Hunter S Thompson, the grand daddy of Gonzo Journalism would be stirring in his grave with the prospect of so much “pure Gonzo journalism” taking place all over the Hydro Derby arena. How ever what’s not so clear (until i point it out) is the amazing amount of parallels with Thompsons’ Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Particularly the part when Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, have to make to vegas ASAP prior to the effects of the “sunshine tab” kick in, distinctly the same as the Pittwater equivalent of the Hydro Derby “lap” prior to docking at the finish where Hydro Derbyists smash out the last of the standards available on the boat in the hope to raise the standards per tonne in the remaining seconds of the allotted time
“Drink now, deal with consequences later”. – Famous Derbyist quote.
I leave you with the what critics regard as Thompsons favorite passage, known in part as the wave speech.
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.
If that has left you a little confused, welcome to the Hydro Derby… going live Jan 8th 2011