When I was nine months pregnant with my second child, living in Manhattan, just before Christmas in 1967, I went to a concert by a favourite underground rock group called The Fugs. The band was formed in 1964 by the poets Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, with Ken Weaver on drums. Many of the lyrics on their songs couldn’t be sung on public radio today, but I’m fortunate to still have a couple of their records. Some songs I remember well are “Slum Goddess from the Lower East Side” and “Kill for Peace”.You get the idea. The beat is so strong and the words so irreverent.
Being a small person, and almost at my due date, I was very noticeably pregnant. Coming to a concert of foul-mouthed singers was entertaining for more than my about-to-be-born baby and me. It was a small theatre so everyone turned around to look at this very pregnant person walking down the aisle to our way-up-front seats.
Just a few years later, my young son and I would wait every morning on 6th Avenue and Spring Street for the bus to take him to P.S. 3. As it happened, Tuli Kupferberg was also waiting with his son for the same bus. Recently the two boys have reconnected and are friends as grown men, possibly because of that very early, prenatal introduction.
I still love the Fugs music.