Archive for July, 2010

The Last Word on Tuli Kupferberg

July 20, 2010

Here’s a great piece from Tablet Magazine – an eyewitness report from Tuli Kuperberg’s Memorial Service last Saturday. Maybe the last hurrah for the old East Village?

The Fugs performed, as promised: here’s a clip from Ed Sanders’s eulogy, followed by the Fugs’ rendition of Try to Be Joyful. Do try.


Tuli Kupferberg Memorial Service Today July 17

July 17, 2010

The New York Times reports this morning that there will be a memorial service for Tuli Kupferberg at St. Mark’s Church this morning at 11:45 AM. It’s expected to last until about 3, beginning with an hour for viewing, and Ed Sanders and the rest of the surviving Fugs will perform.

Also at the Times link is a podcast including a discussion by Ben Ratliff and Ben Sisario of the Times about Kupferberg’s life and legacy.

Go if you can – if you can’t, here’s some classic Fugs for you – Nothing – lots of it. Please enjoy.

Tuli Kupferberg Has Died

July 12, 2010

Tuli Kupferberg, among other things founding member of The Fugs, has died at the age of 86. No attempt to summarize his life has any hope of success: he was who he was, every day.

As a youngster, I was privileged to be an occasional visitor-spectator at Ed Sanders’s Peace Eye Bookstore way over on Avenue A. The way I looked at that store was as a cathedral where the saints weren’t icons on the wall, but were real men and women walking around and laughing and yelling and writing poems and singing songs and making things that people will always care about. So I was scared to death to go in (sometimes I didn’t), and scared to do anything but walk around the edge of the room if I did.

Tuli Kupferberg and Ed Sanders are sometimes seen (with Harry Smith, who produced the Fugs’ first album) as a bridge between the beats and the hippies, but I’ve never agreed with that: I think everyone over there had his own way of seeing, and every so often a few of them would wind up seeing more or less the same thing and kind of riff together on it for a while, and then drift away and then come back with a different thing and a different band of collaborators. And the beats were part of it and the hippies were part of it but there was never really a movement, just an aimful wandering.

So check out the Fugs website, read Tuli’s most famous books (out of print, but worth looking for), 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft and 1001 Ways to Live Without Working, and watch this video of one of the Fugs’ most famous songs, Morning, Morning from their 2nd Album. Please enjoy.

Harry’s Films at Anthology Film Archives July 10

July 9, 2010

It’s a rare chance to see some of Harry Smith’s films on the (more or less) big screen! Anthology Film Archives is at 32 2nd Avenue in NYC, two blocks north of the 2nd Avenue stop on the F train.

Four short films screen beginning at 6:15: Early Abstractions, Mirror Animations, Late Superimpositions, and Oz, the Tin Woodman’s Dream.

At 8:15 see Number 12: Heaven and Earth Magic. P. Adams Sitney called Number 12 “one of the strangest and most fascinating landmarks in the history of cinema.” Few who have seen it would disagree with at least the first part of Sitney’s verdict.

I’ll be at the 6:15 show if you want to say hello. I’ll be one of the bearded guys with glasses, and I’m not at all sure how much that will narrow it down.

For those of you who have other plans for tomorrow evening, a lot of Harry’s films are available on DVD from the Harry Smith Archives. If that doesn’t work for you either, here’s Harry’s own summary of the plot of Heaven and Earth Magic:

“The first part depicts the heroine’s toothache consequent to the loss of a very valuable watermelon, her dentistry and transportation to heaven. Next follows an elaborate exposition of the heavenly land, in terms of Israel and Montreal. The second part depicts the return to Earth from being eaten by Max Müller on the day Edward VII dedicated the Great Sewer of London.”

Needless to say, that doesn’t begin to do it justice. Here, to get you started, are the first few minutes of the film – please enjoy, and if you like what you see, stop by tomorrow night.