Al Satterwhite has been a photographer since high school shooting for major publications such as Life, Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine. My career gave me an opportunity to get to know some of the major personalities and icons of our culture. Little did I know what was in store for me when I met, and became friends with, the one and only gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson.
Hunter and I became friends back in the early 70's when I first met him at the Republican Convention in Miami Beach. We were both there covering the event for different magazines; he for Rolling Stone, me for Newsweek
Hunter and I hit it off so when Playboy wanted to interview Hunter in 1974 he insisted I be assigned to photograph the event. I knew this wasn't going to be an ordinary gig.
Hunter and I met up in Cozumel, a small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Yucatan, Mexico. From the moment we got together until the work was finally submitted to Playboy, mischief and mayhem ensued. Not only did I capture Hunter photographically, I captured the experiences we shared together - and what a ride it was……. including the start of 'the Great Shark Hunt'.
Five days later I flew back to the States with a hangover and 20 rolls of exposed film. What I'm publishing is the story of that trip (and it was, indeed, one helluva trip). And since Hunter and I continued our relationship I'm adding a few other Hunter stories that were most definitely warped as only Hunter could be whenever he came to visit me in Florida. Tales involving the Secret Service, drugs, stopped for speeding in Palm Beach late one night, a harpoon gun and more. The phone would ring and off to some crazy adventure we would go.
With so much material, I've decided to put a high quality photographic book together to share those stories along with many of the never before seen photos that I took of Hunter being the quintessential Hunter S. Thompson. It's called 'The Cozumel Diary'. If you're a Hunter fan, you'll enjoy this candid slice of life with Hunter.