Trippin’ with Terry Southern

What I Think I Remember

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About the Book

This award-winning memoir about “the hippest guy on the planet” recollects novelist/screenwriter Terry Southern’s highs and lows, his association with the Beat Generation, and his movie cult classics Dr. Strangelove and Easy Rider. In 1964, Terry Southern met actress Gail Gerber on the set of The Loved One. He was enjoying his success from co-writing the risqué novel Candy, a satire of Candide, and the movie Dr. Strangelove; she had just co-starred with Elvis Presley in Girl Happy. Though they were both married, there was an instant connection and they remained a couple until his death 30 years later. In her memoir, Gail recalls what life was like with “the hippest guy on the planet.” It documents their life together and contains numerous photographs of Terry and Gail with friends both famous and notorious. The wickedly gifted satirist, who had a stint writing for Saturday Night Live, kept company with the likes of Lenny Bruce, Dennis Hopper, Ringo Starr, William Burroughs, George Segal, Harry Nilsson, George Plimpton, David Amram and Rip Torn. It also reveals what went on behind the scenes of Gail’s movies (including The Girls on the Beach and Village of the Giants), and Terry’s movies (including The Cincinnati Kid, Casino Royale, Barbarella, The Magic Christian, End of the Road, and Easy Rider).

About the Author(s)

The late Gail Gerber was a former ballet dancer and actress who co-starred in such films as The Loved One, Beach Ball, Harum Scarum, and Lucky Days. She was the secretary of the Terry Southern Literary Trust and lived in New York.

Tom Lisanti is the award-winning author of multiple books about film history, and he blogs at www.sixtiescinema.com. He lives in New York.

Bibliographic Details

Gail Gerber with Tom Lisanti

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: 64 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4114-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8727-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1

1. The Loved Ones      3
2. A Straight Flush Beats a Full House Every Time      26
3. Paging Dr. Southern      45
4. Eastward Ho!      63
5. Uneasy Rider      88
6. Hippies, Yippies, and a Girl Named Candy      100
7. All Aboard the London/New York/Berkshires Express      112
8. Move Over, Eva Gabor—Farm Living Is the Life for Me      124
9. The IRS Blues      147
10. Hollywood Shuffle      162
11. New York, New York      180
12. That’s Prof. Southern to You!      208
13. A Grand Guy Comes to the End of the Road      244

Epilogue      255
Bibliography      259
Index      261

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Winner, 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal
  • Fascinating…laced with star-studded anecdotes…about one of the most wickedly funny writers of our time…full of illuminating stories about Terry’s closest friends…Gerber paints a loving portrait of a wildly creative, destructively naive genius”—Shock Cinema