1968 Beat Exorcism

Thelma Blitz’s dutiful documentation of The Fugs and, most particularly, the late great Tuli Kupferberg, we mentioned yesterday. Here’s a montage by her to audio of a fabled and curious event – the 1968 “Exorcism” at the Grave of Senator Joe McCarthy, in St Mary’s Parish Cemetery, Appleton, Wisconsin

Senator Joe McCarthy (1908-1957)

Ed Sanders, in his recent memoir, Fug You, (despite contrary, incendiary, reports), describes the action as “dignified and respectful” (occurring, as it did, just a few months after he and various other Vietnam war protesters staged their famous (absurdist but necessary and sincere) exorcism and (attempted) levitation of the Pentagon Allen, with his bardic presence and mantra-chanting, a singular and significant participant in both events).

Their plan was to “lecture the ghost (or summoned apparition) of the Red-baiting Senator for his homophobia” and for “the careers wrecked through falsehoods”. Allen, Ed, Tuli, and approximately 75 people gathered at the location. What happened that chilly afternoon in February (miraculously preserved on audio-tape) may be listened to here

Tuli – “Somehow (a) reactionary radio commentator in Chicago had us pissing on the grave, but it was (the) exact opposite, it was beatific. We were told we were going to be arrested, but we left at midnight for Madison in a secret caravan and we got home safely”

Ed Sanders & Allen Ginsberg & Company – Appleton, Wisconsin, 1968 – At The Grave of Senator Joe McCarthy

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