Johnny Depp to pay for Gonzo memorial cannon tower; Hunter S. Thompson funeral to be private, not public

A memorial service for the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson will be held on his farm in Woody Creek, Colorado on August 20, 2005–the six-month anniversary of his death. However, earlier plans to have the event open to the public have been cancelled. Naomi Havlen of the Aspen Times reports, “The invitation-only event includes erecting a 150-foot-tall structure with a cannon on top of it. According to Thompson’s wishes, his cremated remains will be shot out of the cannon onto his property.”

Johnny Depp, who starred in the film of Hunter’s classic FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, is paying for the construction of the tower, which will resemble Hunter’s Gonzo logo–a fist clutching a peyote button. The cannon tower, which will be temporary and not a permanent part of the landscape, will be 12 feet wide at its base and 8 feet wide at the top, and as tall as a five-story building. Havlen adds that the tower will be constructed 1,000 feet from Woody Creek Road so it doesn’t become a tourist attraction. Jon Equis, the event producer working with the Thompson family to plan the memorial, said that the tower will be covered with a black drape until it is unveiled for the funeral service, to keep the “looky Lous” from congregating on the roadway. Equis added that the public is being discouraged from even coming to the area for the funeral. A public celebration of Hunter S. Thompson’s life is planned for a later date.

For guests with invitations to the memorial service, a tented area will be set up on Owl Farm, and the evening will consist of “spoken word and live entertainment,” Equis said. Plans are to fire the cannon around the time the sun is setting, so that Thompson’s family and friends can see his ashes dispersing on the property before it is too dark. The memorial is scheduled to begin around 7 p.m. on August 20th and last until 1 a.m.

The Zone thanks gilly, moo, L2, emma, DeepinDepp, and Reemi for contributing to this story. You can read the article in the Aspen Times HERE.

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