A revitalized version of the L.A. Free Press? Uh, Art Kunkin says so. You remember him, founding publisher-editor of the old Free Press back in the day? Kunkin, right, wants to re-connect with all these folks (scroll down) — they’re mostly famous and mostly from the ’60s — for celebrity testimonials. Sounds to us like the old counterculture redux, not revitalized, while there’s a new counterculture shaping up in Crawford, Texas.
Meantime, Gig LeCarp won’t be attending tomorrow’s $2-million fireworks memorial for Hunter S. Thompson, where the late writer’s bagged-up ashes will be shot 300 feet into the air from a red Fiberglass “fist” canon. “Not that I begrudge the good Doctor his booming sayonara,” LeCarp writes in a faux memo to Jann Wenner, adding:
Whatever private anguish or defective pharmaceutical prompted him to cash in his chips, at 67 and in failing health — well, no player can tell another when it’s time to quit the table. And if his loved ones want to tamp his ashes into a howitzer and blast them across the bar at the Jerome, that’s their business.
But to join the pack of media hyenas slavering at the gates…all those gizmo-saddled, gonzo-worshiping curs…swilling Wild Turkey, snorting ether, waving cigarette holders and craning their wattled necks for a glimpse of Johnny Depp [who’s paying for the farewell party] …sorry, but I’ll pass. The plan to erect a giant fist clutching a peyote button is a nice touch, but it’s a bit anachronistic; these days what matters is who’s doing the fisting.
Feature this, Mr. Wenner: This depraved cult of press jackanapery is what took the punch out of gonzo a long time ago. Hunter was our tragic clown, but he used to be much more than that, before the bitch
Celebrity got him. We should be celebrating the seat-of-the-pants outlaw who savaged despots and wrote like Fitzgerald on liquid nitrogen, not guzzling Cristal with the rest of the press corps in Aspen — a nest of rabid greedheads that would have been renamed Fat City if the Doctor had won the sheriff’s race back in 1970.