[Marxism] Tuli, too

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 12 15:37:50 MDT 2010


July 12, 2010, 4:01 PM Tuli Kupferberg, Poet and Singer, Dies at 86 By 

Tuli Kupferberg, the poet, singer and professional bohemian who went 
from being a noted Beat to becoming, in his words, “the world’s oldest 
rock star” when he helped found the Fugs, the bawdy and politically 
pugnacious folk-rock group, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 86 and 
had been a longtime resident of Greenwich Village.

He had been in weak health after suffering two strokes last year, said 
Ed Sanders, his friend and fellow Fug.

Mr. Kupferberg was something of a Beatnik celebrity when he and Mr. 
Sanders started the Fugs in 1964. Already in his 40s, he was an 
anthologized poet and published a series of literary magazines with 
titles like Birth and Yeah. And to his chagrin and embarrassment, he had 
also found a kind of notoriety as the inspiration for one of the 
characters in Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl.” He was the one who “jumped 
off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown 
and forgotten.”

Between 1965 and 1970 the Fugs released six albums of music that could 
be puerile (“Boobs a Lot”), politically provocative (“Kill for Peace”) 
or gentle and even scholarly (“Ah, Sunflower, Weary of Time,” based on a 
poem by Blake). The band became “the U.S.O. of the left,” Mr. Kupferberg 
once said, playing innumerable antiwar rallies, including the “exorcism” 
of the Pentagon in 1967 that was chronicled by Norman Mailer in his book 
“The Armies of the Night.”

In the years since the Fugs, Mr. Kupferberg has been a regular sight in 
Lower Manhattan, selling his satirical cartoons on the street and 
serving as an grandfather for bohemian types of all ages. He embraced 
the bohemian designation, tracing the word back to its origins back to 
12th-century Paris, where “the craziest students once came from 
Bohemia,” he once said in an interview with the music Web site Perfect 
Sound Forever. Among his books were “1,001 Ways to Live Without Working.”

Lately he has been posting his sometimes ribald “perverbs” — brief 
videos punning on well-known aphorisms — on YouTube.

His survivors include his wife, Sylvia Topp; and three children.

A full obituary will follow.

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