Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, July 29, 2006
The Story So Far...
An early rise got us on our way to the airport. While queueing we agreed that for the duraion of the holiday there should be no mention of "durka-durka" or anything to do with planes crashing. Also, it was every man for himself. Duty free gave us all a chance to start stocking up on essentials for the trip. We got a bottle of:
- Jameson (12 year old)
When we arrived we decided to forgo all advice telling us to get the subway and we opted for a limo instead. It was cheaper that two cabs and seemed the right way to start off the bands first tour of the Americas. Some Kahlúa was drank in the limo. We got to the gaf okay, although the limo driver thought we were taking the piss when I aked him to go to 1 Main Street, Brooklyn! It was was more than we could have hoped for.
We quickly made it into the closest bar (in the same building - "Bubby's") and had some pints of Guinness, which lukily were 2 for 1 at the time. We soon realised though that there are two kinds of luck, and this promotion wasn't the good kind. We had fries and went upstairs again. Moe and Rob went off to see Clerks 2 and we spend a long time trying to find them in the baking heat, wandering randomly around town and eventually finding the cinema just in time.
While waiting for Moe and Rob to arrive we dropped into a local Pizza establishment. This decision should have been thought through fully before execution. Two enormous pizzas that must have been made from 94% testicle sweat arrived. We took most of it in a doggy bag to the nearest bin on the street to ensure that they didn't try to sell our leftovers to anyone else.
It turns out that I had lead us all to the wrong cinema. We went back to Bubby's for some beers that night where the atmosphere wasn't exactly freindly (as Moe was down about $40 for the cinema tickets he bought us). People generally just went to bed but Simon and I stayed a little longer. When Simon went to bed I found a small Irish type bar around the corner called The Water Street Restaurant. They serverd a full Irish size pint and it was quite nice. A little less substance to them though than in The Grove (the worlds greatest bar). Hit the hay after one there.
On the Saturday we walked the Manhattan bridge. I spent some time sorting out getting equipment for the band from www.sirny.com. They didn't have exactly all the desired equipment so we ended up with two Gibson SG's and a respectable 5 string bass. Some people looked up nasty porn and others just chilled with a beer.
- Trash bar and Syllian Rayle - Excellent show, I was too drunk.
- Times Square - TGI Fridays, "The Irish Bar", Simon and the "$20 Hospitable Ladies". Attach photo of Simon.
- Helicopter Ride - Little disappointing.
- Museum of Sex - Enlightening
- Empire State building - Porfishicken in the Homeland Brewery.
- Coney Island - Corn Dogs, an amazing performance in Karting, Cyclone rollercoaster and shooting ducks in a barrel
- 5th Avenue - Fish Bait (excellent ribs!), searching for bars
- Greenwitch Village - Chelsea Hotel, $24.46, CBGB's, Slainté, "Festering" pizza
- The Gaf - Toilet incident, Robs freinds (rather forget)
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I like your music, but Id be much more proud if you'ld tearLet me a new asshole.
To this day I've thought I've know where I'm at and shit, but no. I'm already talking shit, so I'll go.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
How to shit an Apple
There quite a reasonable chance that they'll spot us attempting to enter their country in which case I'll have to do what I've so often done before, and deny all knowledge of my freinds. Ross is hoping for a nice cavity search (as it's been a while since he flew to the states and he misses them). He's probably going to have trouble getting back into Ireland actually, as easy as it is, becuase he'll have a hard time trying to convince the authorities that his new wife IS ACTUALLY a woman. Moe will probably be okay, and as the sensible one will probably be looking after us ... hopefully pulling us out of any ambulances that try to steal us at dead of night. Simon's been very quiet of late and I think he may explode in a burst of repressed party. I think Simon is the most likely to wake up with his trousers around his ankles at the base of the statue of liberty.
Anyway, gotta cut this short cause I gotta go to bed.
See ya over there.
Friday, February 24, 2006
My Full Stop
I've had a lot of time to ponder the finer points of life and death since this news broke almost 12 hours ago and I believe my findings will bring me some peace in my last hours. I've had a good life by very low standards and I have achieved a lot, compared to a horse or a household plant. This is all I could have really asked for as a being of lower inteligence.
I hereby set out my last wishes:
My entire estate shall be auctioned off by Christies of New York on New Years eve 2009 (I appologise for the delay but the vast amount of lots will need to be sorted and categorised). Two items shall be excluded: my rare collection of stamps cut into falic shapes that have been stuck to a roll of toilet paper. This item shall be donated to the Space Museum in Washinton DC. My collection of cum rags shall be disposed of in a hygienic manner. If by the time I die these two items become the same then donation to the museum is preferred. I know these requests contradict former arrangements made in various pubs but I trust you will all understand. Any outstanding legal action against me should be transferred to Maurice Curtin as he is most likely partly resonsible. All outstanding asylum bills shall be left unpaid, as I always disagreed with their policy of charging me for care, seeing as I am a duck.
In relation to the disposal of my remains I wish to have a full funeral and be buried. Exactly one year later I would like Simon Kinane and Ross Duffy to, in the middle of the night, exume my rotting corpse and feed it Tuborg. I wish then (after 13 or so beers and maybe a JD and coke or two depending on how I'm feeling) to be cremated in the fires of Mount St. Helens, placed there at the very moment it next erupts. There shall be a small grave stone erected in honour of me at the north pole. All it shall say is:
Here lies Kevin Pattison - a cock of a man.
I can smell the cold metal of that sithe just over my shoulder now and I will keep this brief. I would like to be remembered as an ugly man, a man who was inept in most ways and was generally unlikable, if not forgettable. A man who smelt bad even when recently washed, as a woman, and as a man who was afraid of farm animals, doors and words beginning in the letter "P".
Good night cruel world ... you bastard. You never looked me in the eye, and I die with a mouth full of wasted saliva.
p.s. please take this as advanced notification that I will not be present in work on Monday.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Logistics of Zombie attack survival
Know your foe:
First we have to understand what we are dealing with and so I will describe some typical attributes of the common zombie:
- Arms (weaponary) are controlled by living flesh only.
- Various stages of decomposition reported (this can be advantageous).
- Nearly all human attributes lost including pulse, reliance on organs, compassion, rational though of any kind, sense of touch (including pain), etc.
- Relentlessly come for you when aware of your presence and have been known to attempt to get past an immovable object to no avail and with no rest for up to 9 months.
- Impervious to infection
- Have no ability/desire to reproduce.
- Display an almost comical slumping walk.
- Have greatly reduced eyesight but highly improved senses of hearing and smell (called hypersense). No evidence of any sense of taste either.
- Only seek human flesh, other species are ignored.
- Have strength only of host human (that deteriorates as body decomposes/muscle fibers break) but do not suffer fatigue.
- Are not fooled by members of the living acting like zombies.
- Have no ability to communicate with one another.
- Can live (being undead that is) underwater as easily as above (however decomposing flesh tends to float).
- Die when the cranuim is removed/destroyed.
It is obvious that zombies are a formidable opponant to the living man when they appear in large quantites but don't be lulled into a false sense of security should you run into a lone undead on a quite nights stroll. At first you may try to attack it but if unarmed this is the wrong thing to do. I have been working on my initial reaction to first contact and I've broken it down into the 4 most likely scenarios:
- At Work: As I work in an office that is below sea level I am at a major initial disadvantage if I become aware of an outbreak by any other way than the media (or the local early zombie warning system). This is unlikely however as my work is by the sea and therefore is not enclosed by a population of any great mass. If I do personally discover unwanted undead individuals in my workplace I will not e-mail my manager in disgust, instead will I knock my foe to the ground and crush it's skull with my computer monitor. If on the other hand I am informed by the media I shall immediately try to learn as much as I can about the infestations on my route to the nearest stronghold (currently my house), plan carefully, stock up but not burden myself, and then leave. Prayer is useless. Chances of survival: 42%
- While loitering: In this case it is almost certain that I will be made aware by personal contact as I don't listen to the radio (since Phantom FM went off the air). I will almost definitely be unarmed and hungover. In this state I will probably have missed all the early warning signs and be in the middle of a full class 3 outbreak. Defending human forces could quite easily, in thier haste and ignorance, mistake my pale drooping eyes for that of a ghoul's and destroy me onsite. Chances of survival: 15-18%
- In the pub: Do not learn from movies like Sean of the Dead. Chances of survival: 0%
- At home in La Verna: Were I to learn of an attack while in my house I would be in a good position to defend myself. I would first consult our IUD (Initial Undead Defense plan - see below) that is posted in many locations around the house to ensure I am up to date. I have large stockpiles of essential items including pennicillin, drinking water, weapons (including a battleaxe, a sword and other hand items), Tuborg, tinned food, entertainment (an underrated essential), a plug for you bathtub when collecting rainwater, some kind of petrol driven generator that also run as a pedalled bicycle, and many other items. The availablility of a living human female will also be essential to rebuild the race. Being our house inhabited by four males this may not be immediately at hand but I will address this situation later in this text. As my house also doubles as a dental surgery during the day, many other uncommon but useful items are avaiable to me that I will discover a use for when the demand arises. Chances of survival: 87%
The importance of an IUD:
A well though out Initial Undead Defense plan is the difference between life and death in a recently infected world. This should be studied often and memorised as well as your own name. Often should it be showed to knowledgable folk for advice including your local law enforcement agency. I will give some advice that should possibly be included in your plan, depending on your circumstances (remember a IUD is a very personal thing, just using someone else's is a recipe for disaster):
- Think about things that you will need and list them in order of essentialness (but grouped by place of retrieval) at the top of the document. When in crisis a quick read can then quickly prioritise in your mind what is needed on short notice.
- Include a graphical map of the optimum route between intended sites (possibly even a rip off copy to take with you). On this map have all distances marked and expected times to get from site to site. I personally have included a secondary route also. Remember, do not use yellow ink as this is hard to see under streetlight or in the evening.
- Obvious things to list would be many of those listed above but primarily ammunition (if firearms are at hand), personal weaponary (if they aren't), water, beer, matches, tinned food, pennicillin, female company and petrol for your generator. Secondary to these are more personal to the situation but would almost certainly include: wood panelling and nails for home reinforcement, vitimin supplements, spirits and mixers, firewood and insulation, and other sanitary produce. Tertiary would be entertainment items, cigars, bandanas, Cheech & Chong movies and chewing gum.
- Things must also be thought out logically; for example the first thing to do would be start the bath running before the water supply is cut off. After you get back you should move all usable items upstairs and destroy the staircase (very effective)
If there's one thing you must decide on before your IUD it's the choice of weaponary you will keep in the house at all times. This is a very personal thing and varies greatly amongst concerned people like myself. As you can see above I have gone for an assortment of close combat weapons. The reason for this is a combination of mainly three things: 1. firearms are illegal in this country, 2. the defence forces, when uneducted and in sight of a gun bearing individual in the middle of an undead orgy, will olmost always pick you out first and 3. guns have to be reloaded, axes don't.
Many others I know prefer the armed-to-the-teeth approach but this is a foolhardy approach in my opinion. Our main advantage over the zombie is our agility and speed. Take away these key factors and we will be struggling to get away from them!
First things to do NOW are stock up, get an IUD together and choose your defensive items. In future always be alert, logical (compassion has no part to play in warfare), close to your personal fortress and on the lookout for suspicious signs. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope my advice will save your life some day. Please do comment and make your own suggestions as I am hoping to learn all I can to defend myself and keep our great race in power.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Syllian Rayle - 23/11/05 - Slatterys, Capel St., Dublin
Arriving early to avoid the crowds of fans they set up their kit, always careful not to disclose the details of the set list even to the sound engineer (who'd been flown in from a break in the Rammstein tour especially for the gig) with great efficiency. They relaxed in their private room before the gig, decked out with a 50 inch flat screen TV for the Chelsea match and a few groupies.
I was talking to the lead singer, Moe, before the performance. He said that he'd been feeling a little ill coming up to the gig because he knew that it was going to change his life. Today he was in an internationally successful Metal band and life was peachy but tomorrow .... he along with Ross, Simon and Rob may be considered Gods. He discussed the possibility of vomitting on stage he felt so bad.
In the mean time, Ross was sticking to his well practised relaxation technique of drinking Carlesberg and watching Chelsea win football matches. Ross tends not to get involved watching their support bands, as this may incur unwanted influence on his own act.
Rob doesn't get stressed before gigs at all, and I think this stems from an extreme confidence in his own abilities. Whether this confidence is justified or not ... well you had to see the show to determine that for yourself. Let me say but this: He doesn't bring this laid back attitude into the performance itself.
When I first arrived at the venue I met Simon as he was making his way in the stage door. He has a great talent for slipping under the radar of the fan possie by simply dressing to appear as if he is in some local unheard of this-is-our-second-show-but-we're-great rock band, a support band if you will. This was accomplished by donning a large black raincoat and drinking a pint of milk from the carton while entering. In a nice touch as well, Simon chooses to carry his own base guitar to the gig instead of letting the roadies pack it, only reinforcing the support band image.
The atmosphere before the gig was electric, and the packed out crowd were chanting "Syllian Rayle" and "CuntFace" before the last support act even graced the stage. I left the bands room (through the studded velvet door) to joint the ruccous upstairs. The penultimate band were a good band, if only a covers band. They got the crowd warm with tunes from AC/DC, Velvet Revolver, Audioslave and Judas Priest. They left with their integrity intact.
In the darkness, while the army of roadies were performing their well choreographed routine to set up the stage, I could hear young people whisper to their freinds about legendary gigs of days past that they only heard about from their parents, and how this was sure to be a life changing event.
This intro music played ... the crowd erupted ... the band emerged ... Rob ... Moe ... Ross ... Simon (6 girls around me instantly fainted when seeing Simon) ... they opened "Dirge" up at 11 ...
When it was finally finished (with a final flurry from Rob and the destruction of his most impressive drum kit) I was covered in other peoples sweat and emotion. I wanted to stay forever. The lead singer, Moe, announced a previously unreleased gig on the Friday night following in a small intimate venue called Isaac Butts in Dublin. I had to get a ticket, I'd give my arms for one.
Tonight's the second gig and I have a ticket - after being a guest at the first gig, only two days later I had to pay a tout in South Africa 1,400 euro for a ticket. It promises to be even better.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Living in La Verna
Ross (Cuntface) Duffy.
Probably the most offensive person in Ireland, and if all goes his way with a lot of effort, the world. Ross enjoys the simple things in life and in many ways resembles, in actions and appearence, the Neanderthal man. His main loves are digging holes, Heavy Metal, ranting about rave, destroying everyones senses with his ass, drinking beer, not liking people and Sky Sports News. Ross is a bit of a hermit. He only leaves the house on very rare occasions, and even then at great distress. He has been spotted in Fibbers and formerly Bruxelles but recently he only strays as far as The Grove. Ross has problems not with big words, but with words in general. He tends to rename things to suit how his brain works, leaving everyone else in the dark. A normal afternoon with Ross in the house would be charachterised by porn (scat, dwarf and animal mainly), racism against everyone that isn't him (e.g. women, men, foreigners, Irish people, jocks, princesses, ravers, scumbags, homeless people, physically disabled people, mentally disabled people and the elderly). He's always the first home after work and the first to bed. He's clean (surprisingly) and is the best cook among us.
(Menstual) Moe Curtin.
The one with the dreds ... Moe's never there. Well in fairness now that Dave has moved out he's around more often. Moe either loves you or he hates you, and it can change in a flash. He probably has more fun than anyone I've ever met. The man also has the ability to stop time. He manages to get more productive stuff done in a day than I can in a month. Doesn't like sleeping alone and rarely has to. Showers once a week I think. More energy than the national grid.
Action Jackson to anyone who's ever been to Schull. The newest member to the fraternity, Rob holds his head high, and his mind higher. Lived in Bray beforehand (we forgave him for that before he moved in (he sucked us off)) and so we know he's good with a weapon if zombies ever do attack.
A weekday in the life...
I'll describe Wednesday as it was a very typical day in my life in this house. I woke with my alarm raging at 8am after a unrestful nights sleep. I changed the alarm to go off again at 8:15, at 8:15 I changed it to go off at half 8. I got up then, put on my shower robe and went into the hall. I said "Hey" to Claire (one of the nurses who works in the house) and had a shower. After I got dressed, watched a bit of the news and went to work at about 8:50. Work was very normal that day. Got home at about 6:30pm. Ross and Rob were already home as always, Ross was drooling over football and Rob was lighting a fire. I cooked myself some spaghetti bolognese, got a bottle of Tuborg and sat in the living room with the guys. Ross was ranting about how these goddam unskilled ignorant refugees are taking all his jobs and pissing on him in the street. Ro O'Leary arrived and had a beer, while he waited for Moe to do some rehersal for Dead Girls & Boys in the garage (converted to band room). Then we watched "Hellraiser" and Ross nearly shat himself it was so good. Whelans ensued for Ro, Moe and I, the other two hate the place. Ro went home after one and Ciara arrived. Stayed there till near closing time then Moe drove home. I rolled a joint while watching some softcore porn, smoked it then went to bed. And that's the typical weekday.
A weekend day in the life...
Woke hungover, went to a play in Trinity and Ross & I left half way through to get food and watch the second half of the Ireland Austalia match in Doyles. Moved to Bankers for a few more Guinness and met Simon after the play. Simon left to do the second performance of the play. Moved to Mojo's on Henry street for some cheap pints. Went to a Japanese kareoke restaurant where red wine was poured down my throat by Grainne. Said happy birthday to Niamh and went to get some cash. Smoked a joint with two random strangers and had a chat on the street. Briefly went back to the restaurant but then headed off to Fibbers. Saw two fantastic metal bands (Itchy Trigger Finger & Speed King) for 2 euro and got very drunk. Went home.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Schull 3 - The Turning of the Clocks
Vague memories of things I used to know well are slowly returning. When I got back and first sobered up I realised that I didn't know the words to my favourite songs, or how my favourite movies ended. I got a call from my oldest freind and didn't recognise his voice.
The clean up operation begins now, both cleaning myself and the mild trail of destruction behind me. Luckily that extractor fan went back on, but it took a lot of swearing to get it to fit again. Didn't have to wipe the Helmans mayonaise off my sheet, but that was Ross's fault though, thank God Gainne was there to save me from the full extent of Ross' rath. Fuck, the more I think about it the more I remember. The conversation I had with the localsin "Drink, Drink and more Drink" in which I described that fact that we were on a holiday to celebrate that our freind Simon was getting divorced. I did this only as a post mortem to a story I told 2 years ago, when we went there on Simon's stag. I told them how Simon was getting treated so badly even before they got married an I, unlike his other freinds, told him not to go through with it and how now, less than 2 years later, here we were ... except for Simon, who himself couldn't face it.
I told the story of Simon and Valerie going to Paris and they were appauled. Of what she did in his absence when Simon was in hospital after being in a car accident. They hated the girl and demanded more gossip. Even when I admitted that everything I'd told them was complete fiction and there was no such person as Valerie and Simon was single, they still demanded that I tell them more, to the extent that they wouldn't let me go to the next pub after my freinds had left for it. The shit we can talk sometimes.
I remember chatting to the musician in Hacketts, playing for booze (in a way I was too), about the getting barred from the pub next door because I'd taken milk out to put in my tea, then getting back in when I hugged the bouncer.
Don't remember anything from the house really, or anything on Friday night or Sunday and Saturday daytimes ... or Sunday night.
Wonder if I'll ever remember,
wonder if I'll get my keys back,
wonder if they'll bar us next year,
wonder if I'll be sober by then,
wonder if the bar girl in Hacketts will ever be my wife,
wonder if my camera will recover,
wonder if Con will ever forgive me, or if he'll ever come back,
wonder what would have happened if that wave was a bit bigger and i'd fallen off the rock into the harbour,
wonder what would have happened if Simon was down (FUCK!),
wonder if I ate during the weekend,
wonder if I'll ever meet that man in Bray.
I hope not.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
GLAD: cause Simon is rolling a joint,
Sad; cause Liz is going away,
COLD: cause i just rubbed Deep Heat on my calf, forearm and belly,
TIRED: cause i'm sick (in the head),
GIDDY; cause I'm listenig the Common People by Will Shatner,
DISSAPOINTED: cause i said i wouldn't drink tonight,
ANTICIPATIVE (I love making up words): about brushing my teeth,
CONFUSED, APREHENSIVE, SMITTEN: cause of someone else.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I can't believe myself
€10 for whoever guesses correctly.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Football Season Is Over
Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men's reality. Weird heroes and mold-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of "the rat race" is not yet final.
-- HUNTER S. THOMPSON, 1937-2005
February was always the cruelest month for Hunter S. Thompson. An avid NFL fan, Hunter traditionally embraced the Super Bowl in January as the high-water mark of his year. February, by contrast, was doldrums time. Nothing but monstrous blizzards, bad colds and the lackluster Denver Nuggets. This past February, with his health failing, Hunter was even more glum than usual. "This child's getting old," he muttered with stark regularity, an old-timey refrain that mountainmen used to utter when their trailblazing days were over. Depressed and in physical pain from hip-replacement surgery, he started talking openly about suicide, polishing his .45-caliber pistol, his weapon of choice. He was trying to muster the courage to end it all.
Then, on February 16th, Hunter decided to leave a goodbye note. Scrawled in black marker, it was appropriately titled "Football Season Is Over." Although he left the grim missive for Anita, his young wife, Hunter was really talking to himself. Here, published for the first time, are perhaps his final written words:
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.
At the bottom of the page, Hunter drew a happy heart, the kind found on Valentine's cards. Four days later, on February 20th, he committed suicide by firing his pistol into his mouth.
On Saturday, August 20th, six months to the day after Hunter died, many of his closest friends gathered in the high-ceiling lobby of the Hotel Jerome in Aspen. Since the mid-1960s, Hunter had used the hotel's J-Bar as his boozy late-night office, its long outdoor swimming pool as his fitness club. Now, family and friends congregated here, waiting for a convoy of shuttle buses that would ferry them down the two-lane country road to Owl Farm, Hunter's home in Woody Creek, to say goodbye.
As the hour approached, the Victorian hotel became a Gonzo way station. Reporters wandered about with spiral notebooks while Ralph Steadman and Bill Murray held court at the bar. "I wouldn't miss this for the world," Sen. John Kerry said as he boarded a shuttle, his arm around former Sen. George McGovern. "I met Hunter in the days of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Then, last summer I offered him the vice-presidency in jest. He's missed."
Because Hunter had been a perpetual Peter Pan, accepting the bleak reality of his death came hard. Nobody coveted what his son, Juan, deemed "Dr. Phil closure." Instead, his family and friends wanted to find a gallant, jubilant way to remember him. Luckily, Hunter provided them with a dramatic, ready-made funeral scheme first hatched nearly thirty years ago, a self-aggrandizing stunt guaranteed to launch his posthumous literary reputation skyward in a final blaze of triumphant glory. "Hunter wanted to be crazy and outrageous in death, just as he was in life," composer David Amram said on the bus ride to Owl Farm. "Like a phoenix, he planned on rising from the ashes."
Back in 1977, Hunter had asked Ralph Steadman -- his brilliant illustrator and trusted sidekick -- to draft a blueprint for a Gonzo Fist Memorial, his warped idea of a pyrotechnics-rigged mausoleum. The morbid notion had been preoccupying Hunter for a while. A few years before, he had asked his artist friend Paul Pascarella to design an official Gonzo logo: an iconic two-thumbed red fist clutching a peyote button, ensconced atop a dagger. Now, with a BBC crew in tow, Hunter and Ralph wandered into a Hollywood mortuary to inquire about transforming the Gonzo symbol into a full-fledged artillery cannon, 153 feet tall, capable of blasting his ashes into the atmosphere. It started out as a lark, but as the years passed, Hunter grew serious about the cannon concept, telling his family and friends it was his "one true wish." He often spoke of how Mark Twain wanted to report on his own funeral, how France celebrated the death of Victor Hugo with a no-holds-barred parade and, more recently, how Timothy Leary had his ashes fired into space from Grand Canary Island via a rocket. But Hunter had a much grander farewell in mind. He wanted to trump his own suicide with a surefire, high-octane, sizzling Gonzo epilogue complete with a thunderous eight-piece Japanese drum band and a Buddhist reading and his ashes showering down on his lifelong friends while Bob Dylan wailed "Mr. Tambourine Man" from high-decibel speakers.
How one deals with the death of a loved one is a highly personalized affair. Some people weep for days; others take a hike in the woods or count rosary beads. The actor Johnny Depp, it turns out, is a charter member of the Direct Action School of Mourning. Depp and Hunter were homeboys. Both hail from Kentucky, and the two had become friends when Depp played Hunter's alter ego Raoul Duke in the movie adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. One of Hunter's great delights was getting Depp enshrined as an honorary Kentucky Colonel in 1996. From induction onward, Hunter always called him "Colonel Depp" -- or sometimes just "the Colonel." Since nothing could bring Hunter back to life, Depp decided to make his buddy's 1977 death fantasy come true.
"Fuck you, Hunter," he joked one afternoon not long after Hunter died. "You want a Gonzo Cannon? We'll give you a Gonzo Cannon."
Following Hunter's thirty-year-old blueprints, the Colonel commissioned a construction crew to build the cannon. Cost was not a factor. So what if the price tag was $2 million or $3 million? Depp's recent hits Pirates of the Caribbean and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were financial grand slams, earning the forty-two-year-old actor enough money to buy his own island near the Bahamas. Doing it right for Hunter was all that mattered. "I loved him and wanted to make sure his last wish was fulfilled," Depp says. "It's that simple." He galvanized Hunter's inner circle to share his vision of building the most spectacularly weird monument ever erected for a writer. Without hesitation, both Anita and Juan signed up for the ash blast.
But greater Aspen has a notoriously hard-line building code. Pitkin County is NIMBY-land, a place where rich folks with $10 million alpine homes don't want their scenic views obstructed by a giant day-glo peyote fist. Facing a political minefield, Depp dispatched his movieland troops to the Rockies, determined to construct a permanent monument for the Good Doctor. "There were a lot of community grumbles," recalls Sheriff Bob Braudis. "Nobody minded a small cannon blast, but 153 feet tall? And permanent? That, quite naturally, raised eyebrows."
So a compromise was struck. Depp could build his grandiose monument and his friend's ashes could light up the Western sky in a fireworks orgy. But the memorial would have to be temporary. Two weeks only and down it would have to come. Faced with this reality check, most people would have resigned themselves to building a makeshift memorial, some tawdry papier-mache-like contraption modeled after a disposable Rose Bowl float. But Depp is not most people. "Our goal was to get everything right," he says. "We wanted to respect the wishes of the people of Pitkin County. These were Hunter's friends and neighbors. We wanted them to be part of the entire process."
In early June, construction crews armed with jackhammers, buzz saws and humongous cranes arrived at Owl Farm. While engineers and security guards roamed the property around her, Anita focused on the guest list. Handsome invitations with a silver-foil dagger topped by a double-thumbed fist went out to a select group of family and friends. "Hunter had so many fans, and I wanted them all to come," Anita says. "But reality dictated that we limit the event to 300 or 400 people."
Slowly the program began to take shape. Juan would be master of ceremonies, introducing nine or ten of the people closest to Hunter to make brief five-minute eulogies. The tone was funeral-solemn -- a wake -- but expansive humor was naturally welcomed. Only mint juleps would be served for phase one. A full bar would open up after the eulogies. Music, of course, would be a big part of the evening; given Hunter's preference for Kentucky bluegrass, Depp lined up Jimmy Ibbotson of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to play "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and Lyle Lovett and David Amram to orchestrate variations on "My Old Kentucky Home."
Finally, there would be absolutely no cameras or tape recorders or working media allowed at the ceremony. (An exception was made for the New York Times.) "We didn't see this as a media event," Juan says. "It was a remembrance of Hunter. Our goodbye. We simply asked people to respect the family's wishes." Not everyone got the message. Three days before the event, a freelance photographer who was snooping around the area was run off by Ibbotson, a neighbor of Hunter's, who fired off his shotgun for emphasis. "If you want to print the fact that neighbors are shooting at paparazzi, please do," Ibbotson told the Aspen Times. "It might save us a little hassle on the day of the event."
The festivities were scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. As the shuttle buses approached Owl Farm, guests encountered a wall of frenzied fans, wildly waving Gonzo placards while toking on dope and mixing drinks. Virtually everyone claimed some connection to Hunter -- be it a Utah bookseller or Honduran smuggler or Houston social maven or Pennsylvania hitchhiker. A few lost souls were even dressed like Hunter in Tilley hats and white Converse sneakers, smoking Dunhills from a cigarette holder. "Those folks weren't in Woody Creek to rub elbows with glitterati," said Gerry Goldstein, a close Hunter friend. "They came from far and wide to salute Hunter."
As I chatted with some of these pilgrims -- all in awe of the fifteen-story Gonzo tower standing across Woody Creek Road surrounded by a forested canyon wall -- it dawned on me that Hunter had become the Patron Saint of Righteous Rage for the voiceless outcast. Like Jesse James or Billy the Kid, Hunter took on the Bad Boy persona of the average guy's avenger. He wouldn't take shit from uppity bosses or dishonest police or corrupt lawyers or phony agents like most of us do. With a fierce vengeance, he lashed out, creating chaos from the mundane, psychedelic sparks out of the terminally placid. Most of us would never drive our Jeep through plate-glass windows or whiff rotten cocaine in a Huddle House parking lot . . . so Hunter did it for us. Mayhem was his calling.
And posterity was his obsession. Hunter spent his entire life in a childlike state, wailing like a rambunctious newborn for things like Equal Rights and Prison Reform. He wanted his legacy to be both literary and political. As the invited guests and family arrived, they walked up a flight of stairs -- an elegant, gondola-shape pavilion on the hill above Owl Farm, constructed especially for the occasion. The decor was a luscious cross between a Deadwood-like brothel and a Vegas stage show circa 1970. One entrance to the Gonzo palace was adorned by large framed portraits of Hunter's favorite authors -- Hemingway, Faulkner, Conrad, Twain, Fitzgerald. A fine circular bar stood in the center, flanked by furniture draped in black cloth, to be unveiled after the eulogies. Stuffed peacocks and Chinese gongs and other assorted Hunter artifacts were scattered about, his apple-red convertible stuffed with blow-up dolls perched on a nearby knoll. "It was like entering an ancient temple," says Curtis Robinson, a former editor at the Aspen Daily News. "It reminded me of how much Hunter looked like the Dalai Lama."
Standing at the podium dressed in a tuxedo jacket, Juan Thompson called for testimonials from his father's family and friends. Anita, wearing a silk shirt with hand-painted red poppies (Hunter's favorite flower), sobbed her way through Coleridge's epic poem "Kubla Khan." Steadman gave a rambling, hilarious toast, reading some of Hunter's lengthy faxes to him over the years, including one that demanded an immediate loan of $50,000 ("Keep your advice to yourself," Hunter instructed, "and send the money"). Ed Bradley of CBS News described encountering Hunter's work when he bought ROLLING STONE at a military PX in Vietnam and eventually growing to trust the notoriously erratic writer enough to allow Hunter to shave his head with a Bic razor. Colleen Auerbach -- the mother of Lisl Auman, a young Colorado woman who was being released from prison after Hunter raised questions about her case -- read a letter from her daughter. "Hunter saved Lisl's life," Auerbach said. "Not a day goes by that I don't thank him and wish him love."
Jann S. Wenner, the founder and editor of this magazine, called Hunter "the DNA of ROLLING STONE." He also commented on the scores of black-clad security officers patrolling the surrounding roads and woods. "Hunter liked to refer to Owl Farm as 'my heavily fortified compound in the Rockies,' " Wenner noted. "Well, today that's never been more true."
George McGovern, whose campaign for president Hunter covered for Rolling Stone, remembered him as "a man of deep goodness and justice and compassion and idealism." Sheriff Braudis, a longtime friend, gave a heartfelt speech recounting how he had helped Hunter out of various jams over the years. He encouraged those present to keep Hunter's wife and son and grandson in their thoughts before concluding, "Goodbye, Hunter . . . motherfucker."
Juan gave the final ceremonial tribute to his father. "So here we go," he said. "Let's do this thing . . . . Let's shout, let's laugh, cry . . . . Let's honor the great fallen warrior. Let us spread his ashes on our farm . . . . Let us celebrate power with power. The king is dead. Long live the king!"
The previous week, Anita had flown to Pennsylvania to deliver her husband's remains -- kept in an oak box draped with an American flag -- to Zambelli Fireworks. The company loaded the ashes into ten mortar shells packed with gunpowder. Anita wrote "I love you" on each shell, which were then driven by armored car to Woody Creek and packed into the waiting cannon.
Now the moment had arrived. As "Spirit in the Sky" began blasting over the loudspeakers, even the handful of drunks in attendance sobered up. The massive drapery enfolding the monument was slowly pulled away, revealing the Gonzo fist at the top of the tower -- two feet taller than the Statue of Liberty -- a multicolored peyote button pulsating at its center. Ed Bastian, a close friend, read part of the sacred text of the Heart Sutra in Tibetan, and a troupe of Japanese drummers began a choreographed ritual. As the drums stopped, champagne flutes were passed around. Then, at 8:46 p.m., more than thirty fireworks rocketed high above Owl Farm, bursting in the night sky illuminated by a nearly full moon. The cannon atop the tower fired, and Hunter's ashes fell over the assembled guests like gray snow, "Mr. Tambourine Man" blaring from the sound system on cue. Hunter was literally all around us now, a destroying angel whooping it up with one final Rebel Yell. I glanced at Hunter's compatriots: Kerry looked curious, McGovern sad, Lovett silent. "I have never seen an event like this," whispered Harry Dean Stanton. "And I'm old. Very old."
Afterward, when the moment came to sing "My Old Kentucky Home," the performers discovered that no one knew the lyrics. George Tobia, Hunter's friend and attorney, whipped out his cell phone and managed to find someone to pull the words off the Internet. Struggling to hear over the blare of the music, he wrote the lyrics out in longhand by the light of the moon. Lovett and Amram then took the stage to perform the song, with Depp on guitar and Hunter's brother Davison on vocals.
Depp, bouncing on his heels, had a wicked grin on his face. He -- along with Juan and Anita -- had a right to celebrate. They had bucked the tiger and won. Everybody knew the tower and its ghostly beacon were temporary. But for the moment Hunter's family and friends indulged in a well-earned collective pride. They, better than anyone, knew that Hunter was no saint. Far from it. Not even close. At times, in fact, his veins seemed to fill with snake blood. But he was always bursting with kinetic passion and an indomitable prankster vision. Somehow it was hard to mourn his wildly vibrant sixty-seven years with a one-ton Gonzo fist in the sky and Lovett onstage singing "If I Had a Pony" and raw oysters and Gonzo-emblazoned chocolates being handed out like Halloween candy. The party lasted until dawn, with Bill Murray cutting a fine figure on the pavilion's dance floor and others serenading an inflatable sex doll until the sun finally rose and fatigue settled in and everybody drifted out of Owl Farm full as ticks from food and booze.
As I left the farm with George McGovern and Anita Thompson to deliver a tape of the ceremony to an Aspen bar where hundreds of Hunter's fans were convened, we stared out the bus window, and there it was, from three miles down the valley -- the green orgiastic fist, lighting up the mountain. Jay Gatsby's green light at the end of the pier had moved west to Hunter S. Thompson Territory. It glowed in the darkness like a long-ago lighthouse on loan from Haight-Ashbury, blinking a sentimental farewell, a bizarre hallucinogenic symbol soon to flicker out forever.
Suddenly, the shuttle bus grew hushed. You could hear the wheels humming down the lonesome Colorado blacktop road. Our transport had become as solemn as an empty church. No human murmurs or casual asides, just stony silence. As the highway turned sharply right, putting the phantasmagoric Gonzo fist out of view, the collective fear of everyone on board was that we had all entered the No More Fun Zone. The Green Light was temporary. The sorcerer was truly gone. The ashes had settled, and only the dark shadow of the valley remained.
By DOUGLAS BRINKLEY
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Have you ever had a near death experience?
Okay, not really near death, but I was in a situation where someone could have easily died.
I took an early lunch today because the servers in work were down and I needed to pick up the suit that I bought for my brothers wedding next week (I'm groomsman). I had a nice large Bacon Double Cheesburger meal in BK at the top of Grafton street, alone cause Steve (Superfurrier) was giving grinds at the time, and then collected my suit.
I was walking back with no iPod on cause I couldn't find it this morning when leaving the house. As I marched up Harcourt street I got quite a shock. I was crossing a side road there about half way up on the left pavement when some woman in what looked like a Ford Escort estate (big silver thing) came out of nowhere up the side street (cul-de-sac with a few offices on it) and cut straight accross me, nearly hitting me. She stopped with the front of her car sticking half way out into the road and her back wheels about at the stop line. She looked at me with her evil look and frizzy red hair as if I had said she had a fat ass. I noticed that as soon as she looked at me her face nearly turned white in an instant, and she was looking away, down now, behind me. I was standing with my thighs nearly touching the front drivers door of her car.
I then suddenly realised why she had paled at as I heard an unholy screeching noise and turned around to see a LUAS barrelling down the road with it's brakes on full. I wasn't actually in the way of it and so didn't have to move, but it was a different story for the womans car. The tram nearly ripped the front of her car off, the front of her car was knocked away from me. The bonnet mangled upwards and smashed through one of the side windows of the LUAS as it passed.
The LUAS came to a halt about 15-20 metres away from where it first hit the car and I could see the shock on the faces of the people inside the tram, not knowing what was going on. The womans car was now facing nearly towards the Garda station on Harcourt street and she was almost silent inside. She wasn't hurt (I don't think), cause only the front of her car was hit, but shocked. I helped her out and sat her down and then some of her work colleages came out and I left. The emergency services were there when I left. The LUAS was hardly even damaged, just the bottom panel on the front was bent downwards and the broken window I think.
I can't help thinking, if I hadn't walked aimlessly across that road, causing her to stop, she would probably have been hit straight on the drivers door and her car been pushed halfway up the street. She may have lived, she may have died, but I would never know.
Anyway, scared the shit out of me.
Monday, August 15, 2005
The Whelans blog
Current members are:
enjoy, and talk shit.
Problems living my life
Everyone who came up to me that day said something to the effect of "So, where were you out to last night Kev?". I had to go into the bathroom to make sure no-one had written "Donkey raping shit eater" or something on my face. I've come to the conclusion that either I've lost the ability to self diagnose without visual confirmation, or else I just look hungover all the time now, even when not drinking the night before. Both of these are bad omens and so because of these I have decided not to drink this week at all (alcohol that is), so help me Jebus.
This is also prompted by the fact that there's a hell of a week next week with Tuesday and Wednesday nights being Pixies and Weezer, Thursday being Thursday and Friday being my brothers wedding. Saturday I'm sure will be lethal and Sunday morbid as always. I don't think I could face this without a clear mind and a revitalised soul.
Call me crapulent, but wish me luck,
p.s. Of course, this abstination doesn't apply to Thursday night.
Syllian Rayle - 13/8/05 - 4 Sidmonton Rd., Bray.
Before the gig Robs marketing talents shone. Within 5 mins of the start of the gig, every single person in the house was wearing a Syllian Rayle sticker. Some luck bastards even got the highly desired, special edition, Snout & Rectum stickers.
The gig began and then came crashing down 1 bar later as Ross managed to break a string on the first chord. I think he got a little excited and rocked too hard. There was then a brief period of Moe talking shit, a little "Take your cow and fuck it", and we were back underway.
The performace was excellent, the acoustics were shite, Simon showcased some of his newfangled in-gig dancing routines, Ross didn't, Moe repeatedly got electrocuted by his mic, Happy birthday Natasha, end.
I could comment on the actual songs they played, but how do I? Noone seems to know the names of them! Anyway, that would make this a review, which it's not, just a recap. Anywho, Simon promptly produced a bottle mounted device and Ross got drunk. Moe reverted to Billy and I think Rob got lost somewhere for a while. They were accompanied by Constantine Ward and Darren Burke to form the long awaited Smumpkins. I'd say much about them but I only saw them actually play 2 Pumpkins songs, among many other covers. Con's amp nearly melted and he was the most pissed off man in the world for the duration of the gig. I was in the conservatory smoking joints at this time and listening to better music. Ironically, my iPod (on random) picked out the only 2 Pumpkins songs in a 51 track playlist and played them 1 & 2 while the Smumpkins were playing.
The night proceded to get giddier, probably due to the half inflated bouncey castle out the back. Simon created a fanastic Barbie Beer (see below). Natasha was in great form and Ross was surprisingly alive too. Moe fell asleep after over-exhausting himself on the castle.
I think I robbed all of Ste Quinns cigarrettes.
Enjoy the pics below.
Photos from the gig.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Life, liberty & equality for all in An Irish Bank
Got Burke's birthday thing to go to tonight .... yay .... I need that like a cripple needs a climbing frame. Seeing all the same people every day I go out is getting to me. Don't get me wrong, I love em all but it all seems so God damn predictable. My life, that is, is skipping. Deeply scratched and asking to be turned off. Just gotta find some way to nudge the needle. Did I think ten years ago that I'd be in this mess now? Yes. I knew it even then, well, at least it's not a surprise. I could even say things have picked up since then I suppose (note: slightly less gloomy sentence here). Anyway, the grass is always greener...
On a lighter note I think I'm probably going to die on Sunday. Massive liver failure, throat cancer, fire-ass, heart disease or some lovely combination of all will take me down in a blaze of glory, I'm sure of it.
Snout & Rectum: this has been the topic of conversation of recent days. It sounds very promising (as I'm sure you'll agree) and a lot of work has been put in to getting both the Snout and the Rectum just right. Moe is very happy with both, but Ross I hear isn't happy with his Rectum, although Ross is never happy. He says it's just not right yet and he's not willing to stand on stage and show it to the world. I think it's just shyness, he's been out of the limelight for a long time now, and recently he's been struggling with chronic IDS (Imminent Death Syndrome). Yeah, God just shat on Ross, and Ross just doesn't think his Rectum lives up to anything at the moment. He just can't shit back.
The annoying thing is that Syllian Rayle are so much better than Dead Girls & Boys, but I know they're not going to go anywhere. They need a kick in the ass really to get them seriously gigging. There doesn't seem to be the same enthusiasm as there used to be or as there currently is about DGAB. Syllian Rayle is just happening by default and effort on Moe's part but the others don't seem to give much of a shit about it. This annoys me greatly.
Some good words:
- ubiquitous (dictionary.com's word of the day today)
I'm gonna try to get the photo below on the wall in Whelans, the one entitled "Who did that?". I think as a regular, a sponsor, a trendsetter, a public attraction and a general swell guy I deserve it. There seems to be some debate about this matter though, and I think I may start a poll about it on boards.ie or something. Pakie doesn't seem too keen on the matter ("It's not that kind of wall Kev") and either is Lorchan but the three D's: Damien, Donnchadh and Dorota are of the same mindset as me. I think I'm gonna have to go upstairs on this one. Please feel free to leave a comment as to your opinions on this matter, if anyone reads this shit I'm saying.
Tuborg: Would you believe I found a way to drink Tuborg better? Well you'd be wrong, cause I have. It's called a bottle and it's made from glass. €23.99 for crate from Dunnes and 2 crates to make you happy. Also ordered my Tuborg t-shirt a few days ago and it should be arriving soon. SHIT! Looking for that link I just found another one! I'll buy that too, it's better.
One of the strange things I find about this working in this place is the fact that they have these "Work Against Racism" posters all over the place. "ITD is committed to making our workplace an anti-racism workplace". I applaud the idea of it but it's a pity they don't have these posters in the HR department cause there is not one single member of an ethnic minority working here, for fuck sake I've only seen one northsider!
If you can read this information, you have correctly installed your hp Laserjet 1300 PCL 6 on ENT-INTEGRAL."
Now there's a misplaced comma if I've ever seen one.
So what am I gonna do about this whole situation with the week after next then? Got Pixies and Kings of Leon on Tuesday night, Weezer Wednesday, the usual debaucher on Thursday and then my brothers wedding on Friday. I assume there's gonna be some bone crunching beer related activity on Saturday too. If I do somehow survive till that Sunday, I think I'll give up booze forever. My subconscience pulled me aside for a little chat there the other day while I was asleep. It said "Kev, for fuck sake, what are ya doing? I mean this is just childish. Fucking grow up will ya?" but I don't want to grow up. Far from it.
The moral of these stories is: If it hurts, take it out of your ass.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Photos from Whelans last night
Friday, July 22, 2005
My current rambling thoughts.
Tonight consists of many possibilities, there's:
Fixing my cat
Party in Steve's (Hearn)
Party in Steve's (Kennelly)
Going to Whelans
Going to cinema
Meeting up with someone
Staying at home.