Published by Rolling Stone magazine book division : Straight Arrow Books, San Francisco, CA, 1972 in the same year that Fear & Loathing was first published in book form – previously serialized in issues #95 & 96 of Rolling Stone.
“The author and his 300-pound Samoan attorney set out in a red convertible to cover a motorcycle race, and, later, a convention of district attorneys on the subject of the drug menace. What went down is something else...”
Oscar Zeta Acosta was the basis for the Dr Gonzo, a ‘Samoan’ a.k.a “my attorney” in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Given that Acosta was an extremely active in the Chiano movement, identifying him as Polynesian instead of a Texan of Mexican heritage, was a deliberate slur….
Acosta was born in El Paso, Texas in 1935 and ‘disappeared’ in Mexico in 1974. He met Thompson in 1967 when he was also contributing articles to the newly founded Rolling Stone magazine. Thompson contributed an article to Rolling Stone in 1971 called Strange Rumblings in Aztlan about Acosta and the East Los Angeles barrios. And their trip subsequent to Las Vegas became the foundation of Fear & Loathing. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was original published in two issues of RS before appearing in book form – published by Straight Arrow and later in paperback.
Acosta later wrote a novel in 1973 , The Revolt of the Cockroach People, a fictional account of his life as Buffalo Zeta Brown, an attorney for the Chicano movement in East LA.
An interesting and often overlooked counter culture figure.