Tuesday, July 13, 2010

RIP Tuli Kupferberg

From the N.Y.Times obituary:

Naphtali Kupferberg was born in New York on Sept. 28, 1923. He grew up on the Lower East Side and became a jazz fan and leftist activist while still a teenager. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1944 and got a job as a medical librarian.

“I had intended to be a doctor at one point, like any good Jewish boy,” he recalled to Mr. Sanders in an audio interview in 2003. Instead he began to write topical poems and humor pieces, contributing to The Village Voice and other publication.

(End NYT section)

He was also one of the big two in the Fugs, along with Ed Sanders, those guys were too much by half, look it up if it's out of your frame of reference. He was also, I didn't know this, some part of the inspiration for Alan Ginsburg's "Howl." He had also survived a suicide jump from the Manhattan Bridge, generally misreported as from the Brooklyn Bridge, which is admittedly much more picturesque.

My favorite book of his was "1001 Ways To Beat The Draft." Many of these were perfectly serious, and would work fine; some were frivolous, like "Wear pants made out of Jello."

He was likable, which was no doubt the reason for his albeit limited success.

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