To celebrate 50 years of Gonzo and the enduring legacy of the Beats, We recall our own encounter with two legends. Twenty-five years ago, in the early weeks of the Summer of 95, Ralph Steadman returned to Peacock for a weekend of print making. Earlier that year, Ralph had convinced William Burroughs to blow holes in his work with a variety of firearms, the weekend of printing would create the targets. And so it was that the iconic print was made.

Burroughs signing, courtesy of Gonzo Gallery.

Something New Has Been Added by Ralph Steadman & William S. Burroughs (1995, Screenprint with bullet holes)
– Signed and numbered by Ralph Steadman
– Signed and shot by William S. Burroughs
– Shot by William S. Burroughs on December 2, 1995
– Ammunition: 45 Long Colt – Weapon: Smith & Wesson Handgun
– Distance: 10 Yards – Total: 6 Shots.
– Ammunition: 38 Special – Weapon: 357 Magnum Model #27
– Distance: 15 Yards – Total: 10 Shots.

The collaboration with Burroughs was a new way of nourishing his American roots. “I wanted to do a print with his express pleasure in mind.” He had met Burroughs only twice before, very briefly each time, but had long been a fan of his writing and also admired the shot-through doors which Burroughs exhibited in London in the 1980s. “My idea was that I make the print and he shoots the hell out of it and we sign it together.”

Something New Has Been Added by Ralph Steadman & William S. Burroughs (1995, Screenprint with bullet holes) – Detail

 

Something New Has Been Added by Ralph Steadman & William S. Burroughs (1995, Screenprint with bullet holes) – Detail

 

Something New Has Been Added by Ralph Steadman & William S. Burroughs (1995, Screenprint with bullet holes) – Detail

The resulting prints were then shipped from Aberdeen to Burroughs’s home in Lawrence, Kansas. At the time, The Independent detailed the event and explained how the group drove “out to Burroughs’s friends place outside town, where he does his shooting” adding that “Burroughs, Steadman and his wife Anna and Burroughs’ entourage take turns blazing away with .33s, .45s, pump-action shotguns and Saturday-night specials at a variety of targets,” including Steadman’s art. Read the full article here – https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/bill-ralphs-excellent-adventure-1340062.html

William Burroughs II by Ralph Steadman (1993, 2 plate etching)

Unfortunately we don’t have any of these special prints left however we do have one copy of his etching of Burroughs he did as part of the ‘Writers Series’ – https://peacock-visual-arts.myshopify.com/products/william-burroughs-ii-ralph-steadman

Thanks to Gonzo Gallery for the images of the print and if you do want to get  your hands on a copy they have one here – http://www.gonzogallery.com/burroughs/something-new-has-been-added-610-k-shot-by-william-s-burroughs-1

 

Burroughs Gang – courtesy of Gonzo Gallery