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The Fugs Live From the 60's

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Album Review

For anyone who thinks the the Velvet Underground was as outré as successful cult 1960s bands got, this is the real stuff: taken from the personal tape collection of Ed Sanders, it's 50 minutes of unadulterated live Fugs, from their first concert in Greenwich Village through to a bunch of dates from Sweden, Wisconsin, and Texas played between 1967 and 1969. All of it is pretty raw, but that's good, because it's real. The material represents the different sides of the group's sound very well—"The Swedish Nada" has them sounding like the punk equivalents of the Doors, while "The Garden Is Open" ventures into VU territory, with Dan Kooch's violin creating a positively demonic sound, and "The Exorcism of the Grave of Senator Joseph McCarthy" (conducted at the senator's grave with Allen Ginsberg present) is like little else ever recorded by an alleged rock group. There's a lot of history here, and some fascinating music captured in generally fair fidelity. The perfect gift for anyone who already has all of the Velvets' material, or thinks the Doors were poet poseurs.


Formed: 1964 in New York, NY [Greenwich Village]

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Arguably the first underground rock group of all time, the Fugs formed at the Peace Eye bookstore in New York's East Village in late 1964. The nucleus of the band throughout its many personnel changes was Peace Eye owner Ed Sanders and fellow poet Tuli Kupferberg. Sanders and Kupferberg had strong ties to the beat literary scene, but charged, in the manner of their friend Allen Ginsberg, full steam ahead into the maelstrom of '60s political involvement and psychedelia. Surrounded by an assortment...
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