Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Tuli Kupferberg

  • Tuli & Friends [Shimmy Disc, 1989] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Tuli & Friends [Shimmy Disc, 1989]
At 65, the guy "who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer" (that's from "Howl," kids) survives as the great American bohemian. Yeah, he was in a rock and roll band (the Fugs, kids), but pure bohos rarely gravitate toward such large-scale forms. Tuli prefers found photographs, newspaper clippings, stick figures, new lyrics for famous tunes--the best stuff on his legendary 1968 ESP-Disk spoken-word was want ads. So I grant that this excessively long-awaited follow-up is of specialized interest. Still, music-lovers should hear "Evolution," dictated from the other side by John himself; "Swami" ("How I love you how I love you/Swami Everykinanda"); "Way Down South in Greenwich Village," an updated '20s classic with ukulele impression; and, no joke, "Morning, Morning," a song about life and death and their fleeting beauty that deserves eternal salvation. B+