“My epiphany came in the weeks after the Kentucky Derby fiasco. I’d gone down to Louisville on assignment for Warren Hinkle’s Scanlan’s. A freak from England named Ralph Steadman was there—first time I met him—doing drawings for my story. The lead story. Most depressing days of my life. I’d lie in my tub at the Royalton. I thought I had failed completely as a journalist. I thought it was probably the end of my career. Steadman’s drawings were in place. All I could think of was the white space where my text was supposed to be. Finally, in desperation and embarrassment, I began to rip the pages out of my notebook and give them to a copyboy to take to a fax machine down the street. When I left I was a broken man, failed totally, and convinced I’d be exposed when the stuff came out. It was just a question of when the hammer would fall. I’d had my big chance and I had blown it … [and then] This wave of praise. This is wonderful … pure gonzo.” —Hunter S. Thompson
Woodcut print by Loren Kantor.

“My epiphany came in the weeks after the Kentucky Derby fiasco. I’d gone down to Louisville on assignment for Warren Hinkle’s Scanlan’s. A freak from England named Ralph Steadman was there—first time I met him—doing drawings for my story. The lead story. Most depressing days of my life. I’d lie in my tub at the Royalton. I thought I had failed completely as a journalist. I thought it was probably the end of my career. Steadman’s drawings were in place. All I could think of was the white space where my text was supposed to be. Finally, in desperation and embarrassment, I began to rip the pages out of my notebook and give them to a copyboy to take to a fax machine down the street. When I left I was a broken man, failed totally, and convinced I’d be exposed when the stuff came out. It was just a question of when the hammer would fall. I’d had my big chance and I had blown it … [and then] This wave of praise. This is wonderful … pure gonzo.” —Hunter S. Thompson

Woodcut print by Loren Kantor.

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    It’s been far too long since I read The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.
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