Wizards Party Invititation After Hunter S. Thompson

02-Nov-83 RPG Big Party!!!
To: su-bboards@SU-AI
[Notice the ARPANET address]

Come to the SKIL Autumn Party, Saturday, November 12, from 9pm until ???

Listen to the Wizards finally blow the walls out of that house.

Beware, this is a Jack Alpert party!

rpg - Someone in Wales sent me a copy of a letter, saying he was pretty sure it was written by Hunter S. Thompson to Ralph Steadman. I don't know how he got it, and I'm not sure I believe his claim that it describes a Jack Alpert party my band, the Wizards, played at last year. Judge for yourselves:

Dear Ralph,

Okay...Things have finally settled down, but I'm not likely to forget that night for a long time. After two weeks of bad drinking and brooding I'm ready to leave the area. It was a lunatic scheme, but Dzura said I had to see one of those parties before I left the Peninsula.

We started out the day in a sleepy seaside town; we hired a boat for a day of deep-sea fishing off the Coast. After 10 hours in the sun drinking Wild Turkey and beer, with a captain full of bad blood and dangerous visions after we asked him to ram a whale so I could bludgeon it to death with the Samoan war club I picked up on the Islands, I wasn't prepared for the party. No way.

We drove down a winding road from Skyline in Dzura's new Ferrari. I was trying to break the speed record set by Al Church, leader of the Menlo Park Hell's Angels. Dzura was shooting at mailboxes while hanging out the window in a drunken, drugged haze, his mind wandering free from his body, following the 45 caliber slugs through the mailboxes and their load of mail into the ground or into the houses behind them.

The Bay lay off to our right and below, the street lights stretching like lines of coke parallel to the dark water. The Bay, surrounded by bright yellow-orange lights, wavering in the rising heat, looked like a cross-section through a woman's pelvis - the black silhouette like a womb, drawing us downward at a dizzying pace, the chemicals coursing through my brain faster than the Ferrari side-slipping down the fall line.

Dzura pulled out a hand-drawn map, stained with ketchup, beer, and God-knows-what-else, claiming the scratches had something to do with where we were going. He described a brace of houses settled into a hollow behind the University. What we found was something else altogether: a damp, creaking, slanting hovel set against the shoulder of a hill. It was wet and evil behind there, only fifteen feet from the road.

I heard the music as we slid past the live oaks and manzanitas towards a window. We crawled through the rotting moss like snakes; finally we made it to the window, and what I saw stunned me. Some guy with one ear the size of my hand and the other the size of a peanut had a handful of white powder that he shovelled up his nose. The mason jar next to him carried enough coke to bake a dozen pancakes. Aunt Jemima! The woman next to him was as naked as my brain felt, exposed to the air. They were right: Clothes for women at parties are illegal in California.

In the next room I could see the people flailing and thrashing to a primitive, old-sounding beat. Like frenzied piranha or blood-charmed sharks, they moved in odd, mishappen motions. I wondered where the music was coming from and soon saw the band. Not an unusual band - not until I saw the bastard at the right end. He was dark and bad. His eyes stared at me like he had seen me humping his mother in the barn and wanted to rip my ears off. His amp was big - big enough to tear the balls off a charging rhino at 40 yards. He played the guitar like he was choking a crooked bookie. His left hand, wrapped around the guitar's neck, bent and warped cruel, pitiful sounds from the steel strings. But those sounds were horrible and beautiful - somewhere between the screech of wind through the gates of Hell and the first rush of female ecstasy.

Drunken, drug-riddled bodies were everywhere; did I imagine them? I pulled the syringe out of my pocket and kicked it into the brush. "To hell with this shit; we were robbed. If I ever get my hands on...." "Dammit," Dzura belched, "the party hasn't even started yet. Hell, let's go in anyway."

We grabbed 4 bottles of Wild Turkey and my briefcase and went in.

I found a fifty gallon steel drum full of 30 gallons of vodka and 20 gallons of orange juice. I dumped in 4 quarts of whiskey, a six-pack of Anchor Steam, a vial of amyl, 3 grams of coke, and a jar full of China White - everything I had in my briefcase. Dzura pulled some foul-looking mushrooms out of a brown sack and threw them in too. His face was grim, like an intent scientist. He watched the mushrooms melt and dissolve into the fluid. I wasn't touching that stuff for anybody, at least not yet.

Later I saw that guitar-playing bastard during a break scraping the sweat off his back with a Philipino machete. He didn't like me and I didn't want to mess with him. He eyed me constantly. He hated me and I could feel it. But the music they played felled me. Soon my mind was shot, blown out.

Swimming in that drum of brew, my septum was bleeding, and I felt like I had been kicked by a mule. The people, most with no clothes and all with no grip on reality, were dancing, snorting, drinking, breeding - all around me. I knew I wouldn't live until dawn, but I wanted to throw myself to these primitive, suicidal people. I loved it.

I awakened the next morning with a naked woman on each side of me. Smells, barnyard smells, filtered into my nostrils, still aching from drugs or punches. The fifty gallon drum was upended. My back hurt - felt like it was broken. Wet and caked, maybe there was a hole in it, but I couldn't smell any gunpowder or see any blood.

I was lucky to escape alive, Ralph. I hid out in the swamps by the Bay until this morning. Finally, I think I can get on a plane back to Colorado.

Crouched in the brackish salt water every morning for 2 weeks, I'd wake from a dream I could never remember - screaming, head back, facing the rising sun, screaming, "ALPERT!!!"