Thursday, August 14, 2014

AntiCurrent Archive Vol 9: Hunter S Thompson- Lecture at Boulder University, 1977

This is the ninth edition of the " Archives", a collection of rare albums I'm releasing through this blog.  Click here to view all past Archive Albums.

WTBR One Sheet
Hunter S Thompson man, that crazy creature of a beautiful human being was in my opinion, the last great literary hero that this country has seen. Last week I was watching the bastardization "Where The Buffalo Roam" in which Bill Murray does his best to save a horribly scripted HST film. During it, my friend walked in and asked me "Why did people care about Hunter S Thompson?"

Well, I was so dumbstruck by the question (and quite possibly drunk) that my answer came out in short, disconnected doses. Afterall, the meat of this man's career took place over several decades in which he managed to cover everything from riding with the Hell's Angel's to traveling as press in the '72 election. He blew apart the up-its-ass notion of Timothy Leary's teachings of ingesting drugs and siting on a Persian rug by vividly describing the reality that some really horrible shit occasionally happens on drugs. But the man wasn't just some drug addled guru-product belonging to the 60's/70's, this was a man who was an instrumental part in getting Jimmy Carter elected President. Even at the end of his career he managed to write a piece that absolutely nailed the 9-11 situation in regards to what had, and what was going to happen... as the information was unfolding no less.

The Good Dr.
But I suppose what I admire most about the man is that he helped reinvent the written news format by being one of the originators of the "New Journalism" movement. "New Journalism" is where you actually write about your active part in the story. He wrote the trilogy of classics "Hells Angels", "Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas", and Fear and Loathing On The Campaign Trail" NOT about the subjects solely themselves, but about his interaction with them. Covering a subject with the notion of so-called "Objective Journalism" is an impossible task to attempt as the author will always put their bias all over the wording and portrayal of the information. Thompson knew this and made it a point to never attempt to sway his readers with such an archaic, bullshit delivery system. When you read his words, you knew that you were getting his direct interpretation of the facts as he saw them, making him more honest and real than any of his peers.

Speaking on stage
Regardless, you are not here to be lectured on the merits of Hunter S Thompson. Or perhaps you don't know much about the man other than he was legendarily wild and occasionally bordering on insane. If that is the case, go watch Alex Gibney's "Gonzo", Wayne Ewing's "Breakfast With Hunter Pt.1 & 2" and even Tom Thurman's "Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride". Those will do a much better job describing who he was and what his accomplishments were.

Front Cover
For much of his career, Thompson would tour around college campuses during his freetime to give "lectures" to schools. Now, those that know will tell you he was quick to accept their invitation and money, but horrible for showing up on time. This got worse in his later years as it got progressively harder for him to travel on plane with the drugs that were so necessary for his day to day functionality (or lack thereof). This was occasionally remedied by the borrowing of his friends private planes, but if you were at one of these shows, you were among he few graced with luck and timing . During these "lectures" Thompson would show up and field questions ranging from the brilliant to the insane. The genius of these discussions is that whether it was an on topic question about politics or some lunatic talking about alien-abduction, you were liable to get a similarly hilarious and genius answer.

There are not many recordings of these shows, but this bootleg, if not the best known example, is at
minimum the best sounding example known to exist. After years of hunting, I came across a lossless capture of the reel to reel tape from the soundboard that had been ripped to FLAC (See more about the audio codec in my other blog here) and I in turn compressed it down into the highest quality MP3 for ease of download. If anyone would like the original FLAC files, be sure to hit me up via my website.

Back Cover
The year was 1977 and Colorado University booked Hunter to come and give a lecture. He of course, showed up late, but that did little more than stir the crowd into a frenzy. Thankfully, some amazing human had the forethought to not only document the night from the soundboard, but to put it out into circulation for the rest of us. The night was a spectrum of everything from hot-button political conversation, to comparing the disco movement to venereal disease. Anything and everything was game.

This bootleg is a great insight into the public persona of one of the greatest modern writers of our time. If you enjoy this, I encourage you as always to not stop here. Go buy his books, go watch the movies, and go see the documentaries about him. Hell, if you can't get enough of the good Dr's vocalizations, there was an amazing 4CD boxset released a few years ago titled "The Gonzo Tapes". In it you can actually listen to his recorded notes that he used to tape for his later research when writing.

Download The Entire Album and Cover Art Here:
MP3 Zip Archive

The Tracklist:
01 Intro, American Dream, Tex Coalson 06:56
02 Nixon and Football, Vietnam Books 04:33
03 Tom Wolfe 03:19
04 Trudeau, Running For Office 05:48
05 Rockefeller, Tri-Lateral Commission 05:58
06 Rush, Eldridge Cleever 04:21
07 VD, Disco & Rolling Stone 05:50
08 World Series, MK - Ultra 03:57
09 Kesey, Canada 04:10
10 Evil As Nixon?, Uganda, Degeneracy 05:32
11 Steadman, Gonzo 04:20
12 More Kesey, Avoiding Jail 02:36
13 Silver Platter, The Slide 03:55
14 Carter Argument 02:34
15 Drug Question, Drunk And Loud 04:42
16 Three Wishes, Fascist 05:21
17 Grateful Dead 00:42