Hunter S. Thompson's Daily Routine Will Literally Melt Your Mind

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― Hunter S. Thompson. 06.30.24

photo of hunter s thompson sitting on the ground smoking

Hunter S. Thompson: In Search For The Eternal Buzz

Hunter S Thompson lived a life of debauchery and hedonism. Fueled by booze and drugs, he spent his days chemically-charged writing in a tiny town (population 237) called Woody Creek Colorado. His first rise to prominence was in 1966 with his book Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, an up-close and personal look at the infamous motorcycle gang, during the time when their moniker was feared the most. He liked to probe boundaries and play the opposite side. It was around this time that he first started to document his experminting with drugs and substances.

Thompson was an icon for the counterculture movement of the 1960s. With the 60s came a new wave, filled with tie-dyes, hippies, sit-ins and full-scale drug use. We had kids pushing drugs on the streets of major cities and Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor, endorsing the use of LSD on a regular basis. Hunter was at the forefront of this whole movement.

He was the pioneer of Gonzo journalism, a style of writing characterized by a blend of factual reporting and personal narrative, normally written in a stream-of-conscious-first-person manner. Mix it with a bunch of chemicals and you wind up with his book Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas from 1971. It would put him and his limitless lifestyle on the map, documenting a drug-filled roadtrip and his own self reflections on American culture. The excess and over indulgence became a part of his voice and narrative perspective. This provacative nature frightened people at the time. What will his impact be on the "youth", this icon of debauchery? He was first on the list to be condemned. This only pushed him further up into the limelight. Despite his well deserved reputation for substance abuse, his assiduous career spanned over six decades, comprising of 16 book and a library of short stories and articles.

hunter s thompson smoking and drink a bottle of champagne

The Daily Routine

His daily routine was captured by biographer E. Jean Carroll for her book Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson. The book was published more than twenty years after Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. Carroll starts the book with a detailed account of Thompson's average day.

3:00 p.m. rise
3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills
3:45 cocaine
3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill
4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill
4:15 cocaine
4:16 orange juice, Dunhill
4:30 cocaine
4:54 cocaine
5:05 cocaine
5:11 coffee, Dunhills
5:30 more ice in the Chivas
5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.
6:00 grass to take the edge off the day
7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jig­gers of Chivas)
9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously
10:00 drops acid
11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass
11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.
12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write
12:05-6:00 a.m. Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.
6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo
8:00 Halcyon
8:20 sleep

Fame And It's Consequences

How he managed to stay alive for sixty seven years is beyond reason. I get the same feeling when I see Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones still on stage with a cigarette in his mouth. It defies all logic and reason in this world. And I'm pretty certain I just got high and drunk from reading through the routine again. Much like Hemingway he decided when it was his time to go. He knew his love for indulgence was starting to take a toll on his body. An adolescent at heart, he knew he couldn't keep up his lovely habits forever. In 2005, he departed from planet earth. His note read:

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun—for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax—This won’t hurt."

His wife, Anita Thompson, told the media he shot himself while they were on the phone. You can check the article from the Seattle Times here. RIP Hunter Thompson, your life will forever be an inspiration not only for artists, but for those who aspire to find the "eternal buzz".

photo of hunter s thompsons daily routine

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