50 Years Ago Today, Thompson and Steadman descend on Churchill Downs

And the journalism world was never the same again. It was Thompson and Steadman’s first meeting, and only three years after Thompson had published what, in my opinion, was if not his best certainly one of his best works: 1967’s Hell’s Angels. It was the book that got me hooked on Hunter Thompson.

“Among the Kentucky Colonels, Thompson and Steadman stood out like sore thumbs. Fresh from his failed Freak Power campaign for sheriff in Aspen the same year, Thompson was sporting a shaved head. He was also tall, handsome, and usually dressed in bright clothes. Steadman, on the other hand, had long hair and a wild beard. The two men should have found it easy to locate one another, but somehow it took them two days before they finally met in the press room. They immediately set about drinking and did not stop until several days after the race.”

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