Excerpt from "Voulez-Vous Coucher avec God?" (1972) starring Tuli Kupferberg as God

Tuli plays God in this 1972 film by Canadian cineastes Michael Hirsh and Jack Christie, screening in the USA for the first time as part of the FUG ON FILM Tuli Kupferberg memorial screenings happening in New York THIS SUNDAY, NOV 14 at Anthology Film Archives.

J. Hoberman’s review in this week’s Village Voice

Details here: Arthur presents Tuli Kupferberg Memorial Screening – Nov. 14

Tuli Has Left the Planet

Paul Krassner, Tuli Kupferberg, and unidentified woman. Photo by Paskal / The Rag Blog.

Tuli Has Left the Planet
by Paul Krassner
for High Times

Prologue: Ah, the songs . . . “Boobs a Lot” . . . “Nothing” . . . “Morning, Morning” . . ..

I first met Tuli Kupferberg in the early ’60s at the Paperback Gallery in Greenwich Village. I was delivering my magazine, The Realist, and he was delivering his booklet, Birth. Sharing a concept that tragedy and absurdity were two sides of the same coin, we bonded immediately.

In 1966, I published an article by John Wilcock, “Who the Fugs Think They Are.” Tuli talked about the importance of sexual liberation. “Americans like to kill or be killed,” he said. “Aggression is reaction to frustration. Sexual frustration is still the major problem to be solved and in my opinion the appearance of sexual humor is a healthy sign. And if we can put some joy, some real sexy warmth into the revolution, we’ll have really achieved something.”

When Norman Mailer wrote his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, he used the euphemism “fug” for “fuck,” which was then a literary taboo. At our first encounter, I asked him if it was true that when he met actress Tallulah Bankhead she said, “So you’re the young man who doesn’t know how to spell fuck.” With a twinkle in his eye, he told me that he replied, “Yes, and you’re the young woman who doesn’t know how to.” Anyway, that’s where the Fugs got their name. In “Doin’ All Right,” they sang, “I’m not ever goin’ to Vietnam/ I’d rather stay right here and screw your mom.” Tuli told me, “That was enough to get us beaten up if we did it in the right place.”

In 1968, at the counter-convention in Chicago, hash oil in honey was the drug of choice. The Fugs co-founders, Ed Sanders and Tuli, sampled it. This was strong stuff, and they got completely fugged up. Sanders described the grass he was walking on as “a giant frothing trough of mutant spinach egg noodles.” Tuli’s friends had to carry him by the armpits back to the apartment where he was staying. “They’re delivering me,” he explained.

There was a rumor that Philip Roth had lifted the masturbatory obsessed theme of his novel, Portnoy’s Complaint, from a Fugs song, but that notion was disavowed by Sanders, who assured me, “Philip Roth did not plagiarize a Fugs song. He came to a Fugs show in 1966, and I think he was inspired by Tuli, in top hat and cane, singing ‘Jack-Off Blues.’ Many times in reunion concerts, introducing Tuli singing that song, I have suggested that Roth got some of the impetus for Portnoy’s Complaint from that time he was inspired by the Tuli tune.”

Another rumor was triggered by Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem, Howl. Tuli acknowledged that he had been the inspiration for this passage: “…jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer…” Actually, it was the Manhattan Bridge. Tuli was just out of college and in the throes of the break-up of his first major love relationship, which contributed to a nervous breakdown that precipitated his suicide attempt. He was rescued by a passing tugboat and taken to Governor’s Island Hospital with a broken transverse process that put him in a body cast.

“Throughout the years,” Tuli complained, “I have been annoyed many times by, ‘Oh, did you really jump off the Brooklyn Bridge?’—as if it was a great accomplishment.” At first he had refused to talk about it, but as Ginsberg’s myth spread that he had simply “walked away” after jumping off a bridge, Tuli became concerned about wrongly influencing young people. He didn’t want anyone else to take a similar chance of being severely injured if they survived.

Tuli was the first Poet-in-Residence at the Bowery Poetry Club. Proprietor Bob Holman sent an e-mail two days before Tuli’s death on a gloomy Sunday: “I am in Medellin at the amazing International Poets Festival here—100 poets! Ten days of it!—and Tuli’s spirit is everywhere. Tell that bum to get up and out and over here.” Norman Savitt, producer of Tuli’s TV show, Revolting News, reported from the hospital bedside that Tuli reminded him “what a shame it was that I had my son circumcised, how I should be putting lyrics to all my instrumental music, and the importance of raw garlic in my diet.” And Larkworthy Antfarm adapted a Fugs song, applying the original lyrics to the BP catastrophe, singing about “a river of shit.”

Epilogue: Ah, the condolences: “Tuli, may you see Boobs a Lot in Heaven” . . . “This Monday will be just a little more Nothing” . . . “Mourning, Mourning” . . .


Check out paulkrassner.com to see the digitally colored edition of the infamous Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster.

Friday, Jan 22, Brooklyn: A BENEFIT FOR TULI KUPFERBERG OF THE FUGS

A Benefit for Tuli Kupferberg
Produced by Hal Willner
Friday, January 22 at 7:30PM

at St. Ann’s Warehouse
38 Water St
DUMBO, Bklyn, NY 11201

Tuli Kupferberg, the influential songwriter who co-founded the Fugs, suffered two strokes, in April and September 2009, which left him blind, confined to his apartment and in need of 24-hour care. He is recovering well—he is able to speak clearly—but has overwhelming medical expenses not covered by Medicare or the very modest publishing/royalties income he earns at the age of 86. A number of his friends and admirers are coming to his aid by performing in a benefit concert produced by Hal Willner, including his fellow Fugs [Ed Sanders, more], John Kruth and an all-star band, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Peter Stampfel, John Zorn and others who will be announced soon.

Venue: http://stannswarehouse.org/

Tickets: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7900805

The Fugs: http://www.thefugs.com/

REMINDER — Friday, July 31 8pm: ED SANDERS reading and discussing the GLYPH at The Arm in W'burg

sandersclosing

The Arm
281 North 7th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
thearmnyc.com

ed_sanders
(photo copyright Fred Burkhart)

Info courtesy The Arm:

“A rare exhibition of nearly half a century of Ed Sanders’ glyph-poems produced between 1962 and 2009 will be on display at The Arm from July 10 through July 31.

“Gallery hours will be Wednesday to Sunday from Noon to 6PM until the end of the month.

“Building on a long history of utilizing a highly visible language that continues into the present, Sanders’s glyph-poems fuse image with text, and image as text. Political, personal, ephemeral, historical, uncanny, and humorous— the glyph-poems on display at The Arm appear in several different mediums, including original drawings, collages, mimeographed pages from Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts (1962-’65), plus a number of collages, and an artist’s book. Over 200 Glyph-works will be featured in the show.

“In addition, Glyphs 1962-2009 will feature new letterpress prints and a limited edition catalogue produced on location at The Arm.

“Edward Sanders is a poet, historian and musician. He is at work, since 1998, on a 9-volume America, a History in Verse. The first five volumes, tracing the history of the 20th century, have been completed and published in a fully indexed CD format, over 2,000 pages in length, by Blake Route Press.

“Another recent writing project is Poems For New Orleans, a book and CD on the history of that great city, and its tribulations during and after hurricane Katrina. He has been granted a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in verse, an American Book Award for his collected poems, and other awards for his writing.

“Other books in print include Tales of Beatnik Glory (4 volumes published in a single edition); 1968: A History in Verse; Poetry and Life Allen Ginsberg: A Narrative Poem; The Family, a history of the Charles Manson murder group, and Chekhov, a biography in verse of Anton Chekhov. Sanders was the founder of the satiric folk/rock group, The Fugs, which has released many albums and CDs during its 45-year history.

“The Fugs have recently completed a CD, Be Free, The Fugs Final CD (Part I), featuring 14 new tunes. Be Free will be released in late summer.

“Two of Sanders’ books, The Family and Tales of Beatnik Glory, are under option to be made into movies.

“His selected poems, 1986-2008, Let’s Not Keep Fighting the Trojan War will be published by Coffee House Press in the fall of 2009.

“He lives in Woodstock, New York with his wife, the essayist and painter Miriam Sanders, and both are active in environmental and other social issues.

“Sanders will perform a section of America, the 17th Century, tracing the voyage of Henry Hudson up the Hudson River in 1609, at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony in Woodstockon August 8, as part of the 400th anniversary celebration of Hudson’s discoveries.”

More info: http://www.woodstockjournal.com/

LATE FUGGIN NOTICE: ED SANDERS OPENING IN WILLIAMSBURG NOW

sandersshow

ED SANDERS : GLYPHS 1962-2009

The Arm
281 North 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

A rare exhibition of nearly half a century of Ed Sandersʼs glyph-poems produced between 1962 and 2009 will be on display at The Arm in Williamsburg [Brooklyn, NY] from July 10 through July 31. An opening reception will be held on July 10th at 6PM.

Building on a long history of utilizing a highly visible language that continues into the present, Sandersʼs glyph-poems fuse image with text, and image as text. Political, personal, ephemeral, historical, uncanny, and humorous—the glyph-poems on display at The Arm appear in several different mediums, including original drawings, collages, mimeographed pages from Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts (1962-’65), plus a number featuring color images, and an artistʼs book. Over 200 Glyph-works will be featured in the show.

In addition, Glyphs 1962-2009 will feature new letterpress prints and a limited edition catalogue produced on location at The Arm.

Edward Sanders is a poet, historian and musician. He is at work, since 1998, on a 9-volume America, a History in Verse. The first five volumes, tracing the history of the 20th century, have been completed and published in a fully indexed CD format, over 2,000 pages in length, by Blake Route Press. Another recent writing project is Poems for New Orleans, a book and CD on the history of that great city, and its tribulations during and after hurricane Katrina. He has been granted a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in verse, an American Book Award for his collected poems, and other awards for his writing. Other books in print include Tales of Beatnik Glory (4 volumes published in a single edition), 1968, a History in Verse; The Poetry and Life of Allen Ginsberg, The Family, a history of the Charles Manson murder group, and Chekhov, a biography in verse of Anton Chekhov.

Sanders was the founder of the satiric folk/rock group, The Fugs, which has released many albums and CDs during its 45 year history. The Fugs have recently completed a CD, Be Free, The Fugs Final CD (Part 2), featuring 14 new tunes. Be Free will be released in late summer. Two of Sanders’ books, The Family and Tales of Beatnik Glory, are under option to be made into movies. His selected poems, 1986-2008, Letʼs Not Keep Fighting the Trojan War will be published by Coffee House Press in the fall of 2009. He lives in Woodstock, New York with his wife, the essayist and painter Miriam Sanders, and both are active in environmental and other social issues. Sanders will perform a section of America, the 17th Century, tracing the voyage of Henry Hudson up the Hudson River in 1609, at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony in Woodstock on August 8, as part of the 400th anniversary celebration of Hudsonʼs discoveries.

Opening reception for Glyphs 1962-2009 on Friday, July 10th from 6PM.

http://www.thearmnyc.com/

Tonight (Sat) 7:30pm, Philly: Peter Stampfel and the Ether Frolic Mob (featuring John Cohen), Brother JT, and deejay Ian Nagoski

Saturday, June 27

Arthur presents…

A special summer twilight show at Frankford Gardens

7:30pm

featuring two sets by

PETER STAMPFEL AND THE ETHER FROLIC MOB

plus

Just added! BROTHER JT

and

IAN NAGOSKI spinning vintage 78rpm music

2037 Frankford Avenue (enter around back on Sepviva Street)
Philadelphia 19125

suggested donation $5 * bring your own ether and other whatists

foul weather moves show indoors to the music parlor

peterstampfelpromo

This will be the Philadelphia debut of New York City’s PETER STAMPFEL AND THE ETHER FROLIC MOB who, Stampfel promises, will “stick our hands up the ass of American music, grab it by the throat, and pull it inside-out. It’s 21st century 19th century American music played in a vast variety of 20th century styles.” We’d expect nothing less—Mr. Stampfel is a founding member of the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs, and Frolicker JOHN COHEN is a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers. (That’s them in the photo above.) Two sets from the Mobsters, who, tonight, will be:

* Peter Stampfel/ vocals, banjo, fiddle, guitar, ‘juke (steel strung National Steel Ukulele tuned like a banjo), assorted percussion
* Jeannie Scofield/ vocals, percussion
* John Cohen/ vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin
* Hubby Jenkens/ vocals, guitar, percussion, ‘juke, ukelele
* Eli Smith/ vocals, banjo, harmonica, fiddle, ukulele
* Jane Gilday/ vocals, banjo, harmonica, fiddle
* Walker Shepard/ vocals, banjo, guitar, fiddle, ‘juke
* Annabelle Lee/ vocals, guitar, percussion

Get a swig of the Mob via this live performance and interview from 2006 on the Down Home Radio Show

brotherfromanother

BROTHER JT (pictured above) will be playing a mix of psychedelic spirituals on acoustic guitar, accompanied by Steve Gigante (Dark Inside The Sun).

“For the past twenty years Brother JT has made records that exemplify the ‘freeness’ and dark-green/blood-red hazy warmth of true psychedelia. As a songwriter, he is so proficient that no one takes notice; as a guitar player, he subtly outshines any slinger around (besides the Cheaterslicks’ Dave Shannon) with riffs, leads and solos that are consistently bewildering; as a rock star…well, he was just born for the job, regardless if anyone ever figures it out. He writes one-liner bits of philosophy that are as memorable as those of Yogi Berra, H. L. Mencken, or Will Rogers. JT is, in short, the most hidden of greatest treasures.” —David Katznelson, Arthur No. 8 (available from Arthur store)

Baltimore’s IAN NAGOSKI (compiler of “Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Musics 1918-1954”) will play recordings from the 78 rpm era including pieces from his new collection of music from the first half of the 20th century, “A String of Pearls” (Canary/ Mississippi Records), including music from Constantinople, Milano, Bucharest, Uttar Pradesh, Armenia, Sunda, Thrace, Jamaica, Serbia, Cairo, Huilotita, Seville, Hue, Aleppo, Rajastan, the Carpathians, a Zuni reservation and much more.

Ian on Baltimore public radio, playing and discussing his 78rpm music finds from around world:
http://bit.ly/130m0w

Ian blogs on Arthurmag.com:
http://www.arthurmag.com/author/ian-nagoski/