In Search of the Gonzo Godfather’s Secret Underground Lair


Greetings and salutations* film nerds from 200 feet below the grassy, peacock-laden Aspen, Colorado compound of the late, great mad GZA himself Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. What the hell’s a swanky SF urbanite like the Maestro doing spelunking down a dead man’s godforsaken wishing well after dark? If you Nosy Parkers must know, I’m dangling from a climbing rope (sporting an E.R.I. headlamp) and gripping a treasure map written on the back of an Allman Brothers album all for a good cause man …

I’m not trippin, I’m on a straight Geraldo Rivera (Al Capone’s tomb-like) quest to uncover the legendary Subterranean Gonzo Library. I grew a Geraldo mustache and bought a pith helmet and everything; I mean this is one juicy story. If you believe the Boulder Daily Camera and I do, Hunter and members of an esoteric tribe called the Gonzorians—which included mysterious literary figures like J.D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, Carlos Castaneda and Gonzo the Great from the Muppet Show—built the lair back in 1965 in order to stash their gonzoest work for eternity in an underground time capsule. What a bunch of wankers.

“I Feel The Same Way About Disco As I Do About Herpes” - HST

Colorado legend says HST kept the secret tomb under tight lock and key, guarding it with his life and filling many a hippie with buckshots who came looking for the esoteric goldmine. Which brings me to my dilemma.  I seem to have gotten myself lodged in the secret entrance like a salted pretzel in a fat man’s mouth … Can somebody help a brother out? Anyone? Shits.

This map I bought on eBay said the Library was totally down here, what a waste of 10 bucks. I’m starting to get a little throaty, like a sardine. I think I’m going to lose it, I’m claustrophobic. Game over film nerds, game over!  I’m so screwed, woe is me! Woe is me!! Not to alarm concerned readers, but blood circulation in MRF’s all important “crotchal region” is starting to pinch up … this don’t look good for your favorite cinematic swashbuckler … and for the record, I see no Library down here. The Daily Camera can go straight to hell … Mommy!

Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

And now for today’s post: seeing as I’m running out of oxygen and my headlamp is losing candle power (fast), let’s keep it short this week shall we?  I need to save precious oxygen for prayer …

All you above ground SF film lovers into the Godfather of Gonzo should check out Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney’s (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Men in the Room) latest documentary on my favorite literary madman: Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. The picture closes the San Francisco International Film Festival this Thursday, May 8, at the Castro. If you can snag a ticket, I suggest you get there. Trust me, I haven’t seen it yet but if I can get out of my spelunker’s dilemma, Poppa H will be totally on hand signing autographs and soaking in the gonzo film love. I said if.

Bottom line: who doesn’t want to spend a few hours with a gun-loving, coke-snorting, whiskey-swilling, acid-eating, soft-spoken Southern gentleman? Sounds like another member of the Hooker family to me … Oh, gasp, I’ve got to cut out, oxygen … running low … head lamp fading to black. One final note on the great beyond from the Great Gonzo then I’ll say goodnight my sweets.

Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe
this is all pure gibberish—a product
of the demented imagination of a lazy
drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate
who has found a way to live out where
the real winds blow—to sleep late,
have fun, get wild, drink whisky,
and drive fast on empty streets
with nothing in mind except
falling in love and not getting arrested . . .
Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll. - HST

You said it ghost of Hunter S. Thompson! I hope this (still breathing) mold-breaking weirdo somehow serves as inspiration to at least a few of you cubicle monkeys out there in corporate America. Remember, while tyranny may be at our front door, it hasn’t gotten into the house and eaten the cat … yet. Hey, I think I see a peacock up there, dude, give me a hand!! Wait! Feathers … don’t fail me now! Until next week stay whacked world, this is MRF signing off, be bad and get into trouble baby …*

Volume 63 Footnotes
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder. 
•     “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) breaks it down to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins

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