As a naive, young, local journalist, it was a breath of fresh air - if slightly tinged with the aroma of nicotine, whisky and dope - to discover that there "other ways" to approach my chosen career, other voices besides that of the accepted status quo that would be both listened to and a fun read.
Not that I would aspire to live Hunter's wild life of extremes, fast driving, guns and mind-altering substances or even claim to a minuscule percentage of his natural talent for the written word.
But I liked the idea of setting the journalist as the centre of the story, making the tale about the experience rather than a dry, black-and-white reporting of events.
As an aside, it was also a short story of Hunter's that inspired my one, and only, tattoo: a black panther on my left arm. If I recall correctly, Hunter's story was along the lines that he didn't have anything to write for his magazine column that week, so he took his assistant to a tattoo parlour and got her a panther tattoo... just so he had something to write about!
Alex Gibney's two-hour documentary, Gonzo - The Life And Work Of Dr Hunter S Thompson, is a Picaresque journey through the man's life, bouncing from his early years to his suicide in 2005, concluding with his elaborate, self-planned funeral.
Along the way we are treated to interviews with American politicans he supported and crossed verbal swords with, his editors, Ralph Steadman (his long-time collaborator), Hell's Angel Sonny Barger and countless others who had direct involvement with the pioneering father of Gonzo-journalism.
The documentary, like Hunter's work, manages to be amusing, eye-opening, informative and ultimately rather sad.
Given his disillusionment with the American Dream under Presidents such as Richard Nixon and George W Bush, you get the impression that his depression would have lifted with the current occupant of the White House and Hunter might have recaptured the mojo that made him such a powerful social commentator.
Clearly there is a lot more to say about the life and times of Hunter Thompson than is covered in this documentary, but as a monument to his lasting legacy it's a good place to start.
Career-wise I have had very few heroes (who didn't have superhero secret identities), but as I said back when this film was first announced last year: "Without Thompson-led aspirations I wouldn't still be writing today and he remains, in my opinion, the greatest journalist of all time and one of my favourite authors."