invisible placeholder image
Responses > Names

Richard Brautigan's legacy is his continued inspiration for creative efforts by others who interpret his work, or create their own in response. This node provides an overview of selected names inspired by Brautigan, and links to further information and resources. Use the information below to learn more about creative responses to Brautigan's works.
"All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" > Selected Responses

Machines of Loving Grace
An industrial/post-punk band from Tucson, Arizona, first formed in 1989. The original band members included Scott Benzel (vocals), Stuart Kupers (guitar and bass), Mike Fisher (keyboards), and Brad Kemp (drums). Their released albums included Machines of Loving Grace (1991), Concentration (1993), and Gilt (1995). A non-album single, "Golgotha Tenement Blues" (1994) was featured on the soundtrack to the movie The Crow. In 2005, Benzel reformed the band under a new name, "The Machines." The name of the orignal group came from Brautigan's poem "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace."
In Watermelon Sugar > Selected Responses

In Watermelon Sugar
Reportedly, two stores are named In Watermelon Sugar, one in Baltimore, Maryland, and the other in Traverse City, Michigan.
Tigers That Talked
A British rock/folk band formed in 2006 took their name from the talking tigers in Brautigan's novel In Watermelon Sugar. The original band members were singer-songwriter and guitarist Jamie Williams, bassist Owain Kelly, violinist Glenna Larsen, and drummer and percussionist Chris Verney.

Online Resources
Biography at BBC website

Same biography at Wikipedia website, but with links to several reviews
Watermelon Sugar
A rock group active in the late 1980s and early 1990s who took their name from Brautigan's novel In Watermelon Sugar. The band, featuring lead singers Steve Sato and Karla Bonkowski, produced a demonstration cassette tape in 1989. The cassette liner featured a photogaph of Brautigan and a quote from his novel.
In watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar.
Posters advertising the band's appearances in November 1990 repeated the Brautigan photograph and quote.

Louise Bendall and Hypatia Kingsley started a band called Watermelon Sugar in 2003 and have since created three CDs, Sample (October 2004), Something to Savor (November 2005) and Slice (April 2008). The band's name came from Bendall's favorite book by Richard Brautigan, In Watermelon Sugar.
Trout Fishing in America > Selected Responses

Trout Fishing in America School
An experimental school spread among eight storefronts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where students could earn a high school diploma in learning environments far different from formal academic programs. Founded by Peter Miller, a student in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Trout Fishing in America School offered courses in English, math, science, criminology, theories of revolution, motorcycle repair, and more. Tuition was $10.00 per month.

READ a memoir by Greg Hill regarding his involvement with the TFIA School and The People's Gallery.
Prior to the Apollo 17 moon landing, astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt named a small crater near their planned landing site Shorty, "recognizing Richard Brautigran's [sic] collection of short stories, Trout Fishing in America, and other books which bring the literature of youth and life from the foundations of Salinger into the present." Cernan and Schmitt visited Shorty crater during their second moon walk and on the southern rim, found a deposit of orange soil, a possible sign of ancient volcanic activity.

Online Resource
The Valley of Taurus-Littrow website, provides a transcript and commentary of the Apollo 17 activities near Shorty crater
Peter Eastman, Jr., upon graduation from high school, changed his name to Trout Fishing in America.

Articles about Peter Eastman becoming Trout Fishing in America

Anonymous. "Goodby Peter, Hello Trout." ***?***.
The full text of this article reads:
A teen-ager casting about for a new name has reeled in a golden one: Trout Fishing in America.

Peter Eastman, Jr., 17, wanted to do something different for his upcoming graduation at Carpinteria High School, a Santa Barbara County beach town 70 miles northwest fo Los Angeles.

Last week, he went to Superior Court to legally change his name to Trout Fishing in America, a name inspired by Richard Brautigan's 1967 counterculture classic, "Trout Fishing in America."

"I really liked the book," Trout said.

Trout wanted the unusual name on his diploma for his June graduation, but high school officials balked. They said he'd have to change his name legally first.

"I don't question his reasons," said Vice Principal Lou Panizzon. "He is a real individual and a very independent kid. . . . I find what he is doing kind of amusing."

Trout said of the decision to disgard the family name: "It's a breaking away. It is breaking away from tradition. I am just saying I am not this little kid anymore. I want to be my own person."

As a show of support, his father paid the $182 name-change filing fee as a graduation present.
—. "It's A Book, A Band, It's A . . . Teen-Ager." ***?***.
The full text of this article reads:
A Carpinteria, Calif., teen-ager casting about for a new name has reeled in a golden one: Trout Fishing in America. The 17-year old wanted to do something different for his upcoming high school graduation. So he went to court last week to legally change his name from Peter Eastman, Jr. The teen said he decided to name himself after Richard Brautigan's 1967 counterculture classic to break away from tradition. "I am just saying I am not this little kid anymore. I want to be my own person."
Clark, Steve. "What Would the Boy Named Sue Think?" Richmond Times-Dispatch 28 April 1994: B1.
Profiles Eastman and his name change.

READ the full text of this article.
Saker, Anne. "Searching Upstream: A Writer Goes Fishing for the Man Who Calls Himself 'Trout Fishing in America'." The Oregonian 11 October 2007: F1, F4.

READ the full text of this article.

Online Resource
Saker's article at The Oregonian website
Tosches, Rich. "This Isn't Another Fish Story People: A Carpinteria Teen-Ager Was So Impressed with the book 'Trout Fishing in America' that He Has Legally Taken the Title as His Moniker." Los Angeles Times 14 March 1994: E1.

READ the full text of this article.
Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet formed their music duo "Trout Fishing in America" in Houston, Texas, during the mid-1970s, and continue to perform together present day. Their name was inspired by Brautigan's novel Trout Fishing in America, published in 1967.

Online Resource
Trout Fishing in America website
Selected General Responses

Richard Brautigan Alley
Pettit, Bruce. "Literary Street Names Approved." The San Francisco Chronicle **date?**: A1, A2.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, publisher, and co-owner of City Lights Books proposed renaming portions of thirteen San Francisco Streets to names of well-known authors. Residents, however, opposed renaming Nobles Alley (between Grant and its eastern terminus) to Richard Brautigan Alley.

Carroll, Jon. "Let's Dip Into The Old Mailbag." The San Francisco Chronicle 29 June 1990, Daily Datebook Section: E20.
Lazlo Coakley of San Francisco wrote to inform me that Nobles Alley, mentioned in the treasure hunt columns, is called Richard Brautigan Alley now, a situation he regrets. Father Nobles looked after the health, welfare and spiritual needs of North Beach residents for many years. He also founded Santa Clara University.
The Brautigan Book Club
An offshoot of the London-based theatrical group, Saltpeter. Plans for monthly meetings, each one focusing on a different work by Brautigan, with creative responses from interested members. An email list and newsletter (see issue #1, left) is planned for members.
The Brautigan Book Club is a gang that aims to explore & be inspired by the complete works of the American poet and novelist, Richard Brautigan. There will be a meeting in London each month through 2012 corresponding to the chronological order of the novels, and members will be asked to have read and (if they like) put together a creative response to the book ahead of-time. At the meeting then, there will be some form of talk, activity, screening or presentation related to some elliptical aspect of the text, but mostly it will be an informal opportunity for people to discuss Brautigan and be inspired by his work.
Saltpeter plans a 2013 performance of Erik Patterson's play, Tonseisha: The Man Who Abandoned the World, a play about "love and loss and Richard Brautigan."

Feedback from Saltpeter
Vera Chok, Artistic Director. Email to John F. Barber, 19 December 2011.
Online Resources
Brautigan Book Club website

Brautigan Book Club information at the Saltpeter website
Trout Fishing in Leytonstone, Sombrero Records, and The Cool Trout Basement
Trout Fishing in Leytonstone was a British independent music fanzine produced during the 1980s by David "Payney" Payne and Ally Payne (relation?). The fanzine is noted as one of the first to offer flexible disk recordings of independent music. At least four issues were produced.

Trout Fishing in Leytonstone #3 (1986) Sha-la-la Flexi disc BA2, 1986
Taluh Gosh: "I Told You So"
Razorcuts: "Sad Kaleidoscope"

Trout Fishing in Leytonstone #4 (early 1987?) Sha-la-la Flexi BA6 disc split release
Reserve: "The Sun Slid Down Behind The Tower"
The Siddeleys: "Wherever You Go"

David Payne also started a record label and club inspired by Brautigan. The label was christened Sombrero Records, after Sombrero Fallout, and the club became The Cool Trout Basement, and was located at Portlands, 383 Euston Road, London.

Online Resources
Information about Sombrero Records

Fliers for The Cool Trout Basement shows