1960s US band The Fugs interview


This music video from the USA is CIA Man by the Fugs.

From British weekly Socialist Worker:

The Fugs: proto-punk and the 60s sound that echoes today

Ed Saunders of The Fugs spoke to Martin Smith about the music that helped change America

“This is the era of the civil rights, sexual and consciousness expansion revolutions, and those are the banners under which The Fugs are going to present themselves to America.”

This was the opening declaration of the 1960s New York band The Fugs.

You may not have heard of them, but they were one of the most innovative bands of the late 1960s. They were musical rebels with a cause.

Ed Saunders, one of the founding members of the band and the man who helped put together the new four CD compilation of their music, told me their story.

“I wanted to call the band the Yodelling Socialists, but in the end we settled for the Fugs, a euphemism for ‘fuck’ used by Norman Mailer in his novel, The Naked and the Dead,” he said.

Beat poet Tuli Kupferberg and Ed founded the band in 1964. They were based in Ed’s Peace Eye Bookshop in Lower East Side of Manhattan. …

In 1965 the band released their first album – The Village Fugs on the legendary Folkways record label.

In the same year the Fugs headed on their first major tour. Each gig was in support of the anti-Vietnam War movement.

In San Francisco the band performed alongside the great beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Frank Zappa and Country Joe and the Fish.

They performed hundreds of gigs for the anti-Vietnam War movement with songs like “War Kills Babies” and the band’s proto-punk rallying cry “Kill For Peace”.

Tracks like “CIA Man” and “J Edgar Hoover is Paranoid” brought them to the attention of the FBI. …

The band released The Fugs Second Album in 1966.

It began to rise up the US charts and hit number 86. Ed appeared on the front cover of Life Magazine – it was a story about the growing radical music and arts scene.

Johnny Carson even invited Ed onto his TV show.

Ed joyfully recalls. “I insisted on having the Fugs sing ‘Kill for Peace’ on national television as a protest against the war in Vietnam. They refused and I never appeared.

Fugs Lyrics

Kill For Peace Lyrics

“However much we partied and shouted our poetry, we couldn’t get the Vietnam War out of our minds.” …

Today, Tuli is 85 years young and Ed is a youthful 69. But their zeal for musical experimentation continues, and the band will be releasing a new album in the autumn.

Ed is still writing and performing his poetry. And his political anger remains as sharp as ever, “Even from a young age I was something you’re not meant to be in the US – a socialist.

I think it is time for another big surge like the late 1960s. I want to see an end to world poverty, health care for all and an end to war.”

The Sixties: Photographs by Robert Altman: here.

1960s rock music and politics: here.

African American rapper Nas: here.

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2 thoughts on “1960s US band The Fugs interview

  1. Pingback: Egypt: statue of Pharaoh Ramses II moved | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Ancient Egyptians in Asia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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