Hunter S. Thompson’s Harrowing, Chemical-Filled Daily Routine

E. Jean Car­rol­l’s 1993 mem­oir of Hunter S. Thomp­son (1937–2005) opens like this:

I have heard the biog­ra­phers of Har­ry S. Tru­man, Cather­ine the Great, etc., etc., say they would give any­thing if their sub­jects were alive so they could ask them some ques­tions. I, on the oth­er hand, would give any­thing if my sub­ject were dead.

He should be. Oh, yes. Look at his dai­ly rou­tine:

3:00 p.m. rise

3:05 Chivas Regal with the morn­ing papers, Dun­hills

3:45 cocaine

3:50 anoth­er glass of Chivas, Dun­hill

4:05 first cup of cof­fee, Dun­hill

4:15 cocaine

4:16 orange juice, Dun­hill

4:30 cocaine

4:54 cocaine

5:05 cocaine

5:11 cof­fee, Dun­hills

5:30 more ice in the Chivas

5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.

6:00 grass to take the edge off the day

7:05 Woody Creek Tav­ern for lunch-Heineken, two mar­gar­i­tas, coleslaw, a taco sal­ad, a dou­ble order of fried onion rings, car­rot cake, ice cream, a bean frit­ter, Dun­hills, anoth­er Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shred­ded ice over which is poured three or four jig­gers of Chivas.)

9:00 starts snort­ing cocaine seri­ous­ly

10:00 drops acid

11:00 Char­treuse, cocaine, grass

11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.

12:00 mid­night, Hunter S. Thomp­son is ready to write

12:05–6:00 a.m. Char­treuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, cof­fee, Heineken, clove cig­a­rettes, grape­fruit, Dun­hills, orange juice, gin, con­tin­u­ous porno­graph­ic movies.

6:00 the hot tub-cham­pagne, Dove Bars, fet­tuc­cine Alfre­do

8:00 Hal­cy­on

8:20 sleep

Ms. Car­roll, you have my atten­tion, I do declare. But when I get a grip on myself, I won­der: How did she get ahold of this list? Did Thomp­son map it all out for her? Did he note it in a diary, or jot it all down on a nap­kin? Or did Car­roll observe him fol­low­ing this rou­tine while vis­it­ing his 7,000-acre estate in Woody Creek, Col­orado? And, if the lat­ter, you have to won­der whether Thomp­son always lived this hard? Or was this a bit of schtick, the nur­tur­ing of a Gonzo per­sona now decades in the mak­ing? It’s hard to know what’s true, or what’s not. All I do know is this: Car­roll has made her 1993 biog­ra­phy, Hunter: The Strange and Sav­age Life of Hunter S. Thomp­son, avail­able for free online. You can down­load it in PDF and RTF for­mats via her web site, or find it housed in our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks.

Mean­while, if you want to delve more deeply into Thomp­son’s dai­ly rou­tine, you can head to Lapham’s Quar­ter­ly where HST out­lines his ide­al break­fast. It con­sists of “four Bloody Marys, two grape­fruits, a pot of cof­fee, Ran­goon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Span­ish omelette or eggs Bene­dict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for ran­dom sea­son­ing, and some­thing like a slice of key lime pie, two mar­gar­i­tas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert.” All eat­en naked and alone. Nat­u­ral­ly.

Note: above you can hear a read­ing of HST’s dai­ly chem­i­cal intake.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hunter S. Thomp­son Calls Tech Sup­port, Unleash­es a Tirade Full of Fear and Loathing (NSFW)

John­ny Depp Reads Let­ters from Hunter S. Thomp­son (NSFW)

Hunter S. Thomp­son Remem­bers Jim­my Carter’s Cap­ti­vat­ing Bob Dylan Speech (1974)

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Comments (16)
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  • John Lee Hooker says:

    Obvi­ous­ly fake, come on now open cul­ture …

  • Hunter S. Thompson says:

    Well I would­n’t rec­om­mend it for every­one, but it always worked for me!

  • Nikta says:

    I remem­ber read­ing this book after see­ing HST at my col­lege lec­ture series. It’s a fan­tas­tic read. A bit of truth stretch­ing, but noth­ing the Good Doc­tor did­n’t approve of. :)

  • Kansas Voices says:

    I did­n’t know you could get a Dove bar in Aspekn .… or a Chivas snow cone.

  • Raoul says:

    I can’t find the pdf to down­load on this site and her web­site does­n’t work for me either. Any help?

  • Sunshine says:

    Try the rtf down­load, worked on my ipad

  • Will says:

    I would wager that this is bull­shit + truth mixed togeth­er. Hav­ing watched Fear and Loathing count­less times, read excerpts of numer­ous Thomp­son essays/books and read a good deal more about the man than I have read about most peo­ple; it’s my opin­ion that Thomp­son was a fuck­ing ass­hole. He’d prob­a­bly say the same.

  • Martin McCallion says:

    It’s plain to me that the list is in itself and exer­cise in gonzo fic­tion. Even HST could­n’t sur­vive a diet like that.

    Well, not _every_ day.

    And where I come from a Dove bar is soap.

  • Rikidozan says:

    I don’t think this is bull­shit. There are peo­ple who had tak­en uppers and down­ers all day try­ing to bal­ance their day-to-day life by tip­ping each side of it with extremes. This is also just a vari­a­tion of the old-school alco­hol (to tone down) + amphet­a­mines (to liv­en up) “diet” some peo­ple used to do in the 50s.

  • Randy Woodall says:

    So, take the Gonzo Chal­lenge?

  • Shitstorm says:

    I don’t see why any of you find this so unbe­liev­able, clear­ly none of you have any expe­ri­ence with drug use or drug users. I could live this day eas­i­ly. Maybe he did­n’t do it EVERYDAY but this sounds like some­thing he did reg­u­lar­ly, it was his lifestyle. He was a great writer, great incite, his per­spec­tive was some­thing most could­n’t con­ceive. One of the great­est voic­es of the lit­er­ary world. Sure, maybe some of you are too eso­teric to take him seri­ous­ly and will always have some­thing to say about what he was or was­n’t. How­ev­er, he was a great man. Ass­hole or not. Long live Hunter. Long live Gonzo jour­nal­ism.

  • Ricky says:

    Out of all those intox­i­cants, alo­co­hol is the one that wud catch up with you first. This wud b a tough rou­tine. He wud have had to been young to do it often, any­way.

  • David says:

    With­out hav­ing stud­ied HST near­ly as close­ly as you, or, indeed, at all—I’ve read the essen­tial canon, seen John­ny Dep­p’s car­i­ca­ture, and engaged in con­ver­sa­tion­al riff­ing on and/or in the style of, but that’s real­ly all—I’d wager your “fuck­ing ass­hole” assess­ment is as spot on as your belief that he’d agree, which is to say com­plete­ly. He was also an astute and fear­less observ­er and writer. I’m guess­ing you’re as grate­ful for him as I.

  • David A Johnson says:


  • Josh says:

    Imag­ine try­ing to write after drop­ping acid every night: nope. And if we take that out of the equa­tion we have alco­holism: yep.

  • David says:

    This was com­pre­hen­sive­ly debunked on the Beat­dom web­site. It orig­i­nal­ly came from a cre­ative biog­ra­phy of Hunter and was nev­er meant to be thought of as a seri­ous account of his dai­ly activ­i­ties.

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