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Thread: The Fugs

  1. #1

    The Fugs

    I recently caught up on my reading of Ed Sanders' poems (Z-D Generation specifically), and pulled out the .old Fugs records in that regard - if only to remind myself just why these so heavily influenced my mindset as an 80s teenager. I then stumbled across this immensely interesting TV special from Sweden 1968, recorded in the wake of their "rock" coming of age with the Tenderness Junction and It Crawled into My Hand, Honest! releases. The experience of watching this somehow enlightened my already devastating pessimism towards the Now, I dunno what you think:


    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  2. #2
    Member aplodon's Avatar
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    Never heard of them, but fun to watch.

    Sent fra min Moto G Play via Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Michael: "Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from [last] century?"
    Harold: "There is no other music....."

  4. #4
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    still a hole in my musical education...
    Probably not for too much longer anymore , though


    I've always seen them as the US equivalent of The Groundhogs in terms of musical whackery, but I may be totally wrong
    Last edited by Trane; 06-03-2017 at 05:24 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

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    Golden Filth - perhaps the best live album ever.
    #1 on my list of ' Concert videos I wish existed'.

  6. #6
    ^ They were essentially the beat poet trio of Ed Sanders, Ken Weaver and Tuli Kupferberg. Their first four albums are extremely primitive but great fun, recorded partly on two or four mikes and mainly consisting of jugband tunes sporting hilarious lyrics, sometimes political, others sexual or indeed poetic.

    By the time of Tenderness Junction there was a full group backing. Excellent musicians who were basically jazzers now attempting to rock - and it worked! Not too much Groundhogs, tho'...



    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  7. #7
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I saw the Village Fugs (their original name) twice at the old Anderson Theater in the Village back in 1967 and even though their musical acumen wasn't in the same universe as FZ/MOI, they were considered their east coast counterparts at the time. Their lyrics were indeed hilarious and had titles like "Squack Man Meets The Lunatic Vagina" and the ever-popular "Coca Cola Douche".

    Lead singer & co-lyricist Ed Saunders was a journalism grad from the U of Kansas, and went on to write a much better book about the Manson family than Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" called simply "The Family".
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

  8. #8
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    These cats seemed to be many years ahead of their time, no?

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    My brother, the oddball, had their albums. I guess I heard the albums but don't remember them other than they were not my cuppa at the time.

  10. #10
    I loved the "Saran Wrap" song when I was a kid. Hey, what else can you use when you have no condom? Plastic sandwich wrap of course! Also "Coca-Cola Douche" -- the type of songs 11 and 12 year olds love to giggle at.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    the type of songs 11 and 12 year olds love to giggle at.
    Really?

    First time that we balled she nearly drove me insane
    Next time that we balled she drove me out of my brain
    Third time that we balled you know I fainted nearly dead -
    I woke up, she was underneath SOCKIN' ma head!


    From "Slum Goddess from the Lower Eastside".
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post

    By the time of Tenderness Junction there was a full group backing. Excellent musicians who were basically jazzers now attempting to rock - and it worked! Not too much Groundhogs, tho'...
    Oddly enough the band had Danny Kortchmar (later with James Taylor, Jackson Browne etc.) and Charles Larkey (who played with and married Carole King in the 70's).

  13. #13
    Nick St. Nicholas' fave band (high five to the one or two people who will know what I'm on about ;-) )

  14. #14
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Ground breaking genre busting breakthrough band who straddled the beatnik - hippie divide. Flashes of incredible brilliance inside a musical legacy that was more often amateurish and painful. Look for "Sanders Truckstop" by Ed Sanders and "It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest" as their peaks, IMO.

    Iirc Sanders went on to translate Greek poetry or something like that. He was not a buffoon.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 06-03-2017 at 12:06 PM.

  15. #15
    Member StevegSr's Avatar
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    Glad to see someone interested in Ed Sanders' poetry as it's his true muse. The Fugs were an over the top anarchist sounding socially conscience "folk art" band that got very involved with the 60's anti war movement. I saw them quite a few times in NYC. Their stage reaction was always mixed. Too radical for the laid back folkies and too folky for the rockers. The Holy Modal Rounders were close to their angst, but kept it more subdued. Another band that you may want to check out, along with Pearls Before Swine who even more subdued. Enjoy!
    Last edited by StevegSr; 06-03-2017 at 01:59 PM.
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

  16. #16
    I only have Tenderness Junction but it’s worthwhile, mainly because there’s nothing else like it in my collection. Sure, some of it’s pretty juvenile (“Wet Dream,” anybody?) but they were definitely having a good time breaking “straight” society’s taboos. At least they weren’t mean-spirited about it like Zappa often could be. Bonus points for getting Allan Ginsberg to guest on their record, points taken off again for just getting him to wail the Hare Krishna chant off-key.

    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    These cats seemed to be many years ahead of their time, no?
    Their first album came out in, I think, 1964. So that would be a resounding “yes.”

    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    Oddly enough the band had Danny Kortchmar (later with James Taylor, Jackson Browne etc.) and Charles Larkey (who played with and married Carole King in the 70's).
    Half of her band The City, whose Now That Everything’s Been Said album became an instant collector’s item (mainly because it shows she was already making Tapestry-style songs as early as 1968).

    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Iirc Sanders went on to translate Greek poetry or something like that. He was not a buffoon.
    There’s some Sappho on Tenderness Junction, probably some other classical poets, too.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by StevegSr View Post
    Another band that you may want to check out, along with Pearls Before Swine who even more subdued.
    World's biggest PBS fan here already, Steve. Most enlightening interview I ever did was with Tom Rapp, back when he was still a radical barrister in the early 90s.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Bonus points for getting Allan Ginsberg to guest on their record, points taken off again for just getting him to wail the Hare Krishna chant off-key.
    When Ginsberg came to Bergen in '93, it was my then best buddy Carl who ordered his act (being a member of the booking committee of Hulen/"The Cave", an old bomb shelter which is today the longest-running venue in Norway, completely run by students). Carl was even an art-school major with a serious talent for painting/drawing, and produced a tableau of Natural size (ca. 1,80 metres) from the tiny pic of Ginsberg on the inner sleeve of Tenderness Junction. It was then displayed at the Student's Center in Bergen, selling nearly 250 tickets to the event.

    Carl spent the entire day with the guy, entertaining his macrobiotic feeds and listening to his bizarre homosexual ranting about Brion Gysin. He - Carl, that is - later developed paranoid schizophrenia and was pretty much disabled from public life, engaging in whores and organized crime and shit. I knew him from the age of 9. Back in 2008 he came to Kristiansand, where I was living at the time, and started hitting on my then-girlfriend/wife-to-be (fourth), I accomodated him but eventually had to barrack myself in the bedroom after he came at me with a kitchen knife. Not much contact after that.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  19. #19
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I apologize if anyone's heard this before (I AM f*****g 72!)but the Ginsberg story immediately reminded me again of the night in early 1967 when my first wife (I only had 2, SS) danced on a table at the Cafe A Go Go in NYC with Ginsberg while I chatted with his lover, Peter Orlovsky (Lothar & Hand People & original 5 Byrds played that night).
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

  20. #20
    Member saatuk's Avatar
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    Strangely enough, 'It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest' is one of my favourite albums during a long drive. Flashes of brilliance and always entertaining even after close to 40 years.
    There's nowt so queer as folk

  21. #21
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Great Fugs footage. Those were creative times !

    Cant imagine that Swedish television (or anybody else in Sweden) today would even consider to show something as politically incorrect as this.

  22. #22
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Fugs! Great, great stuff. This once pimply faced high schooler and now senior citizen's guilty pleasure. Had their first two albums when they were plentiful (had both pressings with different covers of the 2nd album). Now most ESP LPs are collector's items.

    (By the way, I always thought ESP stood for extra sensory perception; then recently I found out it stood for "Esperanto."
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  23. #23
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    My brother, the oddball, had their albums. I guess I heard the albums but don't remember them other than they were not my cuppa at the time.
    Yeppers. My brother also had one of the Fugs albums. Pretty wild stuff.
    (At the same time he discovered the band "Elephants Memory" due to their work with John Lennon.)

  24. #24

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