Published on October 6th, 2015 | by gatsbyadmin0
Freak Power – Book review
DJ Watkins has completed his second book from the legacy of Aspen and Woody Creek. The fist installment on Tom Benton, the counter culture artists, and now with “Freak Power” on Hunter S. Thompson’s campaign for Sheriff in Aspen. This book is a testament to the mission of the “good doctor” Thompson as he tried to leave he mark on the natural and greed filled Aspen. His work and impact on the Aspen scene politically, environmentally, and with radical freedom is part of the reason for the long term protection of the community. From Joe Edwards beginning to the end of Whit (the old regime sheriff), the change of society in this book is nothing short of astounding.
The forward from the legendary Bob Braudis is moving, insightful, and describes the roots of the movement in Aspen. Bob’s writing and photography continue to move us and we look forward to move of his work.
We received a signed copy at the office last week and have been turning the pages ever since. From Hell’s Angel death threats to the infamous “Aspen Wallposter,” it’s all in this book. We were delighted to see many of the old newspapers, photographs, and wallposters in the pages of this hard cover. Hunt, our president, spent many a day around the Stranahan property while living in Woody Creek. “The story of Joe Edwards is enough to make the book turn pages fast. His willingness to do what is just eventually turned towards a mayor campaign…..and later he sat on the planning committee. He was a gaurdian for the people and his impact still lives on today. Without the radical efforts of HST…..some of the gentlemen in this book would have had a vastly different future. That is what being an advocate and leader is all about…..taking risks the Gonzo way,” Hunt was filled with great stories and was delighted to see the book.
“I didn’t come here for brighter lights or better hotdogs.” – Hunter S. Thompson
The pages are filled with archives and one of the infamous are the “Aspen Wallposters.” They were a series of posters that featured artwork from Tom Benton and writing form HST. They were the first newsletter of their kind and were spread to help the campaign of the Freak Power Awareness (Benton, Thompson, and their crew of new society thoughts). These posters, to this day, are coveted by fans, legends, and museums. The work of HST comes off the page and slaps you in the face. Benton’s artwork is simplistic yet brings meaning to the war around them. The greed of the new world, the lies of the old politicians, the mistreatment of the younger generations, and the changes that are coming…..The nature, community, and service to the public were the main result from their guerrilla printing.
DJ Watkins curates the Gonzo Gallery in Aspen, has written about Tom Benton, and continues to collect the works of many of the Roaring Fork Valley legends. From George Stranahan, Tom Benton, and HST, we have seen a long ling of heritage and history from the Valley. If you wish to purchase a copy of “Freak Power,” you can from www.freakpower.com. If you want to follow along from your device, you can follow @gonzogallery. And if you are ever in Aspen you should swing by and check out the exhibit live – 625 E. Hyman Ave Aspen CO, 81611.