I was honored to chop it up with the Living Legend and Renaissance Man himself, Richard Stratton.
Currently, Richard is directing Gotti: Godfather and Son, the upcoming docu-series about John Gotti Sr. and Jr. for A&E.
Richard is a former federal inmate who did 8 years in the 1980s for being a member of the “Hippie Mafia” and one of the biggest marijuana and hashish smugglers in the country, and then after he was released — after getting his 25 year sentence reduced by being his own jailhouse lawyer, representing himself in court, and filing his own appeal, which he won because one of the judges that sentenced him said she was giving him so much time for refusing to become a cooperator (which is illegal) — he published the novel Smack Goddess (which he sold while still in prison) and the book Altered States of America, founded Prison Life Magazine, was the editor of High Times (which he also helped launch), produced the documentaries Fallen Champ, Gladiator Days, Thug Life in D.C., Execution Machine, Prisoners of The War on Drugs and Crude, created the TV series Street Time, wrote and produced the movies Whiteboyz and Slam, was a producer on I Married a Mobster, and just had his second in a 3-book memoir series about his life published, Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs. The first was Smuggler’s Blues: A True Story of The Hippie Mafia.
Note: Slam won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Camera Award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
During our chat we touched on why he did not become a stool pigeon, what he thinks about stool pigeons, the best parties he went to in his glory days in the Hippie Mafia, what it was like hanging out with Hunter S. Thompson in the 70s, meeting John Gotti Sr. in prison and living on “Mafia Row” in the 80s, and then watching John Gotti Jr.’s racketeering trials years later in the 2000s… As well as his views on Trump and the 2016 election, having a great time playing tennis while dropping acid in federal prison in Virginia (seriously, lol), and of course: the upcoming Gotti docu-series.
Learn more about him at: RichardStratton.com.
Read my review of Kingpin on Amazon.