is the most prominent trust in Los Angeles. You could argue at the time what the fuck is to stop them from killing me for asking these questions. Why think that's what a lot of people are saying today with Djamil Shoghi, you know, Jamal kashogi death has got a lot of journalists really freaking out like what you know? What am I doing if I'm criticizing world leaders and talking about international politics? If this could happen to me political violence is effective because it's used a silence either opposition or journalists and so for me right in this book, and I tried to dramatize it like a novel. It's quick it's like two hundred twenty two hundred pages. And then it's like a hundred pages of notes. So like cited every sight, smell or sound. So that somebody that knows Thompson, really. Well, can be like the fuck that you get this information and somebody else can if they have questions just go back and look, but long story short for me the. Crux of the book was in Chicago, nineteen sixty eight where hundred Thompson at a press pass. He went to the democratic national convention on Wednesday night, mayor Daley gave this order to clear. The intersection of Balbo bow in Michigan because there is a protests point arm five ten thousand people Thompson was standing next to the Haymarket in which was on the ground floor level. It was a plate glass window. He was standing with delegates from democratic national convention standing there was and the cops charged. They did like a double pincher formation like Hannibal in like combine like fucking one hundred BC in split. The protesters in half beat everybody hit Thompson over the head. He got his motorcycle helmet on just in time. So he's not cussed. He can see everything that's going on in the entire play class window behind him. Shatters? Everybody falls in cop jump in our beating everybody and he's looking around. He's sure that snipers on the roof are going to open fire at any moment. So he runs to the Blackstone where he staying across the way shows his room key gets beat up by the cops trying to live here. God damnit paying. Hundred dollars a day. Let me my fucking room any barely gets it. And he just sits on his bed afterwards. He says they knew I was press the summer press pass the hit me because I was press. And if that's where we're at right now with journalists, you know, political opponents and journalists are being clubbed to keep silent. And to not respond than this is not the democracy. We know. Yeah. His ex wife talked about that as being like one of the only moments where she saw him cry for two weeks cried afterwards for two weeks. Couldn't stop his crazy those crazy time. Right. I mean that the time is very similar in a lot of ways to what's going on today. Just today. There's just so much more information, and so much more people have so much more of an ability to communicate. Yeah. I think it's almost easier to coordinate violence. I was just talking to the head of the proud, boys. You know, Gavin against his group Enrique Atari, and he's like, you know. He's advocacy saying he's using the language of the left. He's like a victim. I can't buy groceries taken my big accounts platforms when he talks about violence. He's like who the fucker you antifa? I'm your hundred twenty thousand wet like we have civil war. You're gonna lose. I was sitting next on the podcast. And basically what I said was if we have a civil war you're going to be hitting a sniper fire from the fucking roof. You've not going to be a fistfight when Tepa across the way. And I think there's this idea on the right that we can push towards violence, and we can get very close to it with our rhetoric or with our actions, but that it won't spread like the conflagration will keep going. You know, I don't know if that's slid to the right? I mean with on the left to, and that's why Thompson was hard on the left as he was on the right when he wrote that was so important for his intelligence as a writer by just even the left and the right in general for a lot of these people's just an identity and gang that they belong to. And I don't think they really understand violence. You know, you wanna talk about violence talk to a military guy. You know, talk to someone who really understands what violence actually is. And they don't. Have this empty rhetoric? Like, these fools do that. As a lot of these people that are calling for violence. Like, no, you should be calling for camaraderie and should be calling for communication. We should be calling for some way, we could all work this out where the civilians the the civilization that we live in that we all we all can get along together. And most people don't want impede you from living your life and doing what you wanna do most people the majority hundred believed in working within the system, he believed it might be fucked up system, but you can still run for sheriff announcement, and he believe once resort violence. That means the conversation has stopped disfigures you so he cried for two weeks. That was the most surprising thing for me researching Spokane writing it was to see how much violence affected him that he experienced at Chicago, you can speak to someone who's done. And then they fighting who's been punched in the face as hard. Somebody can punch you most Americans haven't had that. And that changes your -bility articulate something back in that moment. It means if that's political if it's a police officer or a political opponent that. Uses violence instead of an argument to respond, you we've left the round that we recognize we're not going to be able to communicate. Even the limited way that we're communicating right now Thompson that so that's why after Chicago I love that. He went back to Aspen and fucking sheriff. I'm going to do Meryl campaign in Aspen, and that was brilliant because it was his way to control environment. Knowing that mayor Daley not listening to his nonviolent protest, Richard Nixon's. Not listening to his nonviolent protest Thompson needed to find another avenue to try to work within the American system to make things happen. A great contrast is his good friend, Oscar Zeta cost. There's a wonderful PBS documentary rise and fall the Browns buffalo by Philip would regreat director, and it's a cost us life to Dr Congo's based on shore in Philo the tops Hedmark manages than a cost in a cost was being preceded by the LAPD was eventually set up by them and for him working within the system. He ran for sheriff wasn't an option the Cobb set him up for a high speed bust. You know, like the cups had the cops had undercover Asia. From something called the special operations for conspiracy. Which is a fucking department in the LAPD at the time, and they were trying to use those provocateurs to incite violence against the plain clothes, please. So that or the Nicklaus police so that lethal violence could be used to silence a civil rights movement in Brown. So they used agent provocateurs to make it look like they're part of the protest. Yeah. There's an age old tactic and destroy civil rights movement because the most effective weapon in silencing civil rights lethal force, and you can do that in another country the US has done, but you can't use tactics. Like, my li- like Thompson writes about this in the US unless you have a provocative reason unless somebody that's undercover attacks. Aqap, and so the cops then like what happened on August twenty nine hundred seventy eight during the moratorium riots can just flood east LA, whoever they want. Head off with tear-gas gut. Yeah. Those are darker days when you couldn't communicate as well. And I think that's one of the reasons why hundred decided to run for sheriff in Aspen is that he felt like he could control that area. Like, it would have a direct impact on his life. The local politics have a real impact in your day to day existence. Whereas what's going on in Washington for the most parts on -ffected, you if you're living in Woody creek? I mean, there are people that had Nixon's point of view in Aspen who are like let's develop this valley beyond what it can hold in terms of environment. Let's imprison hippies because they are going to take away from our tourist on economy. You know, let's not how or not adhere to normal like civil rights laws. So Thompson, you know, in participatory, democracy almost jeffersonian democracy way. Ran for sheriff by emphasizing personal agency. And most of all trying to get out the youth vote like people who had left the political system, but we're living in Aspen. A lot of people like hippies would fled the cities in the late nineteen sixties and we're living in the west. And he. Got them involved, and they should won the mayor mayoral campaign with Joe Edwards. Thompson was the director of that. And they lost by six votes. Then when you ran for sheriff, it cut really bad, and he talks about this in fan living on the campaign trail later is that a few nights before both parties, the Democrats and the Republicans freaked out. And so the Democrats said all right, we'll throw weight behind you the Republican sheriff. And then you Republicans will throw your weight for county manager behind our candidate as Thompson blues by two or three hundred votes. And so in fear, not in Las Vegas on the campaign trail nineteen seventy-two. He's at the Nixon campaign Nixon's, giving his acceptance speech of the convention Thompsons with the Nixon youth who are about to do a demonstration. And he says like, you know, I'm not a journalist. You can't kick me out on a political observers like have you ever run for office in the Nixon guys? Like, no have you Thomas sheriff, and I would've won. But the liberal stuck it to me. Shaved his head to long haired opponent that debate like so in the book, I recreate that debate a lot because the transfers of that debate is brilliant. It's amazing. Yeah. Guys, like, I've only use my gun once and ten years, but I'd like to have it like, well, if you've used at once ten years, maybe you don't need it. We could try not having it, you know, and his his gun rights, very complex and changed after Bobby Kennedy's death. But he was so intelligent on stage. When the sheriff who's like, I just want this job real bad. Mike gulping couldn't use this rated by Thomson. Yeah. You know? It's a it's a really interesting the documentary that follows the campaign when you get to see him, you know, heartfelt on when he loses in you got a sense of what there was real hope back then like that these guys could do that. And what's interesting now is you know, back in the seventies. They really did have a free community and ask. Aspen that shit's gone now. I don't know what happened ever placed the millionaires. Place. Man, you go to ask you see twenty million dollar houses and people like it's one of the rare places where people still wear fur coats. You know, not ironically or fake, but real for coach you wear a fur coat in LA. First of all it's never cold for co. But if you did you Mike fucked up on you some shit go down, you know, like you're most likely nothing's going to happen. But there's a possible chance which is really weird because if you wear a leather jacket, you have no problem. It's weird. You know, I mean aspens weird because a lot of the Thompsons friends like Lauren Jenkins, a great journalist. They've moved onto salt say down valley. I was out there with his his son one Thompson is a fantastic writer. He wrote a book called stories. I tell myself about his relationship with his contact with one through Email. He's a really good writer, and he's a really honest and brilliant writer, he seems like a good, dude. And he seemed like a really good dude in the guns documentary as well. That was a great. That was a great document. Yes. Yeah. I'm a big fan of kidney. He he'll kills it. I went to the tavern in Woody creek when I was in felt like if I'm here. I gotta go gotta go. There was weird. We're banned their man, we did you go. How long ago is that this is a year ago? You're now where people on bicycles riding their bikes by the whole time. It's on this huge bike route Kohl's fuck. It was the winter. We were there for ski trip. So what did you think of it? Well, just cool. You know, it's like there's places you go to where you just. You just kind of you know, with my family didn't give him. Fuck. My kids have no idea who he is the children live here. Need to know who he is. Chiltern up my kids. Learn eventually just eating insulates. But it's just it's to me it, you know, represented a big part of who he, you know, this is like, this is home base. He came out to San Francisco and his official there. I think there's a picture of me there on my Instagram was this special place from when he was in San Francisco is like being on the central nerve. He was there from sixty four to sixty seven and armor, sixty six and he saw the first Jefferson airplane concert right next to the matrix went out every night till like five AM. The is what the Hell's Angels. That's awesome. Hammer to respect. Could if you Margaritas here, he could divide his life power seen the background that freak power the sheriff's campaign simple, but he moved away creek. And he suddenly had you see in his. You see when you people you see it in his letters hit space again and being in the city was hard for him because right beautifully about the hells. Angels about the counterculture scene. He was at war protests and the free speech movement. Mario obvio- he was there. But it was burning him up. You know, it was using him up. And I think when you went to creek he learned that. All right. I can take a plane Chicago get my ass kicked when I can come back, and if I want to drink I can go to that tavern or you can go to the drum hotel. You're a good space. I think that was a good space for him. I think that's a probably a very intelligent move on his behalf and a lot of I think that are involved in day-to-day chaos would probably benefit from something somewhere. I mean, I don't think he gets credit for his effort. You know, one thing I've found when reading the book I interviewed, and if you Bob Geiger, fair building dedicated to and who was a doctor that was a friend his insa Noma and Geiger initially was only prescribed them deck citrine. And so people think Thompson was just doing acid and writing or whatever. And maybe later as caricature who. Ever he became that might have been part of his persona. But when he was reading from the book from Kennedy's assassination to Nixon's resignation. He was working so fucking hard like he was working harder than we can ever imagine. Douglas, Brinkley his the presidential strand who does his literacy talks about Thompson wasn't as fun as he seemed to turn that time. He took decks between the right? And he had a drinking problem is some sort of Nevada means Admiral. That's cut differently with salt. So it's a little bit like you go little higher when it comes down a little harder. While Adderall was over troll, which was diet drug repurposing like ninety six that is a little bit smoother in that sense. But it's very similar to what what Thompson took. He had a great editor named Margaret Herro who was his editor on Hells Angels. And he didn't know she was twenty seven when he was twenty nine. She was like fifty five because they would talk on the phone every day to edit the book, and he sent her. She still has the letter I've done some events there. She still has the actual letter. He sent her five milligram Dexter, drain. He's like, hey, it's going to be hard. The last ten pages at take this and focus. She still has this orange who five milligram dream for forty fifty years. She's on. That's crazy. Yeah. That Gibney documentary is really fantastic. It's probably one of the best introductions at anybody could have to try to get a grip on why? After all these years hunter resonates with so many people. I mean, I think that the documentary is Brantley perfectly done, I think the Thompson means something different with Donald Trump is president of the United States to me. You people could see before Gibney top before other like brilliant writer saw before Taibbi did. But when Donald Trump became president of the United States. It was a lens onto the past. I felt like I was I mean, I'm a bitch ass liberal. I was fucking upset. And so one of the ways I dealt with it was to just remove myself to nine hundred sixty eight nineteen sixty seven hundred sixty nine and I took the emotion I in the present. And I realized that Thompson is such voice right now for people that maybe don't. Only norm through fear unloading, Las Vegas jillions film. I would like freaking to be a lens that now they read that they could then read his work, and perhaps, you know, what his timelessness will come through more. It was an attempt to focus that timelessness. And that what helped was the fucking tear of our present. You can see the definitely see the parallels and his work. You know who also rings true. Like that is a lot of Bill Hicks stuff on the first Gulf war. You know, and and Bush as president, and, you know, obviously, people today would probably be dying have Bush president, you know, the, original Bart. He carried his book around for two weeks at least to carry a book. We'll Herbert Walker. The main the older Bush who is you know, much more of a reasonable, gentlemen. Yeah. Well, that's our discourse today to there couldn't be anything said reasonably about him when he passed away or does life. I think it's not he's not very favorable right now. But one of Thompson's main influences was Norman Mailer. Norman Mailer rich. Well about women. I think I think Thomson wrote better about women. Thompson didn't just. Schism familiar with Mailer whenever you read about a woman. It's like he's watching the Nixon nets get off the Nixon airplane. He's like there were thirty three redheads like five headlong legs like this like, it's like mail. You didn't need to write that fucking passage. You're reading about power and people more extreme than you. So I think Miller putatively about men that have more power than him. So he writes about nine hundred sixty eight Chicago Thompson didn't because Thompson was beat up. And he writes about that moment of Thompsons being beat up. I'm confused. But what is the criticism of the way he's writing about women just describing them physically the male gaze is that he will he step is he stabbed his wife in the heart Diddy. Really? Yeah. With the penknife what? Yeah, he went. He went to Bellevue for fourteen days one thousand six he missed it. Yeah. No. He went to he did a psychiatrist catcher evaluation stead of going to jail, they stayed married. But yeah, what a reasonable eighty. So. Gender politics later. But I would say that Thomson wrote well better about women because he understood that writing people with more power than you is really important. And when Mailer writes about people with more power than them when he writes about mayor Daley, beating the shit out of everybody, he writes, really beautifully and that somebody that's resonating right now with what Trump's doing with the violence that we're seeing on the right on the left where there was sitting with Pat Buchanan who Nixon's main aid in during that moment in Chicago in the Haymarket shattered and everybody was beat up, and they were looking down from the seventeenth floor and mailers thinking like, well, this is what happens if police takeover society, and he writes, beautifully about how the police came in split the protesters because he's so high up writing in Horta's and Buchanan would write later like I knew the Nixon was going to be president of the United States because of fucking Hubert Humphrey that gutless ward heeler can't control his own convention and his own party. How is he going to be able to run the country? So as soon as Chicago's violence erupted, the Nixon campaign new. They'd won the election probably tan, and it's really interesting because even though hunter would shit on him pappy can fan drank. They Watergate like they sat there and went deep all night. But he definitely hunter definitely shit on them. Oh shit on them hard on him heart. The first night. They met was at the Nixon at the at the Holiday Inn in nineteen sixty eight in New Hampshire during Nixon's comeback campaign and Thompson, walks in Canada goes who's this damn guy with the damn ski jacket walking through our God, damn lobby and tops. Like, I have a press pass like I'm here to do this. And so they have this big moment. And then later on that night Thompson Gozo party with campaign people in with cannon. And he brings a big bottle awhile Turkey, and so we can't into younger most of the time. He worked at the St Louis post dispatch. I think he conned the Columbia journalism school is working for Nixon as policy guy. He looks at Tommy's. That's the fuck in the ski, you gotta bottle. Oh, if you've got old crow like, no, we'll drink that. And so. They stayed up all night, and they talked about the Vietnam war and Thomson talked about how it just figures us to be in a foreign more. That's on just destroys our democratic ideals to be doing that. And Kim was like containment nuclear war. We're trying to get out of it. And they listen to other till dawn that first night that they met. Now, what was your idea behind writing this book like what what compelled you? I think we've mistaken Thomson. I think that we see more like Doonesbury character and people who normally well, don't, but I think that most people through whatever cultural forces that we've had boys because a lot of people don't know comparison what the dunes Berg. So I think in the eighties seventies. As ninety s the cartoon Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau it became there was a character on a call. Uncle Duke, an uncle was based on hundred Thompson, and he was kind of an exaggerated version of hundred times, and he was a cartoonish version of hunter S Thompson. And I think Jillian did a wonderful kind of Treish job on like Brian job on fear loathing in Las. Vegas. But that's also an exaggerated version of hundred Thompson, we forget today, the not work hundred Thompson did the effort. He put out forget that. He was a straight journalist for. He did the freelance assignments he wrote the straight articles for years to make money for his family. And it wasn't until he had his breakthrough with Hells Angels that he could develop a style at we identify with today. And so it kills me that we identify him more as a clown, or like, you know, more as a cartoonish figure as opposed to a very serious political thinker political activists and serious writer who can give us insight into fucking shit show. Experience every moment today, I think the perception of him is fairly nuanced. I don't think that everybody thinks is cartoon character, although particular leader on this life. He was relegated to that. Because he really didn't speak. Well, you know later on his life when he was just the drugs taken over and his son writes about the hall that so beautifully about the toll alcoholism took on hunter S Thompson. He couldn't talk anymore. I mean when he was deep into his sixties Vars are then it was so hard to even understand him. There's a awful piece that he did with Conan O'Brien or Conan went to Woody creek and shotguns off the back porch with them, and you could barely understand a fucking word hunter saying that's why I tried to end it with Nixon leaving because it was really sad when Nixon resigned hundred Thompson was at the Connecticut Hilton which is hotel right by the White House any liebowitz the photographer with Rolling Stone was calling him and saying we need to get to the White House. Nixon is leaving the he's gonna get on the helicopter and Thompson just laid in the grass, and he didn't go, you know, and that was heartbreaking, and he didn't end up writing the page spread that he needed to. Instead, it became any liebowitz photography, which was a famous and in retrospect like huge for her career. But I think that pain, right? There of thinking that he'd spent ten years he'd hated Nixon since the checkers speech. No in Nixon was VP. Eisenhower. He hated Nixon since nineteen sixty two Nixon lost the California. Governor ship and said you in the press you'd be giving me the shaft for so long you won't have dick Nixon to kick around anymore. Thomson had seen that Nixon was somebody who said I'm just the poor son of a butcher. I'm just this like very hard working, you know, American that represents all of us where hind that like he was a politically ravenous monster who is anti-communist who'd go to any extent to win. And Thompson saw that Thomson knew that other people saw in in nineteen sixty four Barry Goldwater convention in San Francisco, my favorite named arena of all time the cow palace, very Goldwater was gonna speak accept the nomination. And what happened was Nixon was introducing it was Nixon's way back from the wilderness. Thompson was few rows back. The first time, Tom I was that close to see him live, and, you know, poor butcher don't think about me just think about Barry Goldwater, Mr. conservative who become Mr President in Thomson was like. Fuck everybody here knows. He's lying. What they think that that act of lying is a skill in the way it used car salesman who lies, but you make a lot of money off it skillful though that Trump by selling stakes to people and then they go bankrupt. And he gets rich. That's an American skill and Thompson sense that from the start with Nixon. And so I think he battled against Nixon for a decade for a lot years. And when Nixon left I think he felt spent and so I try not to focus on the later, you know, ended then seventy four because I think it's he wrote some beautiful things up towards he was still a grisly definitely had some moments where he decided to not do the assignment that he was supposed to do. And it was kind of sad like the Ali form and fight fucking floated in the pool float in the pool with Nixon mask on flew all the way to Africa. And it's one of the greatest sports moments. It was game. Six of you know, you know, the Boston Red Sox versus the reds. Why think Ali was something different to people than I think? It's I don't think we have someone. Like that today. So it's very difficult for for us to understand people today look at Ali, and they go he was a heavyweight boxing champion. He was way more than that. He was a cultural figure that represented the resistance to the Vietnam war and re represented it with the biggest loss that any public figure it ever shown and willingly gave up three years of his career in his prime from age twenty seven thirty from nineteen sixty seven from the Cleveland, big cat Williams fight. He didn't fight again for three years. He didn't trae any do anything. They kept him from his career. Why when he was in his prime when he was the best heavyweight of all time, and he spoke publicly and often and in fucking hated all over the country, but he represented something different like my parents were hippies. And when I was a little kid. He lost to Leon Spinks and the rematch was on television. My parents never watch TV. And they definitely never watch boxing. And they they they sat in front of the TV to watch remember thinking, I can't believe my parents want to watch a boxing match like this is crazy it I was probably like, I don't know maybe eight or nine years old or something at the time. And I just remember thinking, I can't believe my parents want to watch boxing match. And that's really when it sunk into me really early age that this guy was not just this heavyweight boxer. He was he was a a cultural icon. He was Stoorikhel figure. He meant he meant a lot into hunter. Humana. Lot. He meant something something much bigger than just just a boxer. So hundred thought he was going to death sentence. George Foreman crush Joe Frazier. He crushed everybody. I mean, he was so powerful George Foreman to this day. One of the all-time scariest heavyweights while time without a doubt. He he could hit so fucking hard. And literally. Picked is off their feet. He hit Joe. Frazier and lifted him off his feet with a punch and everybody was convinced that was going to happen to Ali that Ali had been passed as prime and look just look what George Foreman had done to Joe Frazier. What is he going to do to Muhammad Ali? And I'll just rope adopt them until he got tired than fucked him up in front of the whole world, that's one of the greatest athletic moments. I mean, we forget that athletes of curt flood, you know, they they risked. Who's curt flood was the American baseball player who challenged the reserve clause because you weren't allowed to get free agency for another team, and curt flood was the scrape player, and he was like I'm going to sit out and I'm gonna wait athletes. Colin Kaepernick, they've sacrificed. It's not the same with Mohammed Ali who was like Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds, and like anybody combined at that one moment Ryan, but he was risking is the opposite of Trump Trump used his celebrity to become this even more mangled version of himself and get more power. Lee uses celebrity to speak for his virtue and value and his beliefs and Thompson was really good at understanding. What people sacrifice people have to give up the wager. You know between what that act will be what the results will be. They may be later, but he knew that. And so his respect for all e for giving up those years of his crime. You know was was in during he Thomson came back from that fight and gave his son on one boxing gloves were were at least boxing. Yeah. It's a very very unfortunate that he missed that fight because been fascinated to hear his take on the me. I'm sure he would have been so moved when he saw Ali win. But it was in. I mean, that's a point. It was indicative of I think the stress and the pressure that the last decade covering Nixon had taken out on him with there's a little bit of that. But let's be honest. He was also kind of a fuck up. I mean when he was writing for Rolling Stone, and they gave him that that early facts. Yeah. And he would fuck that thing. He would unplug it plug it back in. He would do it just so he could go to the bar and say this thing doesn't work. But that was the end I think of his arc is still on point you still playing the role of a serious journalist, and he would use that persona as a fuck up. And there's letters by on winter being like, you cannot turn in your articles three hours before we go to press. I know you made it this doesn't fucking work. And so he was beginning to break down. Then also, I think on the tail end of his decade of being a journalist who had met every deadline. So that he could fucking fetus family and you could afford out far like there. Moments where before he got the contract per Hells Angels in nineteen sixty five he was ready to be like a longshoreman. He was going looking for work in the mornings in San Francisco. You know to try to support his family he was willing to give up writing. And instead that article blew up, and he all these beautiful letters being in three nineteen Parnassus. He lived at the top of the Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, and you know, that opened up his chance to continue being a writer, but money was the main motivating factor. And so I think once money like unfurled once alcoholism, I think took its toll and once he couldn't walk around anymore at a political convention without people dislike grabbing his shoulder and saying you're hundred Thompson that happened. I think things began to change. Yeah. That's one of the things that he talked about that. I thought was really interesting that he became a part of the story. It wasn't just that he was covering stories. Couldn't be anonymous anymore. He was in many cases, more famous in the people that he was covering. Yeah. You know, like when he would go to meet Nixon all Nick Nixon seek. Krit service agents wanted to meet them and they wanted to get an autograph from him shake his hand. And it was just too weird. Everything got and then there's the alcoholism that alcoholism look at its depressant. It wrecks you. And if you read we me and Greg Fitzsimmons podcast once read off of that one journalist who had detailed hunters daily routine. Yeah. And so we read the daily routine and they put a techno to it. It's fucking hilarious. That's those are. So it's so funny because those seemed funny now, but they're they're kind of a death knell like I mean that that daily routine that was the the biography hunter it was in that. And it's just it's heartbreaking. I mean, we gotta remember that the dedication to fear. Not in Las Vegas was. He makes himself gets rid the pain, man. And I think the world was painful for hundred Thompson people to see powerful people abused the week, you know, and like take what they wanted brazenly without being held accountable. I think it was hard to do with shitty. Editors who cut half your fucking essay on Nixon or half or story and made into something that had nothing to do with the effort that you put out, you know, I think it's hard to pay your bills, and you know, live the way that you wanted to live, and I think a lot of that gets undermined. I just want people to realize how much effort he put out especially during those years where he was like. All right. Wanna be great journalist? I wanna have a voice in our society. I wanna participate or national conversation my only path towards that is to harder than everybody else. Be places when things happen when they. And he sacrificed a lot for that. But he was there. And he's a voice in a light that we can have in this moment. Which is another troubling moment in American history. Yeah. His voice was very unique to in that he decided to combine fiction with nonfiction in a very weird blurry way. I think it was. So one thing I think is he usually gives you queue where what he did was he dramatize people didn't dramatize so late shit up. He didn't just draw a rich doctor. I didn't say that. He did gate. I said there was this is about an Muskie's campaign. I said there was a rumor in Milwaukee that he did it again. I started that rumor. Yeah. I mean, that's what he says. But what we said the Cavs show later. I think Matt Taibbi on this show talked about it. Well, where is that Muskie was already out of the campaign when that came out musket already lost and so- Muskie had been a fucking monster and a terrible person on that campaign. And so Thomson used that version of Muskie and wrote as setting. Very straightway began story. And so if you had a since hiring, you kinda knew like you're not really thinking that this is a guy who did will gain. So I think there's queues in there for listening audience. But what I think is even more. You know, what I think he dramatized the way other people didn't he would say, I looked left. A look see he came down me. And then he said people didn't write like that in journalism. They didn't go step by step and he did. And that was really important what I think is more important than the began story. So the begin story in the background as Ed Muskie was the front runner for the democratic primary in nineteen seventy-two. He fucked up his campaign afterwards Thomson talked about how he'd heard that there. There's a rumor that this candidate was doing gain, which is like Wasco. Well, the he said that it no it's not like, it's not very different hallucinatory, self examined. Tori. Yeah. But he said they brought in a Brazilian witchdoctor. It's a gain is not even Brazilian drugs from Africa. This is what I think people don't remember is before that in this affected the election and type of nineteen seventy-two. Thompson was in Florida. He was on something called the sunshine special. It was a whistle-stop tour that Muskie the front runner how chance to beat Nixon pull numbers wise was going all the way down the Florida peninsula on to try to win the Florida primary and Thompson was like this is the most disgusting thing I've ever seen like at every stop musk gave the same shit speech. It's like somebody should be your president, namely me. And it was repeated the reporters were like fucking this terrible Muskie was to -cluded in the back of the car. He didn't interact with anybody. They had his political operatives come out and make everybody like sing the song like about like Muskie like sunshine in his hand the whole world. It was terrible. And so that night Thompson pulled into a Florida town was second lasts up, and he in this young political reporting Monte Chitty were going to get a drink at two AM. And this guy walks into the lobby he's like six six to fifty Peter Sheridan, and he he walks in. And he he says he's looking for the Muskie campaign all these different things ends up going out with hundred Thompson for a drink and hundred tops and finds out that Peter shared and had been a good friend of Jerry Garcia had hung out with the hells. Angels in California had been little Honda, Ken Casey was and was actually a pretty smart guy who was out of his mind and his mid twenties they stayed out and drink all night at the end of the night Thomas like, so what are you doing tomorrow you going and Peter shared and was like, whoa, I'm going to Miami. And we are to you don't have to hitchhike fuck that. And so there's a really good journalist outlaw. It's called journalists by Bill McKean, another Thompson biography talks about how Thompson took his. Thompson took his press pass put into the elevator press. The button sent the press pass down to the ground floor. Peter Sheridan, got it. So Peter Sheridan could ride for free on the sunshine express down to Miami the next day. So Thompson over sleeps because fucking must campaign doesn't like him anyways. Instead Peter shared gets on the sunshine express with a hundred Thompson press badge and Peter shared and goes on to order twelve martinis, and he goes gimme like a triple Jin bucks. Hold the buck. And he runs up and down the car and musk has been a really shitty candidate at this point. He's not been engaging people. He got in this weird fight with his wife at a a campaign event where they put cake in each other's face. It's been really weird and people aren't reporting on it like other reporters aren't saying Muskie's unstable. And so must key at the end of this stop. He spent all his campaign money to go up and down and try to do this stop tour. He gives the speech, the caboose, and Jerry Rubin. The antiwar activist who was one of the Chicago Seven and was has come to heckle them. Is in the crowd in. He's saying musky. So why did you support the war in nineteen sixty eight like who do you think you are? And so must he's yelling, Jerry Rubin. He's saying young, man. Keep your mouth shut beneath Muskie reaching up from the bottom of the caboose. Peter Sheridan is holding a gin bottle, and grabbing it Muskie's leg as Muskie tries to give the speech and Muskie falls back in the whole thing ends like the whole press conference is over like women's wear daily reported this and it came out that hundred Hampson had thirteen Martinez and run up and down the train and had interfered with it and Muskie's campaign really believed that Thompson was working with Donald security and Nixon's creep Watergate crew to fuck up Muskie's campaign and that actually change. The course Thompson help expose how fucked up Muskie was as a candidate at that time and Thomson had never forgiven Muskie for being on the pro-vietnam more platform it nineteen sixty eight convention, and so we. Talk about the Applegate aspect of changing the campaign. But that report and the way that the seminated through media the way it was picked up by other newspapers really did help change the people's perception of at Muskie at big Ed Muskie as Thompson called him at the time. No, he when he wrote Hells Angels. He hadn't really totally formulated that sorta gone style journalism, but he did have a little bit of fiction mixed in with that. And that sort of ran him of foul of the Heli Hells Angels. They were very upset by that. Right. Like he did write some things in there that they claim or not accurate. I think that when it came to Hells Angels. What Thompson did really? Well, what Joan Diddy did really? Well, he took the way the media's portraying somebody and he strip that off. This is who they actually are. This is what they're actually doing Joan didn't when she writes about Jim Morrison and the white album. She's like Jim Morrison was like sex and death in his leather pants was the best thing ever. Everybody loves it Morrison and then in the scene in the white album. Jody and writes about how they sit at a recording studio for two hours, and nobody says anything exotic a paper bag, and it's a fucking nightmare. Thompson knew that the media was sensationalizing the Hells Angels. He went to them on a cold night in San Francisco down by the waterfront, and he said, hey, here's a Newsweek article, here's a time article. Here's how everybody's running about. You all I wanna do is write the truth about who you are. And he did and he ended up writing with them. And he ended up speaking with them. I don't think they got mad at him about the way he portrayed them. I think they got mad that he being make money or that he became famous house. Angels five hundred thousand paperback copies that is almost impossible to imagine today. Five hundred thousand copies of a literary book and the angels pissed off about that. They felt Thompson owed him more money or owed him something for that. Did he give them anymore Bargar Saint burgers? So we burgers said he owed us a cake. And he didn't give us a cake. That's it, you know, and the the famous story at the end of it is that that I mean, really like when they go through it. He said that he said the Thompson was doing a subjective version of us, but it was at least closer than the shitty. Newsweek and timers, right? And so talks in at the end of he'd finished the book barely made the deadline had to go down to a hotel in Monterey. Lock himself instep for one hundred hours straight and write it in March of sixty seven to finish it. So turns it in makes his advanced deadline in September. They're like, here's our author photo. It's shitty. He's like fuck this. So he goes to a Hells Angels rally. He doesn't know anybody because he hasn't been with them for six or seven months. He's taking pictures. That's when he got beat up the money about the Hells Angels. And he tiny has friend who later committed suicide after tomorrow after being involved in the security situation, the Rolling Stone where the style. Yes, we're Meredith hunter was stabbed but tiny. It was a woman that got. Style. Man, Meredith hunter oh. Amanda. Goes back in the day where you can name your kids Meredith, right? Like Marian Marion's another one. Right. Lindsay Lindsay some guys are Lindsey. I honestly give me one, Jamie. Oh, yeah. But Jamie's normal. Well, there's a lot of Jamie's future man seen where it's like it was his name is my name Susan in the future met her name. Susan, I know it's girl's name in your. But her it. If is a weird one though, you must hate your fucking, son. But whose argument with your wife, but that? Lost a lot are with my. But that guy was Thompson was there and tiny grabbed him after he was beat up. There's a guy holding a rock to drop it on Thomson. With the Hell's Angels and tiny was like all right? I knew him. I know the rest of you don't any grabbed them out and tiny was this enormous hells angel who had been Thompson was good at empathetical understanding their flaws and their perspectives. He'd never I think may excuses for said that their inherent perspective is assisting the rights that, you know, he says the violence to respond to where they weren't society their idea of total retaliation Hells Angels where any offense like looking at you funny or being like due to drink could be met with everybody beating you up because they got the term the they got the healthy got determine the offense that was fascism too. And he wrote beautifully about their reliance on violence because they felt Hells Angels. They'd been left behind by our moderated society. Like, there's technology all these new jobs if you came back from. The war in nineteen fifty. You had a chance in Oakland have a middle class life and beautiful house in work the rest of your days and have a family that will then go on. But by nineteen sixty five that was no longer an option and the angels were violent response to that very similar what we're seeing now. So the way he wrote about the Hells Angels, very similar the way that we see violence within groups that are supporting Trump, you know, down the right? Did he ever wind up resolving his differences with the Hells Angels? I think so sunny bar how they got fucked like rightly so the Hells Angels were, you know, pursued a mob like mafia group people went to jail sunny Bargar went to jail. I think they at the end appreciated his representation of them because it was better than any other right better. Representation of the healthy. No more sympathetic for sure. Our just no more accurate Nomar understand. Yeah. No more like again, I guess the Thompsons effort if you ride for six months with somebody, and you're an honest like put up your hands. You're not trying to fit. What you see into thesis? You're doing the opposite trying to look at the reality having front you. And then. Form an argument out of that. Yeah. That's what Thompsons gift was very dangerous to do that. I mean, I mean, he did get beat up taking those really bad motorcycle accident with friend on the pack and broke his leg. It was. That's why he left like get the fuck out of San Francisco rays. Looks amazing like Texas amazing. It's a it's a fire that you're putting your hand onto how he was coming down. It was the mayor of Richmond. He was coming down a slick road, and they had hit an like something was wet or an oil thing. And it went out the back tire. Thompson role was fine but his friends knee hit railroad tracks. So his friends need grope really badly. It was it was the mayor of Richmond. That's continued riding motorcycles though. I yeah. He did he would get in accidents at Woody creek. But he was pretty careful like so I love that scene in Hells Angels. I don't know if readers our listeners know this, but the edge, you know, and that's a major part of the book where Thompson's fighting with his wife Thompsons finished his book. But he's breaking. Because he worked so hard to do it. And so he takes his BSA out. And he goes if you know San Francisco, he goes out to the park, he hits the Coast Highway, and he comes down, and he's like, I'm so overwhelmed. Everything is so fucking terrible. He's going as fast as he can. And he talks about how his is beginning to lose moisture, you know, the ceiling this beautiful scene. He's looking for sandpits 'cause he hit a sand pit near the zoo, your fucking dot, and he gets all the way to Rockaway beach, which is in cafe down to Santa Cruz, and he turns around and when he talks about is when he's at a hundred miles per hour. I think he was near death. He was really overwhelmed. He says, you know, the edge the only people that know it or the people that have gone over the rest the living. Don't have any understanding. No, we can do as approach it in this way. And it's just beautiful end is called midnight on the Coast Highway, was emphasized, Tom Wolfe, you know, beautiful. So he comes back and he sits at his desk. And so he he had view of the bay bridge. He could see it's to fly. She lights the whole time, and he had broken the window in a terrible fight with his wife like three weeks earlier. And so he sits the broken window, and he writes out that scene right away with his is still scoured of wasn't a broken window when she wouldn't give them a gun because he was on acid, and he threw a shoe through the windows three. There's three versions side do it. And then I give the three versions of the notes. So I go with three versions that I've heard like I heard it from jazz car, you know, she wrote I I really respect sandy deeply she wrote at the a few years ago. She said I'm done giving interviews about psalms and that was my life. That was then she's giving so many interviews up to this point good that that exist. So I wanted to respect that more than anything and just information the hat, you know, and that the reader now y'know here at three other versions. Here's the best version. I could make dramatize look left throw do this. Did you talk to Nita need has been great. I talked about the book ended sorely that. I there's a beautiful are nita's a second wife for Thompson is she runs. Farm. She runs kind of his legacy. She does Facebook page. She's a wonderful job. What is our farm today? Does she still live up? There is she's gonna make it into a reddish retreat. She's been making new writer's retreat. And also a like a museum is taking a while. But to honor his legacy as a great political thinker and writer, a great literary light. But since she didn't meet him till the nineties I wanted to focus on the time that I was in. And so I I think talking to Bob Geiger, you know, his friend. Then was was I was really lucky. Bog fires in this late eighties? He was able to go through like because I believe if you somebody you need to read everything that exists already. Yeah. You need to read everything they've already said, you don't wanna ask them questions that when I do interview for research that they've already supplied answers to. Yeah. So with Bob guy, I could see the holes or things I didn't know I was able to sit with them talk about throwing a football with Thomson taking the dog to the beach. Like, all these other things does the football thing is an interesting thing it was whose obsessive football. And it's one thing that he shared in common with Nixon. And so when they went one time they were going to the airport and he hit. Hits to ride with Nixon and Nixon wanted to talk to him about football. And he said, it was just not talk about politics when we talk about football. And so he taught in my favorites whole ride it was it was a nine hundred sixty eight Pat Buchanan had helped set it up out that week they become friends. And so they come to Thompson. Like, all right. The boss is gonna take a plane to Florida. You can come talk to. And later talks said later told me not to talk about football. But earlier Thompson said like I was just really awkward like this fucking guy. They're both in the back bench of mercury. And so as before secret service, so it's just a cop driving, and it's like, Pat Buchanan in the front, and it's Thompson Nixon and the right here next to each other Thomas earlier in the night, you said that you know, the Oakland Raiders had a good shot to beat the Packers Super Bowl to talk about that. And he was like Dixon's like, my good friend. Vince Lombardi told me to watch out for the AFL 'cause they pass they can be very effective. And so Thomson than like remembers that guy. Guyer had been a professional quarterback. He take Thompson to his first football game. And Thompson said NFL is better than the AFL and guys like shut the fuck up. Let's go to a raiders game. And they went and sixty five and the raiders one on this beautiful past time Florez beautiful goal line pass and Nixon was saying the same thing. And so then at that moment at that moment Thompsons like, oh, yeah. It was the Miami guy Muller Miller who caught the pass in Nixon goes taps on the Nian goes here. Right. And goes all what a beautiful moment. It didn't tops us. Just like what the fuck is going on so Nixon, apparently they were talking about college draft picks and all kinds of crazy shit like Nixon was deep into it. It was the only moment Thompson said that he knew Nixon wasn't lying. Could talk about football. And that in that instant it's fascinating with people so diametrically opposed to each other, but they find common ground. Thompson did a great job of that lost today. I mean, you have to listen to the other side, if you if you politically wanna beat somebody like pappy cannon, the one it defeat his tactics. If you wanted to feed him, you need to know how sneaking Thompson knew that kino was listening to the left to defeat them Thompson listened to begin. What led him to move to Colorado? Oh, he was losing shit and savor Cisco. It was that night on the fucking motorcycle. I mean, but how choose Colorado so. Is a great story and like the early sixties Thompson had had a chance to drive. I don't know some sort of cargo friends car out to Colorado on his way to San Francisco in nineteen sixty. He ended up doing a road trip down Francisco after pass through Colorado, but he stopped in Colorado because he had a job offer friend's car. And there was a woman there. Piggy Clifford who was journalist and was his good friend at the at the Aspen Daily Times. And she was older. She saw him like after driving twenty hours. She's like, hey, come in my house, hang out, she'll Aspen and Woody creek. And so then in nineteen sixty three after sandy was pregnant Thompson came back from South America, where he was a reporter ended a wonderful job like reporting on how democracies were falling apart down there him and sandy wanted to move west because the national observer was the newspaper Thompson worked for they wanted to give Thomson a position to western reporter. He was thinking of San Francisco, but instead he chose to stop. I where Peggy Clifford was stop in Aspen and Woody creek. And so he was living in an Aspen Woody creek from August of nineteen sixty three to February of nineteen sixty three. And he was there. This is where free kingdom begins. He was there when John F Kennedy was assassinated and he sitting in his living room. It's you know, ten AM eleven AM Pacific time. He gets a knock on the door. And it's this rancher named Wayne Vagner, which is an old Aspen family and that ranchers like the president's been shot. What's more? He's he's been murdered stat. Thompson just like let's out a sob, then he begins fucking swear. And then he fucking calms down. And he goes downtown Woody creek because to Aspen, and he just gets notes from people what their responses are. And so when he then went to San Francisco to become the correspondent for for the magazine that he was working for. He was having a tough time. He was already wanting to flee because he got Hells Angels. He was able to stay in San Francisco longer right report on them by nineteen sixty sixty seventy it was like the city is not a good place from he has a great quote about like what would have happened. If he stayed in San Francisco from seven out of burned up, I would have been immolated right there. So when it was time to leave. He thought again of what he creek and of Aspen, which was so different than than it is now, and that was the place that he decided to move and rent for a little while at first, but then because of the success of Hells Angels, he was able to buy farm. Aspens very different. But Woody creek is not that much different. What he creek is still pretty it's great Basang creek or great. Yeah. There's a place called the temporary. They didn't event with one Thompson in high like did a reading at it. And like a lot of Thompson's friends with their sound like I'm fucking young. I I didn't know Thompson. I'm an interloper, you know, like out there, and it was really great to talk to everybody that knew him into through. And that's why I this book almost killed me. Because I did a note for every sound sell our site or comet like if I wrote and at the moment Thompson felt what the fucking doing here. I had the quote where he said I looked around then, and I felt with my doing here, and I had that in the notes so people could see and it was because I one of those people that knew him well respected him and trusted him to not think that I was in any way trying anything but to make it art off his life, and he was trying to responsive my fucking view of Trump right now. And my love of his work in this moment. Why do you say almost killed you? It's not possible to. Right narrative, and then also cite every detail of narrative. So each day. I would spend nine hours researching outlining with citations EV I wanted to read like a novel wanted to be like, you know, in that moment, I felt like the machine oil from the bay was coming off. I wanted to read it vividly. I knew that I had to support all of that. And so I would spend eight or nine hours every day just on the pure arrangement and research and then for the next six or seven hours or eight hours out at the narrative, and that's for five or six hours, you know, and get up, and I would do it again this for four or five months, you know, after I was deeply into it. And I I don't think that sustainable, I think it's better in retrospect to go and report somewhere, you know, to go and be the middle of congress and take notes, but to try to write something with the dramatize nature that I think Thomson wrote well having my nothing like his I wanted my protests on nothing like the way he wrote. But then to also have almost as many pages of notes showing my. Work, you know, showing the math that went behind. So if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But at least you can see it. I think that was morally correct. But I think that was too much effort when it comes to just because you're trying to do in a short period of time. Did you have a crazy deadline or something? Yes. But I also had a year. And so I want to family, and I had a professor like I just I'd never when it came to writing had to do both those things which was to try to write it in a novel stick way. But then to also make sure that any question the reader would have. But like, why did you think that the dinner was at five PM, you know, or like, you know, why why did you think the sun was coming up in this way at the moment? To make sure because out of respect Thomson talked about was people making money off, Mike Doonesbury. Yeah. You know? That's what he talked about was people trying to make money off on and off. I was gonna read this book could have couldn't be in that space. Didn't he have a lawsuit against Garry Trudeau? He thought about it. I think he ever did it he talked about public. Yeah. I I think it was just well he became that guy. Unfortunately, that's what's really weird. What a caricature of ourselves. It's really scary. Do you know? Well, it's weird about it is that he kind of knew that it was happening. Like, there's that famous interview where he's talking to that British guy who did a documentary about him back this with hunter, maybe or no one of them one of them. But he's he's rolling joint on the grass somewhere with that Las Vegas visor on these, you know, talking about how he's really become this caricature. And it would be actually be better. He wasn't alive anymore breaking up with his wife during that there's a scene in that where hides where he's at like a parking lot. And he doesn't want people to see him. And he's standing against the wall and people that come on. We gotta go like I just wanted to see me right now was really sad. I try to take that tragedy too. And he wrote great things afterwards. He was a great friend people. I run Whitehead. This wonderful poet from Louisville was dear friend of his like all through his life. But the tragedy of how much effort put out if we wanna write about Trump, if you wanna go after like, Taibbi did about the financial institution the way Thompson, did it was to kind of wager time later for time now, and he talks about that. He said you mean by the chemical speed? He says doing dream being alcohol said of changing his life and his rhythms. He said, I'm wagering time later for time. Now, I'm using up energy or things that I might have by burning the candles so brightly at this instant because I believe I need to go after these moments, and I later, I'm not gonna have it. But I'm making that Campbell. I'm putting the card down right now. And I think that's. Defying. And I also think that he gave brilliant writing over one of the most remarkable spans in American history because of it. It's a weird tradition journalism, right? Destroy your body while creating your art. And I think there's a according to my friends who journalists there's a big problem without a role today. And there's a lot of people that are using it to right, and it's fucking speed. And you know, you get addicted Atarot makes everything in front of you closer. Have you done it? Yeah. I I was called, hyper a personal history of ADHD being Medicated as a child you Medicated jolly having pills for my throat like all sold you six when I took. We're Lynn for the for man. I had I had a suicidal moment. Like six years old. The first time you were six you wanna commit suicide held like a butter knife to my wrist. I don't remember. But yeah, I kind of remember it. But yeah. And it was on Ritalin, which I've taken now adult, and I always feel startled when I'm on it. If I ever take real now. I take it to write like this world is incredibly painful. So I take out a role now. And I take it too often take it every day take like thirty milligrams a day, really. And I take it to take it to go into a library. And this is what David Wells wells was talking about. I think like two days ago on the show is how do you read really shitty academic articles where you need the information from them? I'm not good at that. I'm not good at even making like a car reservation like a car rental reservation. And so this world's going to be painful. No matter what. But there's a functionality that all allows and it's always a wager. What Thompson writes about is? Whenever something is given something else has lost. You never get anything for free in this world Thompson understood that better than anybody. So with him with exit. I'm not gonna say Thompson was hyperactive. I'm not going to go into that. But Dexter dreamlike Geiger was like your your breaking down like your twenty six. You have a wife of a very small child. You're writing right now you want to have your career go forward. You're not doing. Well. He was like a doctor I had gone through med school at bid, I been overwhelmed. Like, you get ran every morning. You know, he did he did other things. But he he took decadence I gave it to Thompson in for that small period of time it helped I mean for me. It's like, I I I'm not a good researcher. And maybe I would be now. But the only way I can read about something like hundred Thompson where I didn't know him. I have no experience with him is to read everything that he's ever written or been written about him. And then go out and interview people and effort is my only path forward, and what Atarot helps for me is to take the pain away of that. But it doesn't take away it shifts it around to other aspects of the parts of life. And I think Thomson when he wrote he who makes peace of himself escapes, the pain or the pain of hand. We don't listen to that. Like, he was like this effort is hard is like I'm struggling with this effort. I'm trying to make these beautiful things. I was thinking James Salter fiction writer out spin. Resident rope beautiful novels. He wrote his whole life till he was ninety has lost novel was at eighty seven. He wrote a memoir at seventy six about being a fighter pilot among other things in the Korean war leering literary he did it his whole life. He didn't he didn't burn out for a small period of time. He's the anthem to Thomson. I think effort and literary work, right? D do you just take it for work? Yeah. I mean, you don't have like an issue that you need to take it for my. I mean, we're we. I think that will whenever we have something like chemical speed whenever we have something like alcohol whenever we have something that's not like marijuana or at least marijuana cuts your mania. You know, like whenever we have something else like alcohol or. At our we. Need asked question are. Is taking the pain away and being productive through those actually hastening you're on when I think alcohol is very clear is without a more complex. I think if you do an amount of time release, you can make it work. How many Americans do that out of the percent that are prescribed? You know, I don't know ten percent twenty percent. Like, it's dangerous often. You take time off. I'd say maybe one or two weeks of every three or four months. And when you do that, you feel weird nice watch movies. Just don't do anything. It doesn't. I don't have any productivity. I don't. I don't. So the only way you produces on speed anyway, produce the way I want to right now is on speed. I didn't taking it till two thousand ten to. It's crazy that we're talking about this because there's so many people like you. It's it's so calming how much of the work that we enjoy today, especially Leary work is written by people. Journalistic work is written by people that are on speed. That's not new. I mean, that's what Thompson and boroughs, and southern this has been I believe that our American society the situation I'm in. I have created a situation where I have too much work. And it's my fault. I should not be trying to be a professor and also reported communists, each and also George Mason in the creative writing program, you know, and also then be hosting like people coming out and also then like trying to research something that might be my next thing. That's too much in the way Thompson saw decks between was that. He could make reality matches effort. So there was no longer the limit. It was the American dream idea. Put enough effort, you'll get it. And that's why I think he's so brilliantly. Understood the toxicity of the. American dream is that the effort is what destroys you just because you have a path with the effort to be rich successful that doesn't mean. That's a good thing will actually dismantle you. Yeah. It's putting it out. And I think we forget that do you one of the things about hundred. That's really talks kidding is his sort of self destructive path becomes romantic when you read it, and you get involved in his work, and you kinda mimic, you know. It's a that's the greatest fallacy. I think I think what he was trying to say with self-destruction was that this was an incredible threat to our American. Marcy me, I mean, I mean his thing. His well. I mean, the rheumatic aspect of it was that his work was fantastic. I mean, it was still it wasn't. It was tastic till it wasn't. I mean. So I hear understood it was that he lived in with he spent much more time within the consequences of that pinging, then he did excess of the binging, right? And that I think he knew that it is letters. It's really beautiful in heartbreaking and in his writing to. I mean, I think that's what's been missed about him is there's no romanticism self destruction right towards the end. He definitely lost productivity and yawn. Werner talked about that. And the Alex Gibney documentary sticky fingers was a great the document other new book on the new book on winter has great moments. Thompson the seventies just being kinda lost. Yeah. You know? And I think I think we gotta remember that we haven't credible times in American history. We have times that are gonna burn brightly, and it's up to each rider decide how they like to burn next to it and burn. They may not have other times. And that's I think an American thing where you can wager that bright flame, which means you may have nothing left outwards. But Thompson knew that he may have to live in kind of afterlife want one Thompson writes about it, so beautifully strays. I tell myself there's some footage of him when he was writing for forget, what newspaper someone was it somewhere in the Pacific northwest. What what was your writing for who's the author of playing off the rail Google playing off the rail? There's a guy who was journalist. What year? Do you think? It was what David McCumber? Yes. David McCumber, David McCumber, employed hunter for a while. When David was I forget what public he was working for. But there's some footage of them community communicating together, you know, trying to get hundred San Francisco, San Francisco and hunters out of his fucking mind. I mean in it was younger you mean, he wasn't even that old. But he was just racked. He just couldn't communicate. He couldn't talk. And you know, he makes a beast of you escape the pain of articulation us game. The pain of saying this is what's wrong in American society for him to say the way he did one of his great essays is from nineteen sixty four by going to Hemingway's catch him, Idaho, grave and Hemingway's house, and it it's just because it talks about Hemingway was a good writer one of the best writers when he was writing about a period. He understood the nineteen forties thirties when there was a firmness to the reality. That he could articulate one of the writer schools is to give powder into chaos is to give tickets to cast. But what happens in the nineteen sixties? When the chaos is multiplying repeatedly. Somebody like Hemingway becomes a literal relic, like his narrative, no longer fits into the present that he's in and Thompson saw Hemingway's decline, and he wrote about having his suicide by me by his narrative doesn't fit Hemingway's idea of what America was and what a man should be fit perfectly with what I think the twenties to the. Forties when we experienced, but I think in the early nineteen sixties with our social upheaval of civil rights of, you know, political upheaval Hemingway, it was confusing to didn't it didn't fit anymore like his way of operating no longer articulated the presence, right? And so having his last act was to take away his ability to say anything at all. That was his only the last thing ever said was to say, I'm not gonna say anything anymore was the suicide that Hemingway committed wrote about that cordially. Yeah. When when young when he wanted killing himself, it was almost unsurprising, you know, when when I read that he had died. I remember going, man. Well, I guess yeah. You know, man. I mean, it's like you knew that he was deteriorating rapidly. You knew that he had really bad hips. Hit had hip replacement surgery the row leg. Yeah. Ralph Steadman drawn this very crazy. Image of him with the artificial hip, and it looked like pain. You know, I mean, but I think that it's not my place to even deal with that. Because one Thompson's book writes about that moment where one was in the house, and that's that's that's his in one writes shoot about the stakes of it. How painful it was to the people that loved him corn everything about it. And how that even if that's a logical outcome. That's not. No. So it's interesting. I would say read stories I tell myself that moments. So honestly and brilliantly written by one. No, I'm sure but ball all I was getting out is that at the time of his death. You know, he was in to sort of. He was deteriorating so badly. He was wearing diapers. His his entire his alcoholism has ability controls body was gone. And so one give this wonderful speech charge may somebody came out. And he's like, how do you write honestly about your father? And he asked the question like should I include this detail, and he's like my father was alive. I couldn't include that. But that's why chose in assessor at my book where my father has said because I think my father would want me to write honestly. But also not want me to clue that if he was still alive, and so included that detail, and he talked about that the struggle to include that detail, which I think brilliantly articulates what you're saying, which is the deterioration in the sadness of it. And I mean, we have finite amounts of energy or effort. We really do we have to take care of ourselves. And if we don't we will pay that price at some point, we're gonna pay it anyway, so we're all headed to the same place. Whether we want to or not, you know, and so many hundreds of pre terrifying. Beautiful example of one wager of chips. That were made for that nineteen sixties and nineteen seventies. And I think the best way to honor that is to apply the brilliance that he forged and carved to the situation we have right now with corruption Donald Trump of an attack on American democracy, where American democracy is basically it's like what early on says democracies a train and we arrive at the station get off like they've busily used the ladder to get the attic. Now, Trump's pulling the ladder. I think com- someone understand that really really. Well, I think reading him now, whether you know him or not helps you, and that's why I wrote free kingdom was so that it can be a lens on his his work going back or just on this president right now guardless Trump. I think what he really represents a brilliant historical time capsule. And he he sort of captures that time period that upheaval pre internet where the world was in chaos. Like, no one else. He he he encapsulated this very strange moment in history, which I don't think is nearly as str-. As the more going through right now. I think this is probably the most train moment ever. But he he nailed it. Any nailed it in a very very unique way that still today. I mean to oh that was another thing. When asked you about what why did him in Tom Wolfe? Like, Tom Wolfe? Got some of his tapes from some of the the Honda the house angels pal saying just parties and some crazy orgy that was going on. And he gave the tapes to this. What was all that about? So when Tom was covering the Hells Angels. They believed the article chart the left in the nineteen sixty sixty five sixty six we're talking about kinky. We're talking about the antiwar movement, the free speech Maria Savia, they believe the Hells Angels on their side were fellow counterculture list's at are also outside of the ball game. And so key and Thompson were having a drink after being on the cake or like, some local TV show in San Francisco and Ken Keyes background is. He was a wrestler Oregon grew up on a dairy farm. He come down to Stanford to write for what is now the stinger fellowship. But back then was the graduate program Stanford. He had moved up to Luanda on the success of his first book one flew over the cuckoo's nest, and it just written another beautiful book on. And so Tom was like, yeah. Writing about the Hell's Angels key was like yell or I'd like to meet them. Thompson was like, okay. And so Tom CIN knew how dangerous those angels where where I think people either romanticize them or exaggerated their danger. Okay. I'll set them up and he contacted the chapter with key. So on August, seventh. I think of nineteen sixty five like Hells Angels came to the Honda Allen Ginsberg was there with Keesey Alpert. Was there, you know, who that like all all the Stanford intellectuals were there, and they made a huge banner that says the Mary prankster's welcomed the Hells Angels. And Thompson ruled up with this isn't this isn't the Guinea documentary Thompson rolled up with his family was child. Baby in the backseat sandy was in the front seat. And he pulled up in what Thompson saw was can ki- giving acid in red cups, like read K cups to the hells. Angels comes was like, well, we're getting the fuck out of here. And so he grabs his wife and his son. They go to San Clemente. Which is on the other side, they have a big picnic and on the way back. They're like, well, let's just check it out. Let's see what it's like, and it kinda pull in he's driving this old like roadster they pull in and everybody's watching on a giant trampoline screen like the five hour stream of consciousness footage from the merry pranksters trip across the cross the US which is what Tom afford about. And comes like, all right. They're not elites other skulls like we can hang out a little bit. So they hung out. And it was interesting. How ousted pacify the angels instead of may the violent, and that's what as you know. Of course. That's what else it is. But they spent the night hanging out there Thompson was writing. So he's like, I'm not going to do drugs. He's like, I'll have a few drinks. He's taking notes for his his book later on the night him and Allen Ginsberg. And this is. Cut out of the book or like, let's go get some beer. It's the cops are sticking out the property and Ginsburg and Thomson get pulled over by the cops Thompson sober. He's talking to the cops. He gets a ticket because his red lens for his back on tail light is cracked and he's like come on. That's Turner bucks. I can't journalist the cops are like why are you writing about them? And they're talking about people being taken away to jail and gives Burgos wasn't. What's what's in Redwood City man Tump goes, it's called a jail Allen. And like goes back to talking to the cops and all of this and Thomas friends with Kuenssberg. And so they go back into the party. Thompson realizes that Neal. Cassidy is blackout drown who has Demori on the road by jerick. That's the character on how it was based his two or three girlfriends one of them is having an orgy with the Hells Angels at this cabin off to the side and Thomas, he's it. And he describes it in two ways when he writes about it, but he did audience. So he did audio notes of step by step and he described us like just horrific where she's barely awake. Like, she's she's catatonic, and they bring in, you know, Cassidy to hope with two it's horrific and here relates horror. I had a friend who's a feminist writer lace who's dear to me. She's like you read about fucking white guy, like whatever she's like, he did most of it. Right. She's like excused Thompson that moment. You should just let it stand and write about it in the book instead of try to talk about how upset he was saying it was really upset. So why did she sit up, but doesn't make sense because I think she thought that I was making. The experience less authentic by trying to qualify for current times. But why would that be the case when you were just explain explain why should just Thompson? No, I think I should let him stand more instead of showing or amplifying his emotion too much, but you saying this based on her criticism personal opinion. No, I think that he was really upset. But I think him being really upset a secondary to whatever she was experiencing. Right. But you're writing about him. Yes. So I stand by like I thought about that what I wrote it. Yeah. Stand by it. But it was what is her criticism again that by amplifying his upset nece by showing how set he was. That's too much excuse for him. Just right it we're think he should've done stepped in. Don't know nothing like that. She was on point. She thought I shouldn't. She felt the effort on my part to try to explain his upset nece instead of just having him be upset with one sentence. And then go on she thought it was overwriting thought it was a fair criticism over wrote it, but long story short Thompson goes back, and he goes the key. And he goes, this is one of the worst thing I've ever seen this is in the documentary. But if that's the case why. Why would it be that you were over writing? It doesn't seem like you're overrode. It. I always worry. I'm over reading one of my great, one of my great fear. If someone see something like that. I think it's important that you accurately rela- the emotions and they experience when they're watching a horrific event. I mean, he did describe it as horrific, but how much of it is my cultural perception of this moment that I'm giving too much Thompson, and how much of it was what he accurately experienced, but he's talked about. So I think just giving his words instead of saying a little bit, you know, going. Yeah. And so he goes back, and he on his notes that night is not gave Ken Kanki. I'm sorry. These are the Tom Tom says gave him the recordings. No. I don't think there are actual boardings. No, I don't I think that is Tom Wolfe said, no, that's what one of the documentaries said, Tom Wolfe said he gave me the the notes of it. So the notes of what happened and Tom Wolfe? I know those notes are use those notes okay to recreate that scene in electrically test. And so this is why we talk about truth later in life. Thompson somebody Griffey's said that he actually recorded the event he didn't he went back, and he took these long audio notes of shadow and light and the horde that he saw that's what I'm saying. He took the audio knows the recording. He made the recording. Yes. Yes. And then those Tom off and Thomas exactly, but some people have said that he put the tape recorder in. No, no, not what I meant. I meant he gave him the recordings and I was ever beauty. I mean, they're terrifying. But it's about like violence and shadow and light and. And horror. You know? It's a horrific. It's a horrific scene that says Thompsons brilliance at that age. He couldn't an audio note. Get the fucking images and details that he needs to express the the nature of that instant. And so Tom Wolfe use those to create it himself. Put Thomson recreated it to or wrote about it in Hells Angels. Yeah. But in more distant way than wolf did which is crazy because he was actually there. It's fucking crazy, dude. Now is the first time Thompson ever took acid because he was so upset he went to key. And he's like fuck it. I'm not a journalist anymore. That's so horrific. What I saw fuck it. I had friends that are told him that he's personality where if he did acid to go to the bottom of the well for him, you know, this would be a really horrific thing. And so he's like, I don't care anymore. And instead he just walked around. And like was that piece? It's always funny when someone tells you how you're gonna drug relax, right? You're going to react to it. How you're gonna react to it. What was it like for you? When you finally finish this when you when you put the last page down and new you were done. I know that you like me share. We have an aberration for this guy. That's a Emmys one of my for sure personal heroes. I mean, the last Giro was one of the most people Thompsons Thompson writes, something he didn't actually see was with Nixon's helicopter sought on on TV left the White House lawn. What happens is that giant helicopter with the white top and the blue it's wheels lose their pressure. So the wheels are flattened at the bottom. And as the rotors begin to bring it up, they become a long wheels, still touched the ground. Thompson wrote that image. I've always loved that image. So I was writing that in a sense when I was at CPAC in twenty eighteen last year, and I was walking out just after I wrote that and Pence's helicopter was. On the lawn was lifting off, and I saw the wheels along gay just like that. And I had so much respect for Thompsons ability as we talk about fiction as a narrative writer detail that instant, you know, into detail the way that along gated went to have that be the emotion of Nixon finally departing. And so I felt I felt I give it hard there. Many pitches. Could I threw for as long as I can, you know, and I hope that everybody knows it's my version of Thomson, and then it's version of Thomson written through the lens of Donald Trump. But hopefully that it's through the effort and through the detail of version that might bring more people to Thompson while also at the same time for Thomson fans, you know, being something that they can respect. Engage beautiful. Well, thank you for writing. It. Thank you for just highlighting who the guy was and thanks for all your work, man. I appreciate it. Thanks for being a good fan for his to you that you're beautiful poster. We didn't even talk about it, the Aspen wall poster that you have right here is just so gorgeous got hundred shit all over the place. It's fantastic. It's it's good. Yeah. No, I'm I'm diehard for sure. Thank you, brother. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thanks doing this tell everybody the book where to get it. Get it free kingdom hundred Thompsons year macrolide against American fascism. It's available everywhere on Amazon Tim heavy on Twitter. And you should check out the guns voice Twitter shag, which has Thompson quotes all the time. Which is great. And you know, a great guy on Instagram to there's a couple of jacks Rx Konso and the jock low. He's another guy who's got a bunch of Grenada Thompson, desperate job on Facebook. And you know, if you are interested Thompson, you don't know him. I hope you read free kingdom and not to lens on his work to organize. And if you love Thomson hope re freaking them too because that's a way to get him again. Beautiful. Thank you everybody. Joe? Thank you, everyone for tune into the show and thank you to our sponsors. Thank you to stamps dot com. You can access all the amazing services of the US postal service right from your own computer. Whether it's a small office sending invoices and online sellers shipping out products. Or even a warehouse, sending thousands of packages a day stamps dot com. Got you covered. And right now listeners this podcast and get a special offer that includes a four week trial, plus postage free postage and digital scale without any long term commitment. 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