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May 29 2010

Dennis Hopper & Hunter S. Thompson - Lives Really Lived

One of the most important choices in life is whether to break rules or to follow rules.  To be in a league of our own or to be a cog in some machine.  To be a real artist or to paint by the numbers.

Dennis Hopper, the unconventional and iconoclastic actor, photographer, poet, painter, and sculptor, died today at the age of 74 after five decades of breaking rules and thinking along the edge where all art and change happens.

In a May 1993 interview with Spin Magazine (included in Ancient Gonzo Wisdom), Hunter S. Thompson is quoted as saying "As a journalist I somehow managed to break all the rules and still succeed."  Of course, HST wasn't successful in spite of breaking all the rules but rather because of his personal courage to break rules his entire life and create art that has changed so many people.

From that same May 1993 interview in Spin Magazine:

Spin: You once said that if the movie [Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas] was ever made, you wanted Dennis Hopper to play you.

HST: . . . I still think Dennis might be good playing my role.

Hardly a coincidence that Hunter S. Thompson would have such high regard for a fellow hellraiser and rule breaker like Dennis Hopper.

"Every man dies, not every man really lives." - William Ross Wallace