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Part One What Are The Politics of Boredom The Electric Circus began as a popular New York nightclub complete with pulsating lights fragmented pieces of movies colored patterns and slides sweeping the mirrored walls strip lighting writhing on the floor flashing on and off like a demented snake whos swallowed phosphorus It was the hippest place in New York for the affluent celebrities artists and social climbers to be seen The downstairs section was turned into a bar called the Dom According to Ronald Sukenik in Down and In A History of the Underground the entire Lower East Side all the painters all the poets everybody in the world showed up There was no attraction except nickel beer The glorified basement began hosting live jazz and bands that played back in the larger room for dancing Upstairs the Electric Circus was still going but had changed from being a Jackie Onassis celebrity place to being a kids place Black kids replaced many of the white East Villagers to listen to the jukebox stocked with soul music In late 1964 when the Beatles had just hit America the Fugs were conceived in the dark recess of the Dom Originally attracted by the poetry readings Ed Sanders proud publisher of a literary magazine called Fuck You A Magazine of the Arts and Tuli Kupferberg were two like-minded vermin who together spawned the unofficial origins of underground music The group worked out their material in other venues like Slugs and the MacDougall Street Theatre in Greenwich Village They invented outrageous dances like The Turkey Gobble to go along with their songs released on the debut album in 1965 on the small jazz-oriented ESP label The label rejected the second set of songs as too offensive Later released under the title Virgin Fugs the album epitomized the Fugs sense of humor and satire By making fun of commercial culture Caca Rock and I Saw the Best
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