Thursday, October 13, 2005

Punker responsible for Hoax of the Year/Decade?

Despite a reputation for shyness, JT LeRoy has made a number of public appearances, including a fashion show in New York in February.

JT LeRoy - the author who took the literary world by storm with his hardluck short stories, was given a high-vis profile in the New York Times, partayed with Madonna, Courtney Love and more is a big skinny phony and his aclaimed writing apparently the work of hardcore punk band denizen Laura Albert (Thistle, Daddy Don't Go). The hoax may have had roots in a song by SF punk Daddy Don't Go ...

Wash Post
Museum of Hoaxes
Thistle band page (JT Leroy is listed as lyrics writer, Albert used to be "Speedie" the lead singer but has since been replaced)
LeRoy website
Laura Albert was also a contributor (photographs, oral history) to this book
From the article that broke the story: Who is JT LeRoy:

But Thistle is not precisely a new band. Years before Thistle emerged around LeRoy, it had played around San Francisco as Daddy Don’t Go. This history is never acknowledged in JT’s interviews, stories in which he takes on a central role in the impetus to form a band. The members of Thistle themselves use pseudonyms: Astor is the stage name of the guitarist Geoffrey Knoop, and his wife, Laura Albert, goes by Speedie. She, however, is just the original Speedie, more recently replaced as singer by a new Speedie, Jennifer Hall, an actress who starred on HBO’s Unscripted.

If you’re confused already, it’s probably intentional. It is the original Speedie, Laura Albert, who is referred to as “Emily Frasier” in the New York Times article about LeRoy, where she is described as an outreach worker “who survived the streets herself” and rescued him around 1993, when she found him wandering into traffic in a psychotic haze. She turned him over to Dr. Owens and, not having the best sense of boundaries for a social worker, invited him to live in her “converted squat.” Although Eric Wilinski also knew Laura as Emily Frasier, the only other traces I could find of the name are reviews she left on “We Demand a Sequel!” she says about Sarah. “This is the most extraordinary and lucid book I’ve read in a long time.”

This is a group that delights in playing with identities. Although the band’s Website claims Geoffrey is 30, he was born in 1966 and attended Lowell High. ... Daddy Don’t Go recorded one number, and another, “Vicious Panties,” was performed by Laura and “Jeffrey Kaos.” The scenario involves Laura calling Kaos her little girl, her little boy... enacting a relationship so similar to JT’s descriptions of his relationship with his mother, Sarah, that it is startling. As opposed to the “outreach worker” Emily Frasier, Laura says about herself in the bio: “Laura Victoria Albert, singer/songwriter for the San Francisco band Daddy Don’t Go, is a published writer, actor, ... Brooklyn girl, and not a waif.”


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