Back to Insom04' On-Line! Home Page.

Anita Thompson on Jann Wenner and Corey Seymour's book

"The Life of Hunter S.Thompson - Gonzo"

The Life of Hunter S. Thompson: An Oral Biography by Jann Wenner and Corey Seymour.

From Anita Thompson:

Reading the LA Times review of Jann Wenner's book made me realize I need to communicate in more specific terms. The reviewer was too sloppy to understand that Jann never forgave Hunter for leaving Rolling Stone. Jann convinced nearly all of Hunter's friends to participate in what would be a "positive" book about Hunter. Then, using a cheap parlor trick, Jann excerpted and paraphrased the negative bits of interviews to weave a tall tale to trash Hunter.

Hunter wrote more in the last 5 years of his life than he had in the previous 15, along with fighting and winning a beautiful legal battle for Lisl Auman. Hunter believed in the triumph of the human spirit. John Nichols from the Nation has said, and I agree, that some of Hunter's most savage and inspiring political writing, was in his ESPN columns during the last years of his life.

Yes, they were short, insightful and funny. He inspired thousands of sports lovers to get involved with politics.


What the L.A. Times reviewer fails to notice is that in addition to Hunter "using" people around him, the truth is that Hunter was surrounded,much of his life, by leeches (many of those leeches grace the pages of the book). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that many people did TAKE, TAKE, TAKE from Hunter and gave very little in return. While sitting at his typewriter, Hunter helped many people, especially Jann, make a lot of money.

Today is no exception.

Here is the letter that I wrote to Jann in May, after receiving the manuscript. I had to tell him the book was a FRAUD, and that I would not write a forward or include an interview -- which was SCARY, because I felt very much alone. Despite his withering status, Jann is considered "rich and powerful," and I was warned by friends that he would go after me if I refused to be in the book. Jann offered me a lot of money and ad space in his magazine to include my interview and forward, and implied threats if I didn't. In the end, however, the best people to defend Hunter are his readers.


In my refrigerator I have a jar of mayonnaise, two tangerines, 1/2 carton of soy milk and a few boxes of dried spaghetti. And I also have an overdrawn bank account, $43 in my wallet, and no car. So, I really, REALLY could use that money! But I need to let you know that I'm sticking with my original decision I made many months ago - that I can not be a part of [your book] in any shape or form. I hope you understand. If readers believe that the bits and pieces of interviews you weaved together tell an accurate story, there is nothing I could possibly write in a 500 word forward to sway them.

Defending him in a forward would be futile. So, I'm out. And yes, let's part ways.

Rolling Stone [and especially US Weekly] is such a huge success financially... You have accumulated a mass amount of power and wealth over the last 40 years -- Why do you have to use it against Hunter? It would have been so beautiful if you would have used that power to compile, into a book, a bunch of humiliating personal interviews about someone like Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rice, or Rumsfeld or Armitage or even Bush.

Why Hunter? You walked around at both memorial services in a constant state of tears and made people trust you to sit down and do interviews with Corey. I know you and Hunter had some problems over the years... [but] I don't understand the level of venom employed here.


You couldn't deny the fact that yes, as soon as he left Rolling Stone, you portray him as an awful beast of a man. But you also couldn't deny the fact that all these people loved him dearly "all the way to the end". The reason peopled loved him is because he is one of the rare human beings who is essentially decent, with moments of rotten behavior.

I wish I could appeal to your sense of decency and that you would burn this awful manuscript. It would be the right thing to do. I realize you're probably laughing at me to even suggest it.

Oh Well.

Hunter cookin' in the kitchen.

One of my first nights working with Hunter on a project here in the kitchen was in 1999 on the second letters book. I wrote about it in one of the essay portions of my 3 hour Columbia entrance exam. On this night, there were several letters to [and from] you up for consideration...Many people lobbied to include those nasty ones. Hunter humored them for a while. But he wouldn't run them in the end.

THAT is why "people loved Hunter all the way to the end." Because no matter how vicious he could be, he was essentially decent in a huge way. And when he did attack people, it was only those who were in a position to defend

Anyway, I know I've pissed you off and it's probably not the best strategy for me to make an enemy of you. But I love Hunter, and hate to see his friend bash him to pieces... and hope to god that you just go with your heart and reconsider this whole project. If you want to publish embarrassing
interviews about me, so be it. I've learned to deflect cheap shots. Just lay off Hunter, he's dead. Won't you???

Regardless, I wish you some peace and forgiveness in your life.



(May 23, 2007)

p.s. for those of you worried about Johnny Depp, although I haven't spoken to him in a long time, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he just trusted Wenner, like everybody else when he allowed the reprint of his "forward." regarding "oral biography" about Hunter S. Thompson.

Hunter and Anita Thompson



- News, New & Of Note!  - Click Here for the latest happenings from our friends and family in the Poetry, Music and Art World! -

On Sunday, December 11th 'Ode to the Sidewalks of New York Jazz & Poetry Reading' will happen once again hosted by legendary musician, composer, author David Amram & his Trio at the Bowery Poetry Club. - Click Here For More Info! - ALSO View Pix and Clips from May's Ode Celebration!

Pix, Clips and Page from kindred Keepers of The Flame! Join us in celebrating the LifeArtSpirit of Allen Ginsberg! Click Here to Enter!

Read Ron and Sarah Whitehead's experience at Hunter S. Thompson's Send-Off at Woody Creek - Click Here to Read!

Astrologick At Insomniacathon! - is a weekly astrological report by Gary Paul Glynn that offers intelligent people another look at astrology, one that utilizes the planets and signs in the way they were meant to be understood, not just fortune cookies. Click Here To Read this week's Forecast of Astrologick!

Click Here to read about The History of Insomniacathon.

To Learn More about The Literary Renaissance, Click Here!

- Click Here for Links to the Family and Friends of Insomniacathon in and around this World! -

Insom 04' Galleria!  - New & Expanded! -  Click Here to Enter! -

On Sunday, Feburary 20th, Writer, The Gonzo Journalist, Kentuckian and Friend, Hunter S. Thompson headed on from this world to the next. Click Here to read the emotes, reflects, rants and raves coming in to Insomniacathon On-Line!

As The Poets and The Players make their way from The Heartland to The Cities and Beyond they bring back their Sights, Sounds and Stories from The Road. Click Here for their recounts and Learn Why . . . Travel Is Fatal!

"Reflections upon The 50th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac's On The Road" is Now Available from Published In Heaven Books! - Click Here For More Details!

Jack Shea - Filmmaker, Poet, Songwriter, Friend.  - Click Here for More -



Insomniacathon On-Line! is proudly sponsored by:

WFPK 91.9 FM and streaming on the Web at!
A Power Point in the Poetic Universe!  - Click and go to: -