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.
The only trouble with this quote is that Hunter S. Thompson never said it. Over at about.com, David Emery reports on some careful research that uncovered a similar Thompson statement about the television business, but that’s as close as we get.
Now, just because Thompson didn’t issue this assessment of the music business doesn’t mean it’s not true, and a recent article provides some corroboration. In “The 6 Most Elaborate F-Yous From Musicians to the Industry“, Kevin Forde and Alex Strine say this in the preface to their stories of Thompsonesque money trenches, thieves, and pimps:
Most musicians have to put up with record company executives being interfering dicks. It’s part of the job, just like wearing sunglasses indoors and objectifying women. Not all bands let them get away with it, though. Every now and then, through luck, opportunism or having balls of brass, some get to fight back.
They then go on to tell stories of sabotage, theft, indentured servitude, and fraud. There’s also some bad stuff.
Honest voters and legislators who support SOPA, PIPA, and similar bills should look beyond the superficial platitudes of “cracking down on theft” and understand the nature of the business they’re working to preserve.