By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Brett Koshkin
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Riverfront Times
By Danny Wicentowski
By Pete Kotz
Lococo remembers him as a man you didn't want to cross but who had a sweet and grandfatherly side.
"I saw the best side of Burroughs. He wasn't doing drugs except smoking pot after 4 p.m.," he says. "At 4 p.m. he would have a Ritz cracker, cheddar cheese and a joint. That was it."
(Well, not really: Burroughs was also on a doctor-prescribed methadone regimen from the time he moved to Kansas until his death.)
In 1990 Burroughs received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, but a heart attack and broken hip prevented him from accepting it in person. Thomas accepted the honor on his behalf.
Burroughs' final return to St. Louis came in a hearse, as part of his funeral procession from Lawrence to Bellefontaine Cemetery. Lococo was there, along with punk-rock goddess Patti Smith, poet John Giorno and others. At a rest stop along Interstate 70, a group of traveling Phish fans recognized Giorno and Smith and joined the motorcade all the way to St. Louis.
In the end, Burroughs returned to the city that bore him, though it was probably too clean (and certainly too conventional) for his liking.
Sixteen years after his death, his fans still make pilgrimages to Bellefontaine Cemetery to pay their respects and leave tokens — poems, bottle caps, pens, pennies — on his tombstone. No, not the towering obelisk erected for his inventor grandfather of the same name. The other one, the modest headstone a few feet to the right. The one with the simple epigraph "American Writer."
Burroughs founded a style and written world unmatched by any other voice in literary history. Warts, bodily fluids and all, he exposed the delights and discontents of sexuality, addiction and depravity. He found antiheroes in the dregs of society which he put on pillars to be fought over in court with groundbreaking obscenity cases. Men like that make it possible for you to read and see what other crazed souls like mine have to share with you. Inspired by his life, I illustrated a surreal portrait of the author today in commemoration of his Centennial at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2014/02/william-s-burroughs-centennial.html