The other day, BW received an e-mail from Boisean Brian Harvey, a young man who has received national attention for his singular invitation to a singular-to say the least-event. Harvey described to BW the life-changing moment: "My housemates looking on while I opened the package revealing the top of the champagne style porter. While lifting the massive beer out of the mailing tube I noticed a small envelope and asked myself curiously,"Is that a golden ticket?" I opened envelope, and noticed a corner of the golden ticket. 'Yeah!' I exclaimed and the room erupted into dance."
No, Harvey didn't get inside Willy Wonka's chocolate factory with that golden ticket. Rather, he was the only member of the public invited to attend Hunter S. Thompson's memorial explosion on August 20.
Flying Dog Brewery of Denver put out a Thompson tribute in the form of limited edition Gonzo Imperial Porter, a $95 numbered and signed bottle of beer. Harvey's bottle was No. 1,099 of 1,500 and contained a Willy Wonka-style "Golden Ticket" to Thompson's memorial. Besides an invite to the event that was strictly closed to the public, Harvey's "Golden Ticket" included roundtrip airfare and transportation to and from the funerary event at Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado, and two nights' accommodation.
Last Saturday night, as friends, family and glitterati (not to mention would-be gate crashers outside) looked on, Thompson's cremains were shot from a 15-story tower in a shape modeled after Thompson's clenched-fist emblem.
Thompson died at the age of 67 at his home on February 20, 2005, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Look for Harvey's firsthand account of Thompson's bizarre sendoff in the September 7 issue of BW.