Hunter believed in reincarnation. There are a couple of scenes in Breakfast with Hunter where he talks about it. He believed that he had been reincarnated and would be again. ” I am a road man for the Lords of Karma” he would say. It was easy to accept given his uncanny resemblance to the Dalai Lama.
In Breakfast with Hunter, at the Viper Room someone asks Hunter what he believes will happen after he dies. He starts talking about Karma and that there are probably more than a few in the room who will end of up as “a three-legged dog on a Navajo Indian reservation,” as you can see here in this clip from Breakfast with Hunter.
After Hunter died, I covered the building of the Gonzo monument for months at Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado. One morning, towards the end of construction when the monument was covered and there was intense 24 hour security, as Johnny Depp ordered, I went up to Woody Creek at dawn to feed my horses where I was playing polo and then went to Owl Farm to film.
The security guard was sitting in his car at the entrance with his windows rolled up. He got out cautiously. I asked how everything was going and he replied, ” It’s been quite a night. About four, a bright light appeared from somewhere above and swept across the valley, lighting up the monument and then the mesa to the south and then the road in between. I looked up the road and there was the biggest mountain lion you have ever seen walking like he owned the place and looking up at the monument. We all jumped inside our trucks to be safe. I don’t know where the beast went after the light stopped.”
At the ceremony to unveil the monument and blast Hunter’s ashes into the sky, I was asked to speak. I didn’t expect to, and had no eulogy planned, but related what Hunter had said at the Viper Room and then told the story of the Mountain Lion, and concluded by saying:
“So Hunter came back not as a three-legged dog, but as a mountain lion.”
And the crowd loved it.