It Crawled into My Hand, Honest

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It Crawled into My Hand, Honest
It Crawled into My Hand Honest.jpg
Studio album by The Fugs
Released 1968
Recorded 1968
Genre Rock, proto-punk, psychedelic rock, folk rock
Label Reprise (US)
Transatlantic (UK)
Producer Ed Sanders, Richard Alderson
The Fugs chronology
Tenderness Junction
(1968)Tenderness Junction1968
It Crawled into My Hand, Honest
The Belle of Avenue A
(1969)The Belle of Avenue A1969
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone (positive) [1]

It Crawled into My Hand, Honest is the second 1968 studio album by The Fugs, a band composed of anti-war poets. It was released in the USA by record company Reprise. As of March 2009, the album is not currently available as a stand-alone CD, but the tracks appear in the 2006 3-CD box set, Electromagnetic Steamboat.


When poet and publisher Ed Sanders established a bookstore next to the apartment of beat poet and publisher Tuli Kupferberg in 1964, the two decided to form a band, The Fugs, writing 50-60 songs between them prior to asking Ken Weaver to join.[2] In subsequent years, this core trio worked with a number of musicians as they produced a series of albums in quick succession. It crawled... was their fifth studio album.

The band built up a cult following, gaining admiration from counter-culture figures such as William S. Burroughs and Abbie Hoffman. They were known especially for their pro-drugs, anti-war stance, use of poetry in their music, and large number of sexual references in their songs.

Due to their overt sexual content, The Fugs were at risk of censorship. However, while on Reprise Records, the company president Mo Ostin showed a willingness to release Fugs material uncensored.[3] This era of freedom began with the release of the album Tenderness Junction, released in early 1968. Work on It crawled.. began straight after.

The album was The Fugs' most expensive, costing around $25,000.[3] The working title was Rapture of the Deep; this along with Tenderness Junction, and "It Crawled..." demonstrate The Fugs' enjoyment of including thinly-veiled sexual references in their work.[original research?]

Musical style[edit]

In 1968, The Fugs' sound had developed considerably from their early works such as The Fugs First Album, with several complex and interesting compositions. This was partly due to personnel; Bill Wolf was added to the band, a talented bassist with a good harmony voice, along with Ken Pine, a skilled guitarist. Session musicians also added to the depth of the work; Band leader Sanders later stated:

For back-up harmonies, we used some fine singers who had worked as Harry Belafonte's harmonists. You can hear them, say, on "Wide, Wide River," and "When the Mode of the Music Changes".

The songs on the album were diverse in style, from chants and spoken works to the frenetic psychedelic rock of "Crystal Liaison". The Fugs also introduced the use of a pair of drummers at this period: founder member Ken Weaver plus new recruit Bob Mason.

Despite the changes, the underlying approach of The Fugs remained irreverent and humorous. The album featured a high number of short tracks, many included for their comic value, such as "National Haiku Contest", a teenager's surreal haiku in response to an unwanted pregnancy, and "Robinson Crusoe" a sketch on sexual frustration featuring Robinson Crusoe and Man Friday. In supporting tours, founding band member Kupferberg used a wide range of unusual costumes, and punctuated performances with wild dances and witty satiric routines.[3]

Political and social commentary also remained highly prominent, with tracks such as the pro-drugs eulogy "Marijuana", the redneck satire "Johnny Pissoff Meets the Red Angel", and the pro-peace chant "Irene".

Track listing[edit]

Side A

  1. Crystal Liaison [3:17]
  2. Ramses II Is Dead, My Love [2:55]
  3. Burial Waltz [2:31]
  4. Wide, Wide River [2:58]
  5. Life Is Strange [2:40]

Side B

  1. Johnny Pissoff Meets the Red Angel [4:45]
  2. Marijuana [1:43]
  3. Leprechaun [0:15]
  4. When the Mode of the Music Changes [3:59]
  5. Whimpers From the Jello [0:24]
  6. Divine Toe, Pt. 1 [0:42]
  7. We're Both Dead Now, Alice [0:18]
  8. Life Is Funny [0:17]
  9. Grope Need, Pt. 1/Tuli, Visited By the Ghost of Plotinus/More Grope Need [0:43]
  10. Robinson Crusoe [0:21]
  11. Claude Pelieu and J.J. Lebel Discuss the Early Verlaine Bread Crust Fragments [4:41]
  12. National Haiku Contest [0:28]
  13. Divine Toe, Pt. 2 [0:52]
  14. Irene [1:14]


Produced by Richard Alderson


  1. ^ Brodey, Jim (December 7, 1968). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. 
  2. ^ Section source. Sanders, Ed. The History of the Fugs. The Fugs official website. Accessed October 3, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c