Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Music: The Fugs

In 1965, East Village poets Tuli Kupferberg and Ed Sanders formed The Fugs, the name being inspired by what it sounds like. Kupferberg, who was born in 1923, was a beatnik freak well before Dylan hit town, and had the distinction of being mentioned in his friend Allen Ginsberg's epic poem, Howl.

As much satirical theater as a musical group, The Fugs often performed at antiwar protests. Their songs were full of drug references and frequently critical of the U.S. government, just the thing to earn the scrutiny of the FBI. Their most memorable performance, which Norman Mailer included in his novel "Armies of the Night," was Sander's "exorcism" of the Pentagon during a 1967 antiwar rally.

The clip above is from a Swedish television program. It's long, but I kind of enjoyed listening to Ed Sanders ramble on about "homosexual aardvarks," and other nonsense while a no doubt earnest Swede recorded every word. If you don't want to listen to the intros, jump forward to 2:20 for "Crystal Liaison." Tuli Kupferberg's dance interpretation is at least half of the fun, the other being lyrics like this:

In the great bowling alley of your mind
I am your pin boy!
I am your pin boy!

The Fugs official website [Link]

Exorcism of the Pentagon, October 21, 1967 (scroll down) [Link]

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