PFU MIX #004

USE: Dealing With Heartbreak, Shock and Depression Stages. For Her.

  1. Little Dragon – Twice
  2. Portishead – Mysterons
  3. Beach House – Some Things Last A Long Time
  4. Shangri-Las – I’ll Never Learn
  5. Lali Puna – Don’t Think
  6. Patsy Cline – Why Can’t He Be You?
  7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Down Boy
  8. Betty Crutcher – So Lonely Without You
  9. Blonde Redhead – Misery Is A Butterfly (Wicked Version)
  10. Aretha Franklin – Without The One I Love
  11. Holly Golightly with The Greenhornes – There Is An End
  12. Nina Simone – Either Way I Lose
  13. Cat Power – Metal Heart [Original Version]
  14. Heart – Alone
  15. Boss Hog – Texas
  16. Dolly Parton – Jolene
  17. Etta James – Fool That I Am
  18. Debbie Dean – A New Girl
  19. Neko Case – (Look For Me) I’ll Be Around
  20. Delizia – Laissons Passer les Annees
  21. Mazzy Star – Into Dust
  22. Yael Naim – Toxic



PFU #002

USE: Dealing with Heartbreak – Shock and Anger Stages. For Her.

  1. Aretha Franklin – Chain of Fools [Extended Version]
  2. The Fitness – Dance This
  3. The Fiery Furnaces – Single Again
  4. Fabienne DelSol – I’m Gonna Haunt You
  5. The Slits – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
  6. Loretta Lynn – The Pill
  7. Von Iva – Not Hot To Trot
  8. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Doing All Right With The Boys
  9. Lykke Li – I’m Good, I’m Gone
  10. France Gall – Laisse Tomber Les Filles [Chick Habit]
  11. Josie Cotton – Johnny, Are You Queer?
  12. Beyonce – Irreplaceable
  13. Petula Clark – Romeo
  14. The Duke Spirit – Love Is An Unfamiliar Name
  15. Big Mama Thornton – I Smell A Rat
  16. The Kimonos – You Better Run
  17. The Flirtations – Nothing But A Heartache
  18. Ladytron – Another Breakfast With You
  19. The 2 of Clubs – Heart
  20. Erykah Badu – Tyrone
  21. Annie – Take You Home


Hunter S. Thompson Sets A Christmas Tree On Fire



The Christmas Tree

December 12th, 2010

Hunter had a soft heart for Christmas. He loved to receive and give gifts, and his were lots of fun. I still have a kitchen clock he gave me that announces each hour with a different bird call. “Have you learned which birds are at each hour yet?” he often inquired. But, I never have figured out the sequence, even though they keep calling from the kitchen more than a decade later, reminding me of my mischievous friend.

Every December there was a Christmas tree decorated in the living room at Owl Farm, and in January, Deborah Fuller – Hunter’s dedicated secretary for two decades – would take down the tree, but leave it either on the porch or by the wood pile out front in case Hunter wanted to burn it.

On January 9, 1990, Hunter had a visitor from Time Magazine, a reporter who Deborah remembers by a first name of Allen, but his surname has been lost unless he happens to read this and corrects the record.

“Let’s give the journalist a memorable experience to write about,” declared Hunter. “He needs to learn how to burn the creosote out of a chimney. We can’t run the risk of a chimney fire during the year.”

Of course, there’s a fine line between burning the creosote out of a chimney and starting a creosote fire that burns at 2100 Degrees Fahrenheit and sounds like a jet airplane taking off just before it explodes through the sides of your chimney and burns down a log cabin style house like Owl Farm.

In preparation, Deborah gathered all the fire extinguishers in the living room, while Hunter set up a video camera since I wasn’t there to shoot it. (I was back East, finishing a TV special for NBC News with Tom Brokaw called “The New Hollywood.” Believe me, Hunter was a hell of a lot more interesting to hang out with than Tom Brokaw, but as they say in show business: “Theater is life. Film is art. TV is rent.”)

I used some of Hunter’s Christmas tree video in Breakfast with Hunter when Ralph Steadman reads from a 1995 Time/Life book titled “The Enigma of Personality” which so far as I know is the only printed reference to the burning of the Christmas tree other than interviews in which I have mentioned it. Allen the Time Magazine reporter seems to have produced only this anecdote for the book and nowhere else from his 1990 winter’s journey to Owl Farm, but somebody please correct me in the comments section below if I’m wrong on this point.

Visitors to Owl Farm usually came in search of an experience with Hunter that would make a good story whether they were journalists or fans, and Hunter always delivered. But, the story wasn’t necessarily what they expected. In this case, Hunter got more than he bargained for as well; you can see how desperately he pokes at the burning Christmas tree, trying to contain the raging fire. The heavy wooden mantle still has the burn marks to this day.

Before he put the tree in the fireplace, there was a small fire burning already. The mass of the tree almost snuffed out the first fire when he jammed it in, so Hunter threatened to splash lighter fluid on it. In the original video, you can barely hear Deborah and Allen screaming, “NO, HUNTER DON’T DO IT” above the Cowboy Junkies playing “Misguided Angel” at maximum volume over the array of living room speakers.

I said ‘mama he’s crazy and he scares me
But I want him by my side
Though he’s wild and he’s bad
And sometimes just plain mad
I need him to keep me satisfied’

(lyrics by Margo Timmons & Michael Edward Timmons)

Hunter gets a bit of lighter fluid onto the tree, and then throws a match after it, creating the conflagration you see in the film and then in the aftermath below. The flames were coming out of the top of the chimney in a four foot cone of fire, like the exhaust of a jet engine. Hunter, Deborah and Allen retreated to the front porch where Hunter taped the inferno with pride. No one remembered to carry out the manuscript of the latest book in progress which was lying on the living room table.

Past The Verge. The Heartbreak Anthology: Part 4


So it’s been a while I know, but things are now rolling again and this month the heartbreak anthology will be completed, at least this volume. This is the mix for women’s sadness, which is a brutal and powerful thing to experience for most involved parties. To be clear, I’m not talking about a scorned woman. That was the purpose of PFU #002. I’m talking about the times when a woman feels truly and honestly sad, desperate , and afraid that she is not or will not be loved. When she has no ideas of how to fix things, no plans for solutions or alternatives, just a dangerous vacuum. This has it’s own special and heavy gravity. With all attempts to have female sadness romanticized, marginalized, and  mocked I feel that its true impact never changes. I think it’s possible to appear unfazed or actually be temporarily indifferent to a devastated woman, but that doesn’t last. Only true sociopaths are immune.

When woman are strong or weak there seems to have be a comfortable cliche to soften, dismiss, or reverse the situation, but when women are truly destroyed, the world seems out of balance, something is wrong. Men don’t, and probably never will, have this power. I like that. Be it chauvinism, guilt, misguided pity, the reality of maternal nature, world history, personal hang-ups, or just me being a pussy…I don’t care. I like the fact that this gender imbalance (or at least my view of it) falls into the woman’s court.

I realize that the idea of making mixes for women that are supposed to sync up with their heaviest emotions is ridiculous, but this is my offering. I tried to feature songs that had a few various root causes of women’s sadness (relating specifically to heartbreak) that I have run across, from the understandable to the illogical and maddening. In an attempt to keep the relevance of this blog I am having two guest mixes for female sadness and anger that will be done by actual females coming later this month. Seeing the contrast alone should be fun or at least educational. Here we go ladies: A soundtrack to one of the things that (most)men are afraid of.

PFU MIX #004

USE: Dealing With Heartbreak, Shock and Depression Stages. For Her.

  1. Little Dragon – Twice
  2. Beach House – Some Things Last A Long Time
  3. Shangri-Las – I’ll Never Learn
  4. Lali Puna – Don’t Think
  5. Patsy Cline – Why Can’t He Be You?
  6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Down Boy
  7. Betty Crutcher – So Lonely Without You
  8. Blonde Redhead – Misery Is A Butterfly (Wicked Version)
  9. Aretha Franklin – Without The One I Love
  10. Holly Golightly with The Greenhornes – There Is An End
  11. Nina Simone – Either Way I Lose
  12. Cat Power – Metal Heart (Original Version)
  13. Heart – Alone
  14. Boss Hog – Texas
  15. Dolly Parton – Jolene
  16. Portishead – Mysterons
  17. Etta James – Fool That I Am
  18. Neko Case – (Look For Me) I’ll Be Around
  19. Delizia – Laissons Passer les Annees
  20. Mazzy Star – Into Dust
  21. Debbie Dean – A New Girl
  22. Yael Naim – Toxic