Fugs member Tuli Kupferberg dies

Tuli Kupferberg, a founding member of the New York underground rockers the Fugs, has died at age 86.

Tuli Kupferberg, a founding member of the New York underground rockers the Fugs, has died at age 86.

Kupferberg died Monday in a Manhattan hospital, according to his friend and bandmate Ed Sanders. He had suffered several strokes in the past year.

Sanders, owner of the Peace Eye Bookstore in New York, joined with beat poet Kupferberg and drummer Ken Weaver to form the group in 1964.

They were among the first underground rock bands and paved the way for groups such as the Mothers of Invention and Velvet Underground. The Fugs were strong supporters of the anti-war and protest movements of the 1960s.

Band members ran in the same circles as Andy Warhol and Frank Zappa and Allen Ginsberg, a fellow beat poet.

Kupferberg is referred to in Ginsberg's classic Howl as the "person who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived."

Kupferberg was notable more for the chutzpah of his delivery than for his tuneful voice.

Already a poet, he was adept at incorporating political satire into Fugs lyrics and is known for his songs such as Supergirl, Nothing, CIA Man, Kill for Peace and Morning Morning.

"I think he will be remembered as a unique American songwriter," Sanders said. "Tuli had an uncanny ability to shape nuanced lyrics."

The name Fugs was a substitute for a common swear word that the group took from Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead.

The band toured the U.S. and played regularly at the Astor Place Playhouse in New York. The Fugs also appeared on the David Susskind show in New York and the Les Crane show in Los Angeles.

The group broke up in 1970, but Sanders and Kupferberg continued to write poetry and perform together. There was a Fugs reunion in the mid-'80s and they released No More Slavery in 1985, The Fugs Final CD (Part 1) in 2003, and Be Free: The Fugs Final CD (Part 2) in 2010.

Kupferberg also worked as a cartoonist for Village Voice and had a longtime television program on the Manhattan public access cable channel,  according to Sanders.

He  published offbeat books such as 1001 Ways to Make Love and 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft.

With files from The Associated Press