Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Country Joe and the Fish - played at Woodstock

Country Joe and the Fish.  First off - they played at Woodstock.  Next - "their biggest hit was the anti-war "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag", which debuted the same year as the band, but became best known after Country Joe's solo acoustic performance of it at Woodstock.  Country Joe was sued in 2001 by Kid Ory's daughter, Babette Ory, who claimed Joe's "Fixin" Rag infringed her copyright to Kid Ory's Dixieland jazz standard "Muskrat Ramble".  In August 2003, the court case was decided in Joe's favor, since Kid Ory, Babette Ory, and the Muskat Ramble publisher had all known of Joe's song in the late 1960s but no complaint was made for decades.  Finding the complaint objectively unreasonable, the court awarded McDonald some of his attorney's fees and costs.  Due to the long delay and prejudice, including death of key witnesses, the court did not even reach the lack of substantial similarity issue.  Babette Ory and her attorney appealed, and the appellate court affirmed the decision in favor of Joe McDonald.  Way to go, Joe!  Country Joe's anti-war activity led to his being called as a witness at the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial in 1969, where he recited the lyrics to "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag."  Nice.  Oh, and I bumped into Carlos Santana last weekend.  Almost feinted!

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