Sunday, May 05, 2013

Fug You - Ed Sanders

The entire title of this book is actually Fug You - An Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, the Fuck You Press, the Fugs and Counterculture in the Lower East Side, which is about as accurate as it comes! To me, Sanders is most well known as the leader of the "porn-rock" band the Fugs (teenage boys loved hearing this kind of obscenity in rock'n'roll in the 60's & 70's), but he was also an important poet (and hob-knobbed with and published many of the Beat poets in his Fuck You press), owner of a counter cultural bookstore in NYC and heavily involved in the protest movement.

So, while ostensibly this is about Sanders and his endeavors, it is also a story about the 60's in general and an overview of those turbulent times. He seems to give a pretty even-handed report of the events here and doesn't over-romanticize anything, while still looking fondly back at most of the happenings. But, he also talks of the violence, the drugs, the useless deaths and the tragedies. The book is dedicated almost exclusively to the mythical decade and gives a true insiders' viewpoint.

I have never read his book on the Manson Family (simply titled The Family) that he talks about as this story ends as he enters the 1970's, so I don't know if this is something that people know him for, but this is a fun and interesting read about this amazing time of change in America. Something everyone should know adn understand.