Lotion Makes a Little Pynchon Go a Long Way | Bleader

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lotion Makes a Little Pynchon Go a Long Way

Posted By on 08.12.09 at 02:45 PM

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So way back in the olden days of 1996 a New York band called Lotion, who had one good song whose title I can't remember, put out a record called Nobody's Cool with liner notes by Thomas Pynchon—which was a pretty big deal, given that Pynchon, one of the best novelists of the past century, is notoriously reclusive nature and at the time hadn't published anything in six years. So the New Yorker published a little piece on Lotion's biggest fan, in which the members of Lotion claim that Pynchon had been showing up at their concerts all over the country dressed in a Godzilla T-shirt, and that he'd only introduced himself after he'd been to a few. It was a funny, quirky story. It was also, at least in part, a hoax.

In this month's New Yorker Lotion comes clean, 13 years after the fact. Pynchon never wore a Godzilla T-shirt, they say. He wasn't a superfan who followed them all over the place.

Which is cool. Good one, guys. A story too good to be true—but still believably Pynchonesque—and entirely impossible to fact check. Nicely done.

The thing is, Pynchon actually did come to some of Lotion's shows and did actually write the liner notes to Nobody's Cool. He just didn't wear a Godzilla shirt or follow them around the country. Gawker gives them a "tip of the cap" for keeping the hoax going for so long, but I'm of the opinion that it wasn't so much a hoax as it was an exaggeration for no good reason. If Thomas Pynchon is enough of a fan that he comes to your shows and writes liner notes for you, is a lie about him coming all the way to Cincinnati or wearing a Godzilla T-shirt really necessary? You've already got a pretty good story there without the made-up stuff.

I mean, I want him to be wearing a Godzilla t-shirt, but that's beside the point.

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