Formed in 1965 by Tuli Kupferberg
and Ed Sanders among the bohemian literati of the Lower East Side, the Fugs
were the original antifolk band, a rude and ragged bunch who loved rural American music enough to contort it into their own brand of countercultural protopunk. Sanders and legendary filmmaker and folk archivist Harry Smith produced The Fugs First Album
, released in '65 by Folkways imprint Broadside and soon reissued by ESP-Disk, and at the time the band's lineup incorporated the Holy Modal Rounders as members. The Fugs wrote hilarious, earthy, irreverent songs about sex ("Boobs a Lot
"), weed ("I Couldn't Get High
"), and sticking it to the Man ("CIA Man," which appeared in the Coen Brothers film Burn After Reading
in a Sun City Girls cover version), and soon became favorites of antiwar hippies. The Fugs made four albums for Reprise in the late 60s, but they never yielded to the temptation to take the careerist music-biz path. Kupferberg died in 2010, so Sanders is the only original member participating in this latest reunion—and tonight's show is the first time any version of the Fugs has played Chicago since the band shared a bill at the Aragon with Wilson Pickett in 1968. —Peter Margasak Al Rose opens.