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Country Joe and the Fish Woodstock 1969 – Love
Joseph Allen McDonald, nicknamed “Country Joe” has been in the music business since the Woodstock days. McDonald was the lead singer of the rock group Country Joe & the Fish and appeared at the original Woodstock 1969 festival as well both of the reunion festivals. I guess by now you could say that Woodstock and Country Joe McDonald are inseparable.
McDonald is most famously known for Country Joe & the Fish, who were a staple in the blues and country scene during the Woodstock period. The band has its origins in Berkeley 1965 with Joe McDonald and Barry Melton. The band that spent its past working coffee houses began gaining popularity and esteem, eventually playing Woodstock 1969.
The band is also known for its famous cheerleader type cheer (give me an “F”), used to spell out F-I-S-H, which soon became F-U-C-K much to the delight of the crowd and the dismay of tour organizers, one of which banned the group from the Shaefer Beer Festival for life. The cheer sent the message of a defiant band and became a symbol for the youth telling the world to shove it.
The Woodstock performance of their song “Fixin’ to Die Rag” was featured smack dab in the middle of the Woodstock 1969 documentary and it included everyone’s favorite expletive cheer. This time period also marked the last album that Country Joe & the Fish would release which was titled “C.J. Fish”. Country Joe was signed as a solo act and has been making music since. He is most well known for themes such as anti-war, veteran’s rights, and the West Coast hippie movement.
With the 40th anniversary of Woodstock quickly approaching, it is not known whether or not Country Joe will make an appearance at the upcoming festival. He explains in his blog that he will be performing with the “Heroes of Woodstock” in bethel at the same time as the upcoming shows are to be scheduled, but seems to know little more about the brand name Woodstock event than we do.
Through an extensive career of music, Country Joe has solidified himself as one of the legends of Woodstock and an embodiment of what it meant to be alive at that time. Country Joe & the Fish symbolized part of an entire counterculture whose tie-dyed, bloodshot spirit still lives today. The Woodstock anniversary promises to be a monumental event that is the important symbol of unity and peace which the country of today desperately needs.