Hunter S. Thompson was no literary snob. In 1970, he wrote to Rolling Stone editor John Lombardo, “I resent your assumption that Music is Not My Bag, because I’ve been arguing for the past few years that music is the New Literature, that Dylan is the 1960s’ answer to Hemingway, and that the main voice of the ’70s will be on records & videotape instead of books.”
Gonzo listening: Hunter S. Thompson lists his 10 favourite records of the “rock age” of the 1960s, including classics from Dylan, The Stones and Miles Davis.
In this same letter, which can be found in a collection of correspondences collocated in Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist 1968–
Technically, the list came from Raoul Duke, Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-addled alter ago who featured in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (which was released a year after the letter was penned). Here is what it read:
1) Herbie Mann’s 1969 Memphis Underground
2) Bob Dylan’s 1965 Bringing It All Back Home (especially noted as Mr. Tambourine Man in his letter)
3) Dylan’s 1965 Highway 61 Revisited
4) The Grateful Dead’s 1970 Workingman’s Dead
5) The Rolling Stones’ 1969 Let it Bleed
6) Buffalo Springfield’s 1967 Buffalo Springfield
7) Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 Surrealistic Pillow
8) Roland Kirk’s “various albums”
9) Miles Davis’s 1959 Sketches of Spain
10) Sandy Bull’s 1965 Inventions
The folks over at Open Culture (who brought this amazing list to light for us) have put together a Spotify playlist of Thompson’s top 10 album, sans Sandy Bull’s Inventions, which hasn’t been added to the streaming service.