Ed Sanders, The Fugs, and ML Trivia

Michael Watson archetype at 20ants.com
Sun Mar 25 21:39:16 EDT 2007

=== The Background

Early beat/punk music group The Fugs was founded by Ed Sanders who 
was a beat writer, acquaintance of Ferlinghetti and Corso, book store 
owner, social activist, probable anarchist, and self-made social 
misfit. Exciting details at...
http://www.furious.com/Perfect/sanders.html and the WiKipedia article 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Sanders has a bibliography for him. 
He's still in Woodstock NY publishing Woodstock Journal 
http://www.woodstockjournal.com/ which is also, conveniently, his own 
online subsidy press for his poetry.

=== The ML Trivia

Being a social activist and general provocateur, Ed Sanders was a 
magnet for trouble. This from http://www.thefugs.com/

"I learned I was on the cover of Life magazine in February of 1967 
when the Johnny Carson television show called to have me on as a 
guest. Before I would appear, I insisted on having the Fugs sing 
"Kill for Peace" on national television as a protest against the 
Vietnam War, which they refused.

It wasn't always so friendly to be suddenly famous. Someone mailed a 
package to me at my post office box in the East Village. I opened it 
up in the lobby of the post office. It was a brand new copy, with a 
bright red dust jacket, of the Modern Library edition of 
Dostoievsky's The Idiot. As I held it, the cover popped open and I 
heard a kind of mousetraplike whacking sound. I saw that the inside 
had been very neatly cut away to make a square compartment, into 
which were arrayed a battery, a spring-driven on/off switch and some 
wires attached to some small cylinders. I walked over to the counter 
and told the clerk, "I think someone has sent me a bomb." Wow, did 
the postal employees scatter!
It turned out to be a ersatz bomb. The explosive cylinders turned out 
to be CO2 cartridges of the sort that were used to power model 
rockets. Whoever sent it had glued a card to the inside of the cover:

Big Boy has the Contract
Red is the Finger
You are the Mark

Not long thereafter an anonymous phone call came into Avenue A, with 
my 2 year old daughter asleep in her room, that the caller was first 
going to bomb my house, then the home of Frank Zappa.  As a result, 
for the next ten years we had an unlisted telephone number."


20 Ants
5709 Broadway St. Indianapolis IN 46220-2569
archetype at 20ants.com    (317)514-3829 Mon-Sat 11a-6p
   20th Century & Antiquarian Books for the Reader & Collector
   Traditional courtesies extended to the trade. Always seeking better
   books, individually and in lots. Specializing in fine press and non-fiction.
   Member of Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) 
   Offering a safe bookbuying experience at 

More information about the ModLib mailing list