Gonzo but not forgotten: Johnny Depp’s wearable homage to Hunter S. Thompson


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When Johnny Depp arrived at my house last week -- on the cover of an ‘Entertainment Weekly’ ‘entertainers of the decade’ issue -- my eye caught the pendant hanging around his neck. In the last few years, I’ve rarely seen an off-screen photo of the actor without the dagger and clenched fist design bearing the word ‘Gonzo.’

It’s in honor of the late Hunter S. Thompson, who became close friends with Depp after the latter portrayed the former in the film version of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’ The design (which depicts a six-fingered* fist clenched around a peyote button at one end and a dagger at the other) appeared on posters during Thompson’s 1970 bid for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colo., and later became the de facto logo of the author and to a certain degree, a shorthand symbol of the ‘gonzo’ writing style that was his stock in trade.


If there’s a Thompson (or Depp) aficionado on your Secret Santa list, you can pick up lapel pins, T-shirts, baseball caps and bumper stickers bearing the Gonzo Fist logo at the official website run by his widow, Anita Thompson, with 100% of the proceeds going to manage, preserve and protect Thompson’s beloved Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colo.

And to sweeten the deal, through Jan. 1, 2010, you can get 15% off all orders over $10 by entering the promo code HOLIDAY2009 at checkout (though the site suggests placing your order by Dec. 18 to ensure delivery within the U.S.)

-- Adam Tschorn

* [UPDATED 12/8/09: In an earlier version of this post, the ‘gonzo fist’ logo was described as a ‘five-fingered-fist.’ An alert reader (and HST fan no doubt) reminds me that it actually depicts six fingers -- well, four fingers and two thumbs -- clenched around a peyote button. ‘Twas my own fat fingers at fault. -- AT]

On the cover of the current ‘Entertainment Weekly,’ Johnny Depp wears a gonzo fist logo pendant around his neck -- an homage to his friend, author Hunter S. Thompson, who passed away in 2005. Credit: Entertainment Weekly

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