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The 2017 Music Issue

Inside the FBI's File on the Fugs: The "Most Vulgar Thing the Human Mind Could Possibly Conceive"

Buried in a bureau file on the Doors is correspondence about how dirty the Fugs were.
Ed Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg, and Ken Weaver of the Fugs, New York City, January 1967. Photo via PoPsie Randolph / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images.

This story appears in VICE magazine and Noisey's 2017 Music Issue. Click HERE to subscribe to VICE magazine.

Imagine being so utterly offended by a rock group that you carve out time to draft a two-page letter to a US senator and the director of the FBI, enclose a copy of the LP, and request that they undertake a national effort to ban the band's music in the United States. Seems un-American, right?

Yet, that's exactly what happened in 1969, when an employee of Charlotte, North Carolina–based Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Company, which operated radio and television stations, listened to an album by the New York City band the Fugs. What's worse is that then FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, took the request seriously.

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