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Ed Sanders Tales Of Beatnik Glory

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I sixties were so intense and claimed m many victíms from .1 brilliant generation of politica! jihI cultural activists thai ii comes as .1 happj and ple.ivmi surprise to Rnd ilic íok survivoi of heavy decade who ís Mili runctioninji at sumo high leve! of tion and passion which characterized so much of the period. I d Sanders, one of the seminal figures of ihe 60s, is juch a survivor, and lus bonk. an episodio ork ol se ni lik linii tnleil Tales of Bcatnik Glory, manages lo preserve ruu onl) some af the early history of the post-beatnik, pre-hippie "underground," bul its incredihle. crazily unkpjï spint as well. lor the record which, m Sanders' case, luis been s.idly lacking svith respect to recognition Ed Kil lus home m Kansas aller liisili school tor the decadent delights ol New York City's bohemian underbelly. Settling wretchedly in the 1 ower Easl Side aniong Ihe poets, painters, musicians, actors. dope lleiuls. desenerates. elhnics and weildos ulio populated the are.i m disproportionute number, Sanders quickly became involved in the entire spectrum of anti-aulhorilarian activity which sprang trom lowei Manhattan at the turn of the decade. lirst KiiowTi lor swimming in tne Atlantic Otean to lioard a nuclear submarine in an carly peace-creep action in 1462, Sanders gained natiünal notoriety in modern poetry circles with his iniineo publication FUCK YOL': a magazine of the arts. FUCK YOU, an irregular journal of poetry and madness which was edited, typed, drawn, printed, assembled, and hustled by Sanders and a crew of amphetaminedriven maniacs on the Lowei Easl Sidc, literally created the language and legend oí the American underground which was to domínate the remaindei of the decade. Translating the eliteoriented message of the highest poetry ol the age into everyday street talk and Stuffing it with the energy of the rock and mil Midwest, Sanders effected .1 high-charged fusión ofpoetrj and politics which was aimed al a mass audience rather than the thousand or two souls who had served as support lor the work and ideas ol the cultural vanguard of the 50's. Finding the medium of the poetry magazine inadequate to carry his ecstatic ncw message, Sanders assembled a raggedy rock and roll band trom the üluminated dregs of the neighborhood and called it I he I uss. an aggregation which was io become known us "the underground Rotting Stones." Spewing forlh a series of albums lor Broadside, I'SP-Disk. and WaxnerReprise, the Fugs .ilso criss-crofesed the country on severa! occasions, bringing the hard-core uendness of New York City to the cultural wastelands of America and leaving a trail of dope-crazed male and temale se liends in their wake. Sanders, the authoi of several books of poetxy (including "Sheep-Fuck Ode." the Fugs' Song Book. and PeaceEye)by that time, also operaled the Peacfe 1 e liooksiore in NYC: became an original Yippie organizer in 1968, planning the events lor the ill-t'ated I estival ol' Lite at the Democratie Convention in Chicago later that year; recorded a number of Reprise LPs under his own name; and undertook the research and writing of a book on the Charles Manson gang, The Family, which became a national best-seller. Now engaged in research foi a work on the RIK assassination, Sanders has put together a well-organized, carefully-written memoir of lile on the Lower I asl Side between 1958 and 1963 which will inform and delight anyone who has any interest in the roots of the weirdness which inspired and infused the sixfjes as we knew ihem. Tales of Beatnik Glory draws a picture of an important culturo-historical period, in its own words no less. which ha-, not yct been seen excepl lnr those who fctluough it, and Sanders' impeccably hilarious fcungua.m: t'ilK in eveiy detail itli the lived Nongmal-and irrepressible energy of iIk' lime and place. Whal more fciuikl ontf ask lor.' Brinp Juk [lic hc.nniks! 8 O