Hunter S. Thompson is often credited for penning a darkly accurate description of a crooked music industry. But the quote, which frequently starts, ‘the music industry is a cruel and shallow money trench,’ turns out to be an internet fiction. In reality, Thompson wasn’t talking about the music industry at all, according to some diligent research by David Emery.
Here’s the original quote, first printed in 1985 in the San Francisco Examiner and later in 1988 in Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s before getting twisted around.
The rest — including the ‘there’s also a negative side’ ending — seems like total embellishment.
Image adapted from a caricature illustration in the public domain.