Monday, February 13, 2017

The unstoppable Hunter S. Thompson nearly burns his house down incinerating his dried out Christmas tree.

It was something of a Christmas ritual at Hunter S. Thompson’s Colorado cabinOwl Farm. Every year, his secretary Deborah Fuller would take down the Christmas tree and leave it on the front porch rather than dispose of it entirely. That’s because Hunter, more often than not, wanted to set it on fire. In 1990, Sam Allis, a writer for then formidable TIME magazine, visited Thompson’s home and watched the fiery tradition unfold. He wrote:
I gave up on the interview and started worrying about my life when Hunter Thompson squirted two cans of fire starter on the Christmas tree he was going to burn in his living-room fireplace, a few feet away from an unopened wooden crate of 9-mm bullets. That the tree was far too large to fit into the fireplace mattered not a whit to Hunter, who was sporting a dime-store wig at the time and resembled Tony Perkins in Psycho. Minutes earlier, he had smashed a Polaroid camera on the floor.
Hunter had decided to videotape the Christmas tree burning, and we later heard on the replay the terrified voices of Deborah Fuller, his longtime secretary-baby sitter, and me off-camera pleading with him, “NO, HUNTER, NO! PLEASE, HUNTER, DON’T DO IT!” The original manuscript of Hell’s Angels was on the table, and there were the bullets. Nothing doing. Thompson was a man possessed by now, full of the Chivas Regal he had been slurping straight from the bottle and the gin he had been mixing with pink lemonade for hours.
The wooden mantle above the fireplace apparently still has burn marks on it today. 

When I burn our old trees, I do it outside, and perch bottle rockets in the branches for extra excitement.   There are, however, no movies of this fun.  No need to create evidence the police will see.


  1. Man..They called they called him Gonzo for a REASON. The Dude was nucking futz, with life long drug and booze blood levels that would rival Keith Moon. I mean READ "Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas" He carried and consumed more drugs than most ER's or club 54---Ray

  2. Reminded me of the plant chemist that we had a work back in the late seventies and early eighties. He was always doing crazy stupid things like that. Now, you would think that a chemist would know better, but no. One year he decided to burn his Christmas tree in an open head 55 gal drum. He stuffed the tree right side up into the drum and doused it with a bunch of gasoline. Then he poured a trail of gas up the driveway so that he would be far enough away when he lit it. Probably one of the few smart things that he did in his life. When he touched it off the explosion was so large that it launched the tree into the air and it ended up landing on the neighbor's garage roof. Try explaining something like that to the police, fire department and insurance company. And yes, he was a heavy drinker. A very large chunk of his monthly paycheck went to pay his tab that the owner of the Crystal Lounge let him run.........

  3. The Cowboy junkies are singing the perfect backdrop song to the fire. it made me laugh. I miss Hunter Thompson, one of the last unapologetic stoner holdouts.