Jazz Butcher
Photo: 1988 David Whittemore
A Song from the Fishcoteque
The Jazz Butcher


Active in the 1980's and 1990's, the Jazz Butcher (real name: Pat Fish; also known as "Butch") is one of England's most idiosyncratic artists, recording in almost every style under the sun, including folk, punk, pop, country, blues, Merseybeat, funk, jazz, cabaret, and so on. His wide stylistic range, sense of humour, and biting satire have earned him a cult following.
Fish's backing band has undergone many changes, at various points including guitarist Max Eider (Max Eider, Best Kisser in the World, Big Time Records 1987) and David J., the bassist from Bauhaus and Love and Rockets. Fish also played saxophone on the country album Soul Kiss (Glide Divine), Silvertone Records, 1992, by a band called Spectrum. (Spectrum is Sonic Boom's post Spaceman 3 outfit. Like his previous group, Spectrum explores a trippy, minimalistic psychedelia with lots of reverb and repeated phrases.)
Track 6 of Pat Fish's delightfully titled album Fishcoteque (Combat Records, 1988), is called "Looking for Lot 49," and is obviously indebted to Thomas Pynchon. Fishcoteque is far better than the last LP with former collaborator Max Eider. Called Big Questions (The Gift of Music Volume 2), Glass Records, 1987, Butch's lounge-parody affectations slipped dreadfully close to genuine schlock. Here, the Jazz Butcher rocks out with more of an edge and a greater variety of material. He's back to his usual literary self, with such references as the Pynchon-inspired rocker "Looking for Lot 49." There's a strange rap number called "Chickentown," which has a few twists that keep it from being an embarrassing schtick. . . . There are a few obtrusive saxophone parts that don't mesh well with the Jazz Butcher's sound; perhaps he needs a horn player with a more sympathetic style. All in all, though, it's a smart, probing set of tunes that manage to be simultaneously cool and aggressive.


Excellent!: The Violent Years
The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy / Audio CD / Released 1997
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Big Planet Scary Planet [IMPORT]
Jazz Butcher / Audio CD / Released 1989
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The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy -- The Jazz Butcher homepage.

All-Music Guide -- The AMG entry on the Jazz Butcher.

Jazz Butcher Card at the Ultimate Band List.

Anderson, Laurie.
Famous New York performance artist Laurie Anderson dedicated a song to Pynchon on her Mister Heartbreak album.

Benatar, Pat.
Believe it or not, she named a final album Gravity's Rainbow.

Benny Profane.
English hard rockers from Liverpool, they took their name from a character in V.

Blowtorch, Eric
Reggae influenced artist putting Pynchon's lyrics to music.

An avant garde German group used Gravity's Rainbow to tell a different tale.

Corey, Prof. Irwin.
The man who was the infamous stand-in for Thomas Ruggles Pynchon.

They recorded Maxwell's Demon Box on their album, Days Between Stations.

Einhorn, Richard.
Another rendition of music devoted to the Demon, and much more.

Fariña, Richard.
An long-time friend of Pynchon, this folkie named an instrumental work after a Pynchon novel.

Favorite Color, The.
A New Jersey band sets a selection from V. to music on their album Color Out of Space (1996).

Fool, The.
Surely not Slothrop's band, this was a short lived group which did, in fact, have a harmonica player.

Forked Yew.
Independent, highly experimental rockers and Pynchon fans from the American South.

Frith & Kaiser.
An instrumental pair with a piece called The Kirghiz Light.

Hall, Ed.
An early 90's band influenced by Pynchon, they named a song Roger Mexico.

Insect Trust.
This jazzy, psychedelic group mined V. for lyrics to The Eyes of a New York Woman.

Jazz Butcher.
AKA Pat Fish, who named a track Looking for Lot 49 on his Fishcoteque album.

Jones, Spike.
Pynchon himself wrote the liner notes for Spiked!

Knopfler, Mark.
The Sultan of Swing sails to Philadelphia!

Koron, Barry.
Weilding the Sjambok never felt so good!

Lot 49 (Ontario).
This now retired hardcore outfit hailed from the hometown of Spermatikos Logos' own Laurence Daw.

Lot 49 (NYC).
Indie NYC rockers named after Pynchon's second novel.

A New York group whose liner notes were penned by the Man himself.


A visit to San Narciso.

Was the famous tune Smells Like Teen Spirit acutally inspired by a song from Gravity's Rainbow?

Nova Mob.
A "Rock Opera" filled with references to Gravity's Rainbow.

Ocker, David.
Musical meditations on Eight Facts About
Thomas Pynchon

Okasek, Ric.
Ride The Rocket with the former frontman of The Cars.


Pere Ubu.
David Thomas' legendary, seminal band shows some Pynchon influences.

These literate Indies hail from Flordia, and have a song about Wanda Tinasky which is highly recomm-ended!

Poster Children.
This group from Champaign, Illinois, covers a lot of Pynchon ground!

English art-rockers who incorporate many Pynchon motifs into their work.

An offshoot of Zoviet France, Robin Storey's group named Rapoon released an album called The Kirghiz Light.

Sauter & Dietrich, Moore.
More liner notes written by Pynchon !!


Six Finger Satellite.
Indie electro-rock futurists Six Finger Satellite make a reference to Gravity's Rainbow.

Soft Machine.
Seminal "proggies," they recorded a full-scale work called Esther's Nose Job in 1969.

Spock's Beard.
In memory of "the evil Spock," they do homage to V.

Time in Malta.
A California metal group with a name taken from V.

Ware, Tim.
Pynchon scholar, Web master, and MIDI Musician.

Whole Sick Crew, The.
Purveyors of pirate folk-punk, truly a gang like their Pynchon namesakes.

XXX Atomic Toejam.
F. Thorendal, from praised thrash-heroes Meshuggah, gets one in for the Vikings.

Yo La Tengo.
Making music indebted to The Crying of Lot 49.

Related to New York's Lot 49, ths Florida group also takes their name from Pynchon's work.

Zevon, Warren.
He recently released an album containing work inspired by Pynchon.


--Dr Larry Daw
& A. Ruch
21 May 2000