Thompson's ashes fired into sky

Thompson's widow Anita said the writer loved explosions
The ashes of gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson have been blown into the sky from a cannon in Aspen, Colorado.
Friends and admirers had gathered for the event at the writer's US home, six months after he shot himself there.

His ashes were fired from a 150ft tower topped by a red fist with two thumbs - the symbol of Thompson's free-wheeling, first-person gonzo journalism.

Johnny Depp, who played Thompson in the film of his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, paid for the cannon.

Fireworks carrying the ashes of the writer exploded over the top of his memorial on his Owl Farm home.

"He loved explosions," Thompson's widow Anita said.

The writer's friend Matt Moseley told the BBC before the funeral that it would be "the grandest celebration... on the planet".

Sean Penn, Lyle Lovett and the Nitty Gritty Dirt band were among those paying last respects to Thompson.

Actor Jonny Depp was among a host of stars at Thompson's send-off

Friends were instructed to remember him afterwards with the clink of ice in whiskey.

The cult author committed suicide at his home in February.

Thompson, who was 67, had said on several occasions that he would like his ashes to be fired from a cannon after his death.

The event was private.

A public event to commemorate the writer's life is expected to take place at a later date.