Hunter S. Thompson Books

A resource and bibliography of Hunter S. Thompson's Work By Marty Flynn

Thieves and Pimps.

Most writers will be misquoted at some point during their years of work, or maybe worse still their words will be twisted and changed to suit someone too lazy to concoct an original thought.  Hunter Thompson was not immune to this pilferage.

However random some of Hunter’s words may seem on the page, the journey from conception to publishing must have been long and arduous. By all accounts he was a meticulous word-smith. To have his words poached and misused is just sad and annoying.

One of his most popular quotes is the thieves and pimps roam free one. Here are some variations on that quote.

“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 TV 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 radio 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.”


“Show business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long dark plastic hallway where thieves, pimps and whores run free and most good or weak men die like dogs.”

The original quote which first appeared in the San Francisco Examiner November 4 1985 and later in his book Generation of Swine was this..

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.

He went on to say.. Which is more or less true. For the most part, they are dirty little animals with huge brains and no pulse. Every once in a while they will toss up a token human like  Ed Bradley or Edwin Newman or Hughes Rudd…. And there are others , no doubt, like Studs Terkel in Chicago and the twisted Rev. Gene Scott, who works like a sleepless ferret in the manic bowels in Southern California…

No mention of the There is also a negative side bit on the end, probably added by some journalist thinking he was clever, or the journalist inserted that thought and it was mistakenly included in the whole quote.

It is clear he is talking about the TV business and not the music business, show business, or radio business.

I know some folks will think I’m nit-picking but it is quite annoying to see any quote being misused and/or pilfered, and some hack getting credit on the back of someone else’s work. Before long the quote is twisted and changed and ends up like the ones above.

Just a thought folks. And at worst we know the correct quote.


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6 comments on “Thieves and Pimps.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Thieves and Pimps. « Hunter S. Thompson Books -- Topsy.com

  2. beatdomdavid
    April 1, 2010

    Thanks for clearing that up… I’m sure many writers would be glad just to have their words remembered, but I recall hearing that Hunter didn’t like people using his words unless they got it 100% correct and could cite the page and book exactly.

    Of course, I can’t remember where I heard that…

  3. Marty
    April 1, 2010

    Yep DS, I remember hearing the same.. Maybe it was in Breakfast With Hunter.. Anyway he did say that..

  4. Peter W. Knox
    April 1, 2010

    Marty! I love this! I frequently (don’t we all?) see HST quotes mangled and mixed up and then quoted incorrectly. This could be a regular feature/column on HST Books – setting the record straight. Keep it up.

  5. Marty
    April 1, 2010

    Thanks Peter, good idea to make this a regular thing. I’ll be enlisting your help with research if that is OK.

  6. Derek Hixon
    April 2, 2010

    I just wanted to thank you for absolutely everything on this site. I’ve found it informative, fun, inspiring, and just a joy to peruse through. I’m in the midst of amassing a fairly serious HST collection and nothing has been as helpful as the hard work you’ve sweated into this site. Many thanks.

    All the best

    Derek

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The Gonzo Museum

A must read for any HST fan

McKeen's great HST biography

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