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Why a 60s Band Was Flagged the 'Most Vulgar Thing the Human Mind Could Possibly Conceive'

On this episode of ‘The VICE Magazine Podcast,’ Jason Leopold discusses why the FBI looked into politically charged 60s rock group the Fugs.

by Ellis Jones
Nov 22 2017, 3:00pm

Ed Sanders, Tuli Kupferburg, and Ken Weaver of the Fugs, New York City, January 1967. Photo via PoPsie Randolph/ Michael Ochs Archives/ Getty Images

The VICE Magazine Podcast is your definitive guide to enlightening information.
Our second annual Music Issue, a collaboration with our music site, Noisey, came out earlier this month, so we’re highlighting stories from the issue on our podcast. This week, Jason Leopold talks about his latest installment of Classified, a column where he breaks down the files he’s received from Freedom of Information Act requests.

As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Doors’ self-titled debut album, Jason had hoped to write about the band. He found an FBI labeled “SUBJECT: THE DOORS,” but after opening it, he discovered the file only included letters referencing the politically charged 60s rock group the Fugs. Turns out, in 1969 a concerned citizen offended by the Fugs’ music drafted a letter to a US senator and the director of the FBI, requesting they ban the band’s music. Here’s Jason with more.

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Next week’s episode is the last installment of our Music Issue coverage and will feature a roundtable discussion with VICE editors about how technology has changed the state of the music industry today. Come back on November 29 to check it out. And did you know you can get 100-plus glossy pages delivered to your doorstep by clicking here to subscribe to the print issue of VICE magazine?