POSTER CHILDREN was
formed in 1987 in Champaign, Illinois by Rick and Rose.
They wrote some songs and played some shows and in 1989
released their first record Flower Plower. After two
more years of writing songs and playing shows, they
released Daisy Chain Reaction (1991). This was around
the time that Jim joined the band. They started touring
A LOT, wrote even more songs and put them on a record
called Tool of the Man (1993).
Some time after that Howie joined to fill the revolving
drummer's position. An EP of songs, Just Like You, came
out in 1994 and was immediately followed by the full
length Junior Citizen (1995). 1995 marked the first
appearance of the band's website (www.posterchildren.com)
which features the usual information plus Rose's detailed
tour diaries, an online talkshow, RadioZero, and a reading
list compiled by fans. After the award-winning success
of a multimedia disk they created for Junior Citizen,
the band made their next release and Enhanced CD. RTFM
(1997) contained not only music but a 3-D environment
filled with videos, games, and other fun stuff.
New World Record (1999) was the first Poster Children
album to be completely recorded and produced by the
band themselves in their studio, Studio Tedium. New
World Record was another Enhanced CD filled with even
more fun stuff and was also one of the earliest albums
available for purchase online in MP3 format. Feeling
two years between records was too long to wait, Poster
Children went right back to work in Studio Tedium (after
touring, of course) and created DDD (2000), their seventh
or eighth record depending on how you count it.
In answer to the frequently asked question: "When
are you going to make a live album?" Poster Children
began work on the Zero Stars DVD in the fall of 2000.
Friends and fans were recruited as camera operators
for two shows in Champaign and Chicago. Local Champaign
luminaries became actors for a day in scenes based on
Rose's tour diaries. Thanks to the advent of affordable
digital video technology, the band was able to produce
and edit the DVD themselves. The Apocalypse Now-like
production of Zero Stars unfortunately took its toll
on the band and Howie left the drum stool empty once
again in the summer of 2001. Vowing to soldier on, Poster
Children drafted Matt (drummer #7) and are currently
writing songs for record #8 (or 9).
Band member Rick Valentin writes: "We've had a
few Pynchon references in our history. The artwork on
our first cassette Toreador Squat (1988) had a thank
you to The Paranoids, a muted post horn, and the line
"More W.A.S.T.E. Music from Trash Can" (the
label was called Trash Can Records). Our second touring
van (1990) boasted the vanity plate: LOT 49 (there's
no extra charge for vanity plates in Illinois if you
have a number following letters!). Our song Junior Citizen
(1996) contains the line: "Tune to station KCUF."
And in regards to your question, throughout our DVD,
Zero Stars (2001), Howie is reading Gravity's Rainbow.
In one scene our guitarist Jim asks Howie what he is
reading, Howie responds "Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas
Pynchon, perhaps the greatest book ever written in the
English language." Jim proceeds to hassle Howie
about his inability to finish the book and questions
whether he's even reading it or just pretending to so
as to look cool.
On a tangential note, SpinArt, the label which released
our two most recent CDs, originally put out the Lotion
record with the Pynchon liner notes. Jeff, the head
of the label, told us he had Pynchon's signature on
a cancelled check (I don't remember how much he was
paid for his services)."