I am a fan of Hunter S. Thompson‘s gonzo journalism. The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved by Hunter S. Thompson’s first appeared in Scanlan’s Monthly in June, 1970. It is considered by many to be Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism début (but one could argue that The Rum Diary (1961), which thankfully Johnny Depp resurrected for us on the screen was the origin of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism).
The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved brought us the first collaboration of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman, solidifying the foundation between the gonzo journalist and the crazed illustrations that forever captured our visual imaginations.
I came across a recent audio work project, The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved produced by Hal Willner, featuring the talents of Bill Frisell, Tim Robbins, Dr. John, singer Annie Ross and Ralph Steadman. This was due to a splendid article by Geoffrey Himes about Bill Frisell, Fear and Composing in the August issue of JazzTimes.
Bill Frisell is a brilliant creative/artistic musician who is always working on multiple project initiatives. He composed a well-articulated soundtrack for the backdrop of this inventive work. He draws us in with his sonic leanings keeping us ever focused on the unfolding narrative.
Tim Robbins performs a very skilful reading as Hunter S. Thompson. He has Hunter’s voice, intonation and controlled zaniness down pat.
Set aside some quality time and give The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved a listen on Spotify.
- Johnny Depp and The Rum Diary (continuumliterarystudies.typepad.com)