Arts & Entertainment

Best Drug-Crazed Rant 

Hunter S. Thompson's Plea for Speed

"Jann -- I will definitely need speed to get the campaign book done properly & on time," scrawled Hunter S. Thompson as he frantically compiled Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, a hysterics-and-slander-filled chronicle of peacenik George McGovern's doomed fight to get Richard Nixon out of the White House. When the counterculture's dream of transforming America died in the early 1970s, Hunter S., a drug-addled idealist turned cynic, raged against the dying of the light like no one else. And he, more than any musician, is the star of the Rock Hall exhibit of memorabilia from Rolling Stone magazine's files. Arrayed together in the glass case are the galley proofs for the first pages of his masterpiece Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (listing the dizzying array of drugs he bought for a road trip), Editor Jann Wenner's warning about Thompson's flagrant disregard of deadlines, and Thompson's letter pleading with Wenner to send him a load of speed with a bill and never mind the wisdom of it. They all prove that Thompson's tales of self-induced psychosis were no pose, but testaments to the self-abuse that fueled his writing. And they explain why he's since burned out and retreated to his mountain cabin.



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