☞Wasteland Warlock☜ (kingfox) wrote,
☞Wasteland Warlock☜

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Well, fuck.

I read the idea posted inappropriately to the cyberpunk community first. I wasn't going to follow through, as there were better tributes, such as this open letter. But after _yggdrasil's comment about never having heard of him, I'm going to follow through.

Taken from Hey Rube, the most fitting chapter I think. Mind you, this could have been found here, but ESPN.com's getting greedy. So I'll copy and paste from the cache. And now,
Patrick Roy and Warren Zevon -- two champions at the top of their game
By Hunter S. Thompson - Page 2 columnist - May 28, 2001

Warren Zevon arrived at my house on Saturday and said he was in the mood to write a few songs about Hockey. "Thank God you're home," he said. "I had to drive all night to get out of Utah without being locked up. What's wrong with those people?"

"What people?" I asked him.

"The ones over in Utah," he said nervously. "They've been following me ever since Salt Lake City. They pulled me over at some kind of police checkpoint and accused me of being a Sex Offender -- I was terrified. They even had a picture of me."

"Nonsense," I said. "They're doing that to a lot of people, these days. They're rounding up the Bigamists before the Olympics start. They don't want to be embarrassed in the eyes of the world again."

Warren seemed far too frantic to do any serious song-writing, so I tried to calm him down with some of the fresh Jimson tea I'd brewed up for the Holiday. I knew he was a rabid hockey fan, so I told him we could watch the Stanley Cup game of TV pretty soon.

"Excellent," he said. "I have come to Love professional hockey. I watch it all the time on TV -- especially the Stanley Cup playoffs."

"Well," I replied with a smile, "tonight is our lucky night. Game 1 is coming up on ESPN very soon. We will drink some more of this Tea and get ourselves Prepared for it."

"Bless you, Doc," he said. "We can Watch the game together, and then write a song about it." He paused momentarily and reached again for the teapot.... "This is very exciting," he said eagerly. " I can hardly wait to see Patrick Roy in action. He is one of my personal heroes. Roy is the finest athlete in Sports now. I worship him."

I nodded, but said nothing. There was a far-away look in his eyes now, and he spoke in an oddly Dreamy voice. I could see that he had forgotten all about his troubles in Utah, and now he was jabbering happily....

When the phone rang he ignored me and picked it up before I could get to it. "Patrick Roy fan club," he said. "Zevon speaking. We are ready for the game, here -- are you ready?" He laughed. "Are you a Bigamist? What? Don't lie to me, you yellow-bellied pervert!" Then he laughed again, and hung up.

"That will teach those Bigamists a lesson," he chuckled. "That fool will never call back!"

I jerked the phone away from him and told him to calm down. "You're starting to act weird," I told him. "Get a grip on yourself."

The game was the most dominating display of big time hockey either of us had ever seen. The Avalanche humiliated the favored defending champion N.J. Devils.

Patrick Roy got his shutout and "could have beaten N.J. all by himself," Zevon boasted. "He made midgets of us all. I will never forget this game. Our song will be called 'You're a Whole Different Person When You're Afraid.' "

Which proved to be true, when we played it back on his new-age Hugo machine 40 hours later.

Zevon is famous for his ability to stay awake for as long as it takes -- often for 85 or 90 straight hours. "I wrote 'Hit Somebody in 75 hours,' " he said, "and look what happened to that one."

Indeed. It rocketed to the top of the charts and was hailed as "the finest song ever written about hockey" by Rolling Stone and "Songs of the Rich and Famous."

Warren Zevon is a poet. He has written more classics than any other musician of our time, with the possible exception of Bob Dylan. ... He is also a crack shot with a .44 magnum and an expert on lacrosse -- which we also watched while we worked. He went wild when Princeton beat Syracuse for the NCAA Championship on Sunday.

He disappeared in the middle of the night, still without sleep -- saying he was headed to Indianapolis to write a song with Colts owner James Irsay, who just returned from buying Kerouac's original manuscript of "On The Road" for $2.43 million at Christie's Auction House in New York. Irsay is another one of Warren's heroes.

Warren is a profoundly mysterious man, and I have learned not to argue with him, about hockey or anything else. He is a dangerous drinker, and a whole different person when he's afraid.
And, of course, there is no hockey this season. And no Warren Zevon. And, now, no Hunter S. Thompson.

Garry Trudeau breaks his collar bone in Aspen right before Doctor Gonzo kills himself at home near Aspen. Odd, eh? And, finally,
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era - the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run... but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant...

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of "history" it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time - and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights - or very early mornings - when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L.L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket... booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change)... but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that...

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda... You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning...

And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave...

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

-- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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