“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.
There’s also a negative side.”

Twice in the last week I’ve heard references to this Hunter S. Thompson quote on the radio. (Both times an ESPNRadio host was using it to explain the current state of college football coaching.) “What a terrific quote,” I thought, “But what are the chances that a sports talk-jock got it right?” Slim, I assumed. I wanted to find the exact quote to send to my father-in-law, who works in the music industry.

It only took about thirty seconds of Google-searching to find that, sadly, Gonzo never actually said or wrote this. His statement — from Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s — was actually about the television industry. And he didn’t ever add that wonderful punchline about the negative side, either. Here’s the original quote:

“The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.”
Hunter S. Thompson

It’s still a great quote, to be sure, but it’s not about the music industry at all. I’m glad that I was able to learn what he actually said even if it means that now there’s no reason to send it to my father-in-law. I’ll have to add that book to my already ridiculously long Amazon wishlist.

There is one comment on this post

  1. The origin of the punchline comes from the recent movie Gonzo http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0479468/

    I forget who says…I’ll find it. They quote him and they add the punchline.

    You should see Gonzo…it will get you excited for The Rum Diary http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0376136/

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