'Call on God, but row away from the rocks'
Author Hunter S. Thompson would have been 70 years old today. Though I'm sure friends will toast the event in his beloved Woody Creek, Colorado, they'll do so without their ring leader. Thompson took his own life Feb. 20, 2005.
And though he's not exclusively an 80s figure, his influence over the decade was formidable. His best piece of literary work during the time was "The Curse of Lono," featuring the brilliant illustrations of his friend Ralph Steadman. The movie loosely based on his early life -- "Where the Buffalo Roam" with Bill Murray playing Thompson -- also was released in 1980.
He's my favorite author and one of the reasons I pursued in career in journalism, something I'm sure he'd take no pride in knowing. He always claimed to love the craft of writing but despised the profession of journalism. "Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism," Thompson once said.
Here are some more of my favorite HST quotes:
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks."
"I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes."
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
"Politics is the art of controlling your environment."
"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up."
"You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands."