Interview by Theresa Stern (June 1997)
PSF: What were you working on before the Fugs?
Well, I was the world's greatest poet before I became the world's oldest rock n'roll star. I wasn't with the Fugs until I was 42 but before that my life was trivial. I went to graduate school for sociology in Brooklyn. I dropped out and became a bohemian, living in Greenwich Village. The rest is mystery and history. It's all one blur now.
I was a free-formist. I never took to the traditional forms. I never bothered to learn them. It's OK to learn the old forms though and study what you've inherited in any art. I valued spontaneity a lot and being young, you're always afraid that you're going to be overwhelmed by the masters so you try to avoid it.