Hunter S Thompson’s final wish will be granted today when his ashes are blasted from a giant cannon.
The gonzo journalist will go out with a bang at a star-studded bash hosted by his widow, Anita, at their home in Aspen, Colorado.
Johnny Depp and Sean Penn will be among some 250 guests at the memorial which will include readings of Thompson’s work and music performances by Lyle Lovett and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
The gun-loving writer’s ashes will be dispersed in a firework display accompanied by drum rolls.
The cannon sits atop a 150ft high monument modelled on his trademark Gonzo fist.
“No crying, no tears, only celebration,” Anita Thompson, 32, said in a recent interview. “He wanted people to celebrate. He envisioned it to be a beautiful party. The most amazing people would be there. His friends would celebrate his life. And he was even specific that there would be clinking of ice and whiskey.”
The 67-year-old journalist was speaking to his wife on the phone when he put down the receiver and shot himself in the head in February.
He is best remembered for classic tales of drink and drug-fuelled adventures, such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Depp, who played Thompson in the 1998 film, helped finance the event having become good friends with the writer.
“All I’m doing is trying to make sure his last wish comes true,” he said. “I just want to send my pal out the way he wants to go out.”