Louisville native, Hunter Thompson, covered the 1970 Kentucky Derby for Scanlon’s Monthly. Titled “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved”, it was Thompson’s first article coined as “Gonzo Journalism”.
“Creeping Jesus, I thought. That screws the press credentials. I had a vision of some nerve-rattling geek all covered with matted hair and string-warts showing up in the press office and demanding 'Scanlan’s' press packet. Well…what the hell? We could always load up on acid and spend the day roaming around the clubhouse grounds with bit sketch pads, laughing hysterically at the natives and swilling mint julep so the cops wouldn’t think we’re abnormal…
“I took the expressway out to the track, driving very fast and jumping the monster car back and forth between lanes, driving with a beer in one hand and my mind so muddled that I almost crushed a Volkswagen full of nuns when I swerved to catch the right exit.”
It’s quite a departure from the style and substance of William Faulkner’s piece fifteen years earlier. Hunter Thompson could have just as well grown up to be a sociopath.