The Thomas Pynchon indie rock hoax

Posted August 14th, 2009 by Eric Greenwood · 5 Comments

I can’t really remember what the mid-90’s band Lotion sounded like offhand, but I do remember the rumor that reclusive author Thomas Pynchon was allegedly a big fan, which was as random as it was puzzling. Well, it turns out the rumor was little more than some fancy meta-publicity stunt created by the band, though born out of a kernel of truth. Back in 1996 New Yorker writer Andrew Essex fell into the band’s PR trap and published a Talk of the Town piece exploring the seemingly random association of a much lauded, extremely reclusive author and an obscure indie rock band. It was just weird enough that it kind of made sense. Pynchonesque, even. Pynchon had indeed met the band through, get this, one bandmember’s mom’s accountant and had actually written some liner notes for one of their records. Seems like that’d be plenty of a story. The band took it a little too far, though, claiming that Pynchon pretty much followed them around the country all stalker-like, wearing “ill-fitting pants” and “Godzilla t-shirts.” The author never commented on the ruse, so it was assumed by the band that he either approved of the shenanigans or just didn’t care. Well, the whole thing came to and end this week when the New Yorker writer followed up on his story only to learn that, according to lead singer Tony Zajkowski, it was all a “bullshit.” Well played, though. [via Gawker]

Tags: humor

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 K // Aug 14, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Lotion sang “head” which was on “modern rock” radio a lot back in the mid ’90s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdZ4rj9duqc

    Odd story.

  • 2 heyadamo // Aug 18, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Does that mean the Vanity Fair interview Pynchon did with the band is a hoax as well? Another bit of Lotion trivia: they appeared on Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

  • 3 heyadamo // Aug 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Er, Esquire, not Vanity Fair….

  • 4 tony z // Oct 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    THE PYNCHON STORY IS NOT BULLSHIT. Read the article. The only bullshit was the exact story we told the New Yorker, who were foolish enough to print without checking (that we met at Sudsy’s in Cincinnati, doing laundry in a Godzilla tshirt.) We really know him. He really hung out with us. He really wrote the liner notes. The End.

  • 5 heyadamo // Nov 7, 2010 at 12:38 am

    OK, I’ll admit having Lotion’s ex-lead singer respond and refute this is more than a little cool. Man, I loved them back in my college days — I still have most of their discography on my iPod, matter of fact.