November 17, 2003

An American Bard

Interview of ed sanders:

"The FUGS were a trio of poet-musicians, who included Tuli Kupferberg. We saw it as a way to have fun. I wanted to party and be like Bacchus: have a good time and work for the Revolution. We were sort of revolutionaries.

"We wanted a different world, a different economy. We wanted more of a share in the economy. We thought there would at least be a social democracy, like in Sweden or Norway, or something like that. But it didn't turn out that way.

"So that's how The FUGS got started. We played at the Peace Eye. We had our roots in the Dadaists and in the Cabaret Voltaire. We had our roots in the Happenings at Judson Church with Allan Capral. We had our roots in Jazz Poetry, with Jack Kerouac and Steve Allen playing together. We had our roots in the whole modern drama. We were influenced by Brecht's Living Theater, by Lennie Bruce, and by Beatnik Poetry.

"BUT mostly, we were influenced by the Dadaists;and the civil rights movement. We played in churches surrounded by the Klan, where they were threatening to kill us. This civil rights thing really made us into tough and ready-to-face-danger musicians. I wouldn't write some of the same songs today that I wrote then, but we were just wild, testosterone-maddened young men having fun."

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