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Boulder, Hunter S. Thompson and the Manic Motorcycle Gang: The Hell’s Angels!

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is known as a renowned genius writer who brought us Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Hells Angels, Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail, Rum Diary,  and so many more. His ties to Boulder cover decades and are deep.  The father of Gonzo Journalism,  Thompson lived in Boulder for some time, particularly in the early 1960s. He rented a house in the town of Woody Creek, near Aspen, but frequently spent time in Boulder. His time in Colorado was formative, heavily influencing his writing.

In the 1960s, Thompson received a fellowship to attend the prestigious writing program at the University of Colorado Boulder. I love it that the Gonzo Journalist himself was a Buff, shaped in part by UC.

The Gonzo Doctor’s  decision to move to Woody Creek, 8 miles North-West of Glenwood Springs, is Gonzo thinking at its best!

Hunter Being Played By Johnny Depp In Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Hunter wrote Hells Angels in 1966. The Angels hated it. The motorcycle maniacs were so outraged by the book that they savagely beat him. Then they dragged him behind a motorcycle. Hunter knew it was time to get out of town.

Why embed himself with the famously outrageous and dangerous Hell’s Angels, the most feared of the biker gangs? It is best explained by his epitaph: “It Never Got Too Weird For Me”

Hunter’s logic in choosing Woody Creek for his escape from the Angels was simple and pure Gonzo thinking.  “Because Hell’s Angels can’t live at altitude!” The true measure of his insane sanity is the success of his strategy!  The Angels stayed away.

The moral is: Write one of the world’s great books and then move to Boulder and Aspen. Hunter lived out the rest of his famously productive life at Owl Farm in Woody Creek.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

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