- Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
Page numbers refer to editions with 369 pages, where the story begins on page 1. Not sure if there are other editions with variant pagination. Please let us know otherwise.
I may have a few minutes free around noon
Morning, Friday, March 27, 1970, the fourth day of the narrative, and Good Friday.
Bonzo Dog Band
Located in the aesthetic cracks somewhere between the Goons and Monty Python, Spike Jones and Spinal Tap, The Bonzo Dog Band [formerly The Bonzo Doo-Dah Dog Band] was sometimes [incorrectly] cited as Britain's answer to Frank Zappa, The Bonzo Dog Band were the all-time masters of musical surrealism and not inconsequentially the Beatles favorite band. The Bonzo's performance of Sonny Bono's "Bang Bang [My Baby Shot Me Down]" appears as a bonus track on the 2007 reissue of their album "The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse."Wikipedia
Interestingly, "Bang, Bang" is not only a bonus track on the 2007 edition of "The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse," but it's also listed as "previously unreleased." Does anyone have the liner notes and can tell us more?
A "surfadelic" version of "Bang Bang" is included on Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's 1991 album "Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham."
The Bonzos perform "Death Cab For Cutie" on YouTube
KRLA, "The Big 11-10", became one of the top radio stations in the Los Angeles area, competing with KFWB and KHJ to be L.A.'s dominant top 40 station. KRLA featured local DJs like Dave Hull (The Hullabalooer), Dick "Huggy Boy" Hugg, Emperor Bob Hudson, Ted Quillin, Bill Ballance, Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Sam Riddle, Dick Moreland, Jimmy O'Neill, Wink Martindale, Johnny Hayes.Wikipedia KRLA was also a major outlet for radio comedy, featuring live broadcasts of Stan Freberg, The Firesign Theater and the Credibility Gap.
Made by Motorola, the Vibrasonic car radio featured "reverberant sound" by sending a delayed signal to the rear speakers.
A presentable young Chicana in jeans
Luz, whose relationship with Sloane Wolfmann brings to mind Dolores Gonzales and Mavis Weld in Raymond Chandler's Hollywood novel The Little Sister (1949)
Doc doesn't hear some kidnapping; rather, he's being skeptical that a kidnapping has occurred, given the frivolity taking place, which he also expresses in the last paragraph on p. 61. Like "Yeah, right ... some kidnapping (eyes rolling)"...
which seemed to extend indefinitely in the direction of Pasadena
Apparently another interior space which is larger than it would seem from outside, as on page 21.
Little Church of the West
Since 1942, celebrities as well as ordinary folks have been getting married in this Las Vegas wedding chapel.
Robert Moses (1888 – 1981) was the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County, New York. His career is summed up by his sayings "cities are for traffic" and "if the ends don't justify the means, what does?" Wikipedia
The quotation is, at least approximately, taken from Robert Caro's biography of Moses, The Power Broker.
Dr. Van Helsing
A funny joke here. Helsing is a character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. He's a vampire hunter.
Jimmy Wong Howe
Master cinematographer James Wong Howe, whose career stretched from silent pictures through the mid-'70s, was born Wong Tung Jim in Canton (now Guangzhou), China, on August 28, 1899, the son of Wong How. Wong Howe was famed for his innovations, including putting a cameraman with a hand-held camera on roller skates inside a boxing ring for Body and Soul (1947) to draw the audience into the ring. . . IMDb Howe also was the DP on the very revolutionary film 'the Molly Maguires. /cw?
where John Garfield is this evil gangster
John Garfield (1913-1952) was an American actor especially adept at playing brooding, rebellious, working-class character roles. He is acknowledged as the predecessor of such Method actors as Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Montgomery Clift. He was active in liberal politics, and when called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which was empowered to investigate purported communist infiltration in America, Garfield refused to name communist party members or followers, testifying that, indeed, he knew none in the film industry. As a result, his Hollywood career was pretty much destroyed and he spiralled into depression and substance abuse, dying at 39 years of age Wikipedia entry. This is the first of many upcoming references to Garfield and his work, who proves to be one of Doc's few heroes. For a good short essay on Garfield and John Prine's song "The Late John Garfield Blues," from Prine's Diamonds in the Rough album (1972), go here.
Ida Lupino (1918 – 1995) was an Anglo-American film actress, director, and a pioneer among women filmmakers. In her forty-eight year career, she appeared in fifty-nine films, and directed nine others. She also appeared in episodic television fifty-eight times and directed fifty other episodes. In addition, she contributed as a writer to five films and four TV episodes. Wikipedia
The midday refrescos now, if you wouldn't mind
Noonish, Friday, March 27, 1970, the fourth day of the narrative.
We recently endowed another facility, in Ojai
This will turn out to be the Chryskylodon Institute, the upscale rehab outfit, which is first mentioned by name on p. 111.
the name of the institution [...] a long, foreign-looking word
The Chryskylodon Institute (see above).
Shall I be Mother?
This is a British expression sometimes used when offering to pour tea.
Doc didn't actually see them "exchanging glances" as Frank might have put it ...
A reference to Frank Sinatra's performance of "Strangers in the Night" (Kaempfert/Singleton/Snyder):
- "Strangers in the night exchanging glances
- Wondering in the night
- What were the chances we'd be sharing love
- Before the night was through?
Buckminster Fuller was an American architect and inventor (among other things). He invented the Geodesic dome.
vector spaces and symmetry groups
Mathematical concepts forming part of group theory and integral to the physics of relativity and quantum mechanics. Early in his career, Pynchon planned to pursue post-graduate studies in mathematics.
some people have walked into zomes and not come back out the same way they went in ... portals to someplace else
A reference to the concept of wormholes, continuing the physics theme from the previous paragraph.
Spanish: n. repentance, penitence, contrition--all concepts important to Inherent Vice.
There's also a cool trilingual pun here: "pentimento" (now an English word, but from the Italian for 'repent') refers to an image in a painting that was painted over but then, with time, begins to show through the top layer of represented images. Lots of ways to connect this multi-level word to the plot and themes of Inherent Vice.
¿Dónde estás, mi hijita?
Spanish for "Where are you, my daughter?"