Beatnik Man of Letters and Counterculture Icon Ed Sanders of The Fugs

With a little help from his friends, the Yippies, Ed Sanders tried to exorcise the Pentagon.


According to NPR, counterculture icon and acclaimed man of letters Ed Sanders considers himself “the only beatnik who can yodel.” Ed yodels on this show and joins Thorne Dreyer in a highly entertaining discussion of his rich history.

Ed Sanders is a poet, singer, author, publisher, environmentalist, and political activist. He wrote the best-selling book, The Family, about the Charles Manson murders, and his biography of Sharon Tate will be released this fall. Sanders has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and an American Book Award. And he invents musical instruments, including the Talking Tie, featuring a keyboard down the front of a clip-on necktie.

ed sanders 1Ben Ratliff of The New York Times says that Ed Sanders was “present at the counterculture’s creation.” He was a founder of the Yippies and, along with Tuli Kupferberg, he started the legendary satirical folk-rock band, The Fugs, much of whose work we can’t play on the radio. He published an influential avant-garde journal whose title we can’t say on the radio. He founded the Investigative Poetry movement. He helped start the East Village Other. He founded the legendary Peace Eye Bookstore in the Lower East Side where folks like William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg hung out.

With a little help from his friends Ed Sanders tried to exorcise the Pentagon. He wrote his first book, Poem from Jail, on toilet paper after he was busted for attempting to swim out in the New London, Connecticut harbor to board a nuclear submarine in protest. Sanders was active in what was called the “Mimeograph Revolution.” And now he says he’s determined “to go out in a blaze of leaflets.”

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Posted by on September 20, 2015, With 902 Reads Filed under Rag Radio. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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One Response to "Beatnik Man of Letters and Counterculture Icon Ed Sanders of The Fugs"

  1. Martin Maloney  September 21, 2015 at 3:40 am

    “Caca Roca,” a cut on the Fugs’ first album, humorously kvetched about not having correct/enough change for the pay toilets in New York City’s subway system.

    The last verse:

    If I had a nickel, If I had a dime,
    I’d put it in the pot, And I’d shit all the time!
    Uh-huh, Baby, Uh-huh. Uh-huh, Baby, Uh-huh.

    It didn’t get a lotta air play.

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