Monday, November 21, 2011

Random Billy Pilgrim Sidebar

An addendum to the post about visiting the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library:

In the early 1990s, my husband had a rock band in Chicago called Billy Pilgrim. One day, he got a letter from Atlantic Records: relinquish the name, and the label would pay him $7000. It seems Atlantic had just signed another Billy Pilgrim - a folk rock duo from Georgia (one of the dudes is now the guitarist in Sugarland) - and needed to trademark the name.

We think Vonnegut would smile at the situation: poor Chicago rockers get lots of beer money for a character name Vonnegut invented. Meanwhile, vintage Pilgrim tuques remain on the Windy City's streets.


  1. Vonnegut famously remarked, in one of his last interviews, that Americans were "addicted to alcohol", so I suppose beer money would fit his dry sense of humor and his slightly nose in the air attitude towards Americans. At any rate, he's Vonnegut.

  2. I hadn't heard that quote before. It makes the situation all the better. Thanks for the info!

  3. Sure. I have your Lonely Planet book on Chicago, by the way. So, really, thanks to you for the info. (: