The Great Gonzo Now Cannon Fodder

ASPEN, Colorado, May 27 - Organisers of a memorial for Hunter S Thompson plan to erect a 46-metre tower - courtesy of actor Johnny Depp - to shoot the gonzo journalist’s ashes from a cannon onto his ranch.

Friends and acquaintances gathered yesterday to discuss the August 20 invitation-only service, which will be held six months to the day after Thompson shot himself in his home in Woody Creek, Colorado.

Jon Equis, the event producer working with Thompson’s family, said the tower will be 3.7 metres wide at the base and 2.4 metres wide at the top, where a cannon will be placed.

Depp, who portrayed the author in the movie version of Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'', will pay for the tower, designed to resemble Thompson's gonzo fist’’ emblem.

Thompson had requested the scattering of his ashes by cannon.

Equis said the tower will be constructed far from the road and covered with a black drape before the service to discourage tourists.

A public event is expected to be planned later to commemorate the writer’s life.

The August event will consist of ``spoken word and live entertainment’’, Equis said. The cannon will be fired around sunset.

Thompson’s widow, Anita, supports the plan. She said the event will be a celebration.