Monday, March 11, 2013

Country Joe & the Fish: TOGETHER

Country Joe & The Fish.  They are answer to a Woodstock trivia question: which artist played twice, for two different sets, on two different days, at Woodstock?  Country Joe, that's who.  Country Joe McDonald - alone - was the second act on day two.  Reports say that was around 12 noon or 1 pm on Saturday.  But other credible reports say he came on right after Richie Havens - which would have been around 7 pm on Friday evening.   Then on day three, Sunday - Country Joe and the Fish together were that day's second act.  But that was after a lengthy rain delay, and sources place them coming on stage around 6:30 pm on Sunday.

But I did not know how they got their name, until reading this:  "The group's name is derived from communist politics; "Country Joe" was a popular name for Joseph Stalin in the 1940's, while "the fish" refers to Mao Zedong's statement that the true revolutionary "moves through the peasantry as the fish does through water."  The group began with the nucleus of "Country Joe" McDonald (lead vocals) and Barry "The Fish" Melton (lead guitar), recording and performing for the "Teach-in" protests against the Vietnam War in 1965.  Co-founders McDonald and Melton added musicians as needed over the life of the band.  By 1967, the group included Gary "Chicken" Hirsh (drums)David Cohen (keyboards); and Bruce Barthol (bass).  The 1967 lineup lasted only two years, and by the 1969 Woodstock Festival, the lineup included Greg 'Duke' Dewey (drums), Mark Kapner (keyboards) and Doug Metzler (bass).

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