Remember to check out the HST & Friends section for more biographical information.


  • Personal events are in purple
  • Gonzo literary events are in amber-orange

1960 - Hunter and Sandy return to the States, moving around and writing in California. HST flogs Prince Jellyfish, the saga of Wellburn Kemp, to various publishers, only to be turned down each time. He write to a friend in The Proud Highway: "Auntie Mame bounced 19 times, got to keep hustling."

1961- HST and Sandy move to Big Sur, California, where HST writes, rides his motorcycle, terrorizes the patrons of a gay bath with Dobermans, gets beat up by gays soon after, writes "Big Sur: The Garden of Agony" for Rogue magazine. It is this article that gets HST evicted. Mrs. V.A. Murphy, mother of HST's friend Dennis, was not exactly happy with what he wrote about her property. A second article, Burial At Sea is published in the December Rogue.

1962 - HST tries to sell The Rum Diary. He leaves the US in May as a South American correspondent for the National Observer. He writes some of his finest pre-gonzo pieces, many which later end up in a National Observer collection. HST endures dysentry, heat, insects, and sleeping near the bells of a church. He returns to the US in early May 1963.

May 19, 1963 - HST marries Sandra Dawn Conklin.

Early 1964 - Hunter and Sandy move to the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood of San Francisco.

March 23, 1964 - Juan Fitzgerald Thompson is born.

Early 1965 - Hunter leaves the National Observer after a culmination of numerous book review rejections - the final straw was the rejection of a reivew of Tom Wolfe's Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby (Thompson, 1990, p107)

April, 1965 - Hunter begins hanging with the Hell's Angels to research an article. Thanks to Carey McWilliams of The Nation, it becomes a full length book.

July 22, 1965 - Hunter takes the Angels to Ken Kesey's ranch in La Honda for an acid test. HST tapes the event for Tom Wolfe and Allen Ginsberg writes a poem about the party. The event brings together the beats, hippies, Angels and new journalists.

Labor Day, 1966 - HST's relationship with the Angels goes sour and he gets stomped, later writing the infamous postscript to Hell's Angels.

1966 - Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang is published by Random House.

1967 - Shortly after finishing Hell's Angels, HST settles permanently at Owl Farm in Woody Creek. HST meets Oscar Acosta for the first time in a bar called The Daisy Duck sometime in the summer. They become fast friends and according to Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, crash a peace demonstration wearing black masks and wielding tear gas.

June 1967 - HST is offended that Larry OBrien offers the governorship of Samoa to someone else.*

November 1967 - HST writes "The Ultimate Freelancer", a memorial for Lionel Olay for The Distant Drummer. Olay was "not much over forty", but died of a mild stroke.

1968 - HST attempts to publish The Rum Diary, his Puerto Rican novel. It keeps bouncing, and eventually he gives up after having a Random House secretary steal it back for him. Hunter covers the Nixon/Humphrey race as a free-lancer.

June 1968 - Hunter is beaten by the police at the Chicago Democratic Convention. It is this event that persuades him that he must become personally involved in politics. He gradually becomes unhappy with the glamorization of Aspen.

Februrary 1969 - HST writes "First Visit with Mescalito" which is later published in Songs of the Doomed and just as "Mescalito" in Screwjack. Writing from a hotel room in Los Angeles, this little piece can be thought of as a precursor to FLLV; HST types while waiting for Oscar to come take him to the airport.

* The incident becomes part of the gonzo myth that later resurfaces in Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. O'Brien was named Postmaster General in 1965.

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