The Fugs

Virgin Fugs

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The Fugs have long been associated with the literate and liberated denizens of the post-beatnik Greenwich Village. While their best-known recordings are the widely available Folkways Records sessions that were issued as the Fugs First Album and Fugs Second Album -- much of their legend and outrageous lore can be found on the lo-fi D.I.Y. long-player Virgin Fugs (1966). The indie avant-garde ESP-DISK label first unleashed the collective youthful exuberant ravings of Holy Modal Rounders' co-founders Peter Stampfel (guitar/fiddle/harmonica/vocals) and Steve Weber (guitar/vocals), alongside Tuli Kupferberg (tambourine/maracas/vocals), Ed Sanders (tambourine/maracas/vocals), Ken Weaver (drums/vocals), as well as Vinny Leary (guitar/vocals) and John Anderson (bass/vocals). The latter were picked up when Stampfel split. Likewise, his contribution of material to Virgin Fugs is limited to the decidedly anti-drug anthem "New Amphetamine Shriek." With Kupferberg and Sanders at the helm, things continue further down the path of delights for the mind, body, spirit and (for those who need it) soul. "We're the Fugs" is the combo's unofficial musical charter and with an opening line that emphatically proclaims "We love grass/we love ass/we wanna hug her/we wanna bugger," their message resounds unambiguously. Kupferberg concurs with Stampfel's views on hard drugs with the Benzedrine and morphine addicts ode "Hallucination Horrors." Kupferberg also unleashes such pragmatic love songs as "Saran Wrap" and the potentially litigious "Coca Cola Douche" -- which had to be renamed simply "CCD" when it resurfaced on the Fugs at the Fillmore package Golden Filth (1968). Original versions of Kupferberg's modernization of "The Ten Commandments by God" and Sanders' interpretation of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" which is recast as "I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation Rot" are among the other highlights on the only platter primal enough to be called Virgin Fugs.

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