No Depravity Likely at Delayed Derby
26 August 2020 -
50 years ago Ralph Steadman travelled to Kentucky at the behest of JC Suarez to meet an ex-Hell’s Angel who had just shaved his head and the landscape of journalism would change forever. When Hunter S Thompson first laid eyes on the weird, matt-haired geek with string warts (Steadman) it was doubtful that he could predict the misadventures that he and this mild-mannered Welshman would share. Little did Warren Hinckle at Scanlan’s Monthly Magazine know what he had set in motion.
Once considered a pariah by the Louisville elite and misunderstood for his filthy scribbling, last year at the 49th anniversary of the fateful meeting, Ralph and family returned to the Derby as honoured guests. In 2019 they were wined and dined and provided boxes and tickets for all the events in some of the most sought after lounges at Churchill Downs, a far cry from the in field where Ralph and Hunter were coraled when they covered the race for Scanlan’s magazine in 1970. The cover of the Churchill Downs Magazine even featured one of 3 brand new Derby artworks that Ralph had produced specially, which replaced the usual fare of photographs of polished saddles or extravagant hats which often grace it.
This year it could not be more different. Because of Covid 19 Churchill Downs will be running their most famous race without a crowd or spectators of any sort. Gatherings may occur throughout the city and state but Churchill Downs will be without the frenzied roars of the crowds cheering on their chosen horse. It will be a strange and silent experience.
Ralph will be entering into the spirit of the event however, and plans to place a bet and watch the race by satellite.
The Kentucky Derby will run on Saturday 5th September, 2020 at