Iconic Spotlight : Hunter S. Thompson, by Al Satterwhite

It was a brutal snowing winter when Playboy magazine asked Hunter to do an interview. Hunter was cold and up to his knees in snow at his Owl Farm in the mountains in Aspen, CO, so of course he said, “Sure, let’s do it in Cozumel!”, an island in the Caribbean. “Call that guy in Florida, Al what’s his face, to do the pictures.” Hunter and I had been friends for several years prior since he kept coming to Florida to cover Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States at the time and Hunter’s arch enemy. Hunter would always call me so we could meet up somewhere, usually in Miami, and sometimes in Palm Beach where I lived at the time. This photo was taken one afternoon after Hunter had finished several hours of interviews on the beach at El President Hotel where we were staying. Hunter was looking forward to heading into town to hit the local bar, Pepe’s, where we would hang out, drinking and talking until time for dinner. Never without my camera, I kept shooting. Since Hunter and I had a friendship, he was easy to work with. Hunter being Hunter, the time we spent together was never ever dull. Considered by some to be a quintessential Hunter shot, this image is in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and was also used in their book, “American Cool” 2014.

Words by Al Satterwhite.

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