AND WE'RE OFF!
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
You know when they started this thing I was still living in Georgia, shooting wedding videos and living out in the woods like some sort of hillbilly. I didn't know who Ron was or Nick Storm and the only thing I knew about Louisville was that they made baseball bats. Hell, even as a Hunter S. Thompson fan I wouldn't have drawn the connection to him and his hometown.
ENTER RON WHITEHEAD
I met Ron through a little publication I was working on getting up and running called GonzoToday with a few other freaks and weirdos. Ron was in the Gonzo Circle if you will, dead center of it in many ways, and so naturally we became acquainted. But even once I moved to Louisville to headquarter GonzoToday and join the production team of GonzoFest Louisville I never thought I'd be taking on the final chapter in this almost 10 year saga.
I met fellow producer Nick Storm through Ron also. he was a television personality at the time producing a show called PurePolitics on Spectrum News and cn|2 here in Louisville and I had heard somehow through the grapevine that he was working on a film about Ron.
My first foray into the matter was when the world of GonzoToday and GonzoFest collided with Outlaw Poet in the form of an iconic and historic road-trip to Denver to meet the family of Hunter S. Thompson and spend two days in their home. And oh what a time it was!!! I'll post about that particular story later for our subscribers. It was a doozy. But anyways it was a 16 hour drive with Nick Storm and Ron Whitehead that ended up in true fear and loathing style with magic rituals, Dunhills, flame throwers and presidential historian and CNN correspondent Doug Brinkley. (SEE THE VIDEO OF FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE ROAD TO DENVER HERE)
Anyways that was 3 years ago now and a lot of distance from Gonzo and the madness that surrounded it daily. I settled down and settled in a bit, started a more serious video company Darkstar TV and devoted my time between that and family. I resigned from GonzoToday and the board of GonzoFest and pursued other hobbies, thinking that except for the occasional run in with Ron on at Louisville events or a holiday letter from Ralph STEADman that those days were long behind me.
ENTER NICK STORM
That was up until I got a message out of the blue about 4 months ago from Nick that he had taken on a position with the U.S. Attorneys Office and was no longer pursuing the film as a primary objective (after 9 years of tireless investigative journalism, footage and traveling with Ron around the world) and wondered if I might take over the monumental task of closing out the production phase and take it into and through post-production. At the time I was flattered but felt about the same way he did about it. I had moved on and wasn't terribly interested in getting back into that mindset. But I agreed to review the latest edit and consider it.
After viewing the state of the film I was a bit discouraged at the amount of work still to be done, but out of respect for Ron, the time already put into the project, and with an off season coming up where I would have alot of time to edit I figured what the hell, I'd do it. If not this year then next. Then life happened again for a month or two. ENTER TIM MOORHEAD
I had known Tim also through GonzoToday. He was a member of our journalism team there and we had worked on a couple of assignments together over the years. I had learned through Nick during the Denver trip that Tim was one of the investors and financeers of the film, especially pertaining to the Iceland Trip and STEADman visit. He had also provided some of his secretly filmed footage of the Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp visit in 1996 which centered around Ron and which is extremely rare. The only other known footage that existed of that event was the Ewing footage which ended up being used as the basis for the documentary Breakfast with Hunter.
Tim actually had come to visit me at the studio to pitch another TV series involving alternative history in Kentucky with Kentucky Poet Laureate and historian Mr. Lee Pennington (more on that in another post also) and one thing led to another and he brought up the Outlaw Poet documentary, how frustrated he was that it seemed to have fallen off the radar and lamenting a lost investment when I told him that coincidentally I had just taken over the finalization of the project from Nick.
And that is what really got the ball rolling. Tim's excitement was followed by a very quick reunion with Ron and I cleared the calendar and set immediately about wrapping up the production. We filmed 5 or 6 more interviews, recorded commentary and gathered the last (or almost the last) of the footage and then last week finalized the Outlaw Poet Group, LLC to set about the official post production process.
And I will expand on this and many more interesting facts and tidbits, including having other guests and video blogs and plenty of content down the pipeline.
Member of the Outlaw Poet website will come along with Ron, Nick, Tim and myself on the last leg of this incredible journey with behind the scenes footage and commentary, weekly directors blogs just like this, Ron's Outlaw Journal blog and the most comprehensive and easily arranged archives of audio and film related to Ron and his immense body of work.
And it will grow constantly! The already formidable volume of content is only a portion of what we still have to get archived and as a premium subscriber you will have access to all of it, and all of us, every step of the way! And what is even better than that, you ask? Well that would be that if you join now for 1 year for $45 dollars you get not only a big discount on the subscription price, you get a FREE Outlaw Poet Mean Mug sent right to your door! And folks if you haven't heard already, the Mean Mug is the very finest, and most culturally and politically valuable drinking vessels on the face of the earth. Ron drinks from one, Nick drinks from one, I use mine for sweet, sweet fruit of the barley, and even Tim has one that he uses to keep his teeth in at night while he sleeps.
So join the Outlaw Nation today and embark on this journey with us, see more great content, listen to most of Ron's albums and materials and follow along with our weekly updates including engagements from Ron himself.
I will have another update for you in a few days. Till then Never Bow Down...