On Bitch Magazine’s Response to Joan’s Death
Mar31

On Bitch Magazine’s Response to Joan’s Death

One of our readers, Devin Fahey, recently posted a link to the Beatdom FB page. The link was to a provocatively titled article in Bitch magazine, “A Great Artist Kills His Wife—Now She’s Just a Quirky Footnote in His History.” The article itself is partly a response to reviews of Barry Miles’ excellent biography, Call Me Burroughs – a much-needed update on the life and times of one of America’s most...

Read More
Beatdom #7 on Kindle
Mar03

Beatdom #7 on Kindle

One of our most successful issues of Beatdom was the 7th, released way back in 2010. This was the music-themed issue, and contained some wonderful essays about the influence of music on the Beats, and the influence of the Beats on music. (You can read more in our archives.) Beatdom #7 has long been out of print, but fear not – it’s back to life on Kindle! That’s right, since Beatdom #10 we have been using Kindle to...

Read More
Fact & Fiction on the Campaign Trail: The Politics of Hunter S Thompson
Jan22

Fact & Fiction on the Campaign Trail: The Politics of Hunter S Thompson

I might not get the date right once in a while. I try to be more accurate than other journalists, which is not that difficult. You have to distinguish between what happened and what the situation was. You can’t be objective when you’re dealing with passionate situations, politics and so forth. I guess you can, I never have. For instance if you were objective about Richard Nixon, you would never get him or understand him. You had to be...

Read More
The Rum Diary and the Youth of Hunter S. Thompson
Dec07

The Rum Diary and the Youth of Hunter S. Thompson

One mustn’t forget, in looking at the works of Hunter S Thompson, to go back and visit his first book, which was ‘lost’ for decades until its eventual publication in 1998. This is different from Thompson’s other books in that it was a genuine attempt at a novel, with a plot and stories that didn’t necessarily happen to the author in real life, but were merely inspired by his surroundings. The book predates Gonzo and Thompson’s...

Read More
Fact and Fiction in Fear and Loathing
Oct27

Fact and Fiction in Fear and Loathing

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream is now generally considered a work of fiction. It is the work for which Hunter S Thompson is best known, for which he receives the greatest praise and parody, and about which the most debate exists. It’s the book that inspired a generation of wannabe Gonzo writers, sent idiots armed with quotations to hassle Thompson wherever he went, and made the...

Read More
Strange Rumblings on the Way to Las Vegas
Oct10

Strange Rumblings on the Way to Las Vegas

Ruben Salazar was killed by a police officer on August 29, 1970. The journalist was killed in unusual circumstances on the day of the National Chicano Moratorium march and rally against the Vietnam War, and soon became somewhat of a martyr for the repressed community. Hunter Thompson covered the story for Rolling Stone, in the article, ‘Strange Rumblings in Aztlan’. This article is the first real introduction of Oscar Zeta Acosta, and...

Read More
The Kentucky Derby: Decadent and Depraved?
Sep26

The Kentucky Derby: Decadent and Depraved?

  *This is the 2nd in a series of columns by Beatdom editor, David S. Wills, about the role of truth in the work of Hunter S. Thompson. To read the first, click here.    With the success of Hell’s Angels, Thompson moved on to his first true work of Gonzo, ‘The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved’. The problem with Gonzo, and with Thompson’s liberal use of both fact and fiction, is that it is extremely difficult to get to...

Read More
Hell’s Angels: The Precursor of Gonzo
Sep15

Hell’s Angels: The Precursor of Gonzo

*The following is the first in a series of columns by Beatdom editor, David S. Wills, concerning the mix of fact and fiction in the work of Hunter S. Thompson.  Hunter S Thompson began writing at a young age, imitating his heroes and honing his own style. He worked as a journalist, got in trouble, travelled the world, got fired, made friends, made enemies, failed at writing novels, and then wrote Hell’s Angels: The Strange and...

Read More