Neil Young :: Where The Buffalo Roam

Where The Buffalo Roam

“I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone… but they’ve always worked for me.” – Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Listen, I’m not here to defend the original feature film based on the writings of Hunter S. Thompson entitled Where The Buffalo Roam (1980)…oh wait, yes I am, but I’ll be brief.

The movie, typically, gets critically panned every time I hear it brought up in conversation; no matter the context. And I will agree, that yes, when compared to Johnny Depp’s uncanny portrayal of the good Doctor in 1998’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Where The Buffalo Roam does come off as the red headed stepchild. But, and this is important, know that in Where The Buffalo Roam, that you are watching Bill Murray’s take on BILL MURRAY portraying Hunter S. Thompson…Murray, the comedic genius that he is, never does a straight portrayal of anything. The “Murray” character is always in there, hell, even in The Razor’s Edge, the Bill Murray character is in there stewing.

These are two entirely different films, tackling two different “plots.” The Depp vehicle was (obviously) based on Thompson’s bestselling, most popular, written work Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, while Where The Buffalo Roam is a ramshackle smattering of various HST stories, some of them true, some fiction, with most, appropriately, residing somewhere in the middle.

Despite your feelings on the film, Neil Young fans will want to track down the official soundtrack (no small feat), as in addition to various rock, r&b and pop hits from the sixties (Hendrix, Temptations, Dylan, CCR), the film was scored by Young with original works including: “Buffalo Stomp,” “Ode To Wild Bill #1,#2, #3, #4” “Home, Home On The Range,” and “Buffalo Stomp Refrain.” Giddy up.

Where The Buffalo Roam :: Theatrical Trailer (1980)

Soundtrack side note: Because of the high cost of music licensing, most VHS and all DVD releases have retained only the Neil Young score and the Creedence song, “Keep on Chooglin'”, with the rest of the music replaced by generic approximations of the original songs. Only the theatrical release and early VHS releases contained the songs found on the soundtrack. (via)

Previously: Hunter S. Thompson :: The Rum Diary (Film)


MP3: Neil Young :: Home, Home On The Range
MP3: Neil Young :: Buffalo Stomp
MP3: Neil Young :: Ode To Wild Bill #1
Amazon: Where The Buffalo Roam – DVD

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+ Check out additional Neil Young tracks at the Hype Machine.

16 thoughts on “Neil Young :: Where The Buffalo Roam

  1. Man, I remember watching that on cable as a kid (’81ish), and wanting the soundtrack since then. Thanks for posting that.

  2. I’ve always liked the film…even more than the Depp take. Hunter was a comedic genius – whether through words or actions. I don’t think Depp captured that entirely. Billy made me laugh more, which is what Hunter is all about – to me anyway.

  3. While we are on the topic of Neil Young scores, and, for that matter, Johnny Depp movies, how about a post on Dead Man. That is a very haunting and wonderful, particularly the theme.

    Ive never managed to get my hands on that one.

  4. My dad and I just watched this a few weeks ago on demand and it’s still a hoot. It does peak around the SuperBowl stories and the last third is kinda aimless and strained until it devolves into “Meatballs on the Campaign Trail ’72”, but you could say much the same about “Fear & Loathing.”

    So we’ve had Murray and Depp play their takes on Hunter. Who’ll be the next gen young edgy actor to tackle this turf, say in a movie adaptation of “Transmetropolitan”?

  5. I have been reading HST since I was 14 and I am 31 now. The Bill Murray portrayal is HST. The Johnny depp version is HST alter ego Raul duke. I think Billy’s part is way better for portraying HST the man not the cartoon character.

  6. in the scene at the start of the movie, right after he shoots the telefax, what song artist is he listening to when he reloads his gun and continues typing his story.

  7. Wondering the same as jack, that song totally rocks.. btw all the mp3’s are gone.. Maybie im way to late:/

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