Country Joe's Place

Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary


"If you can remember the 60s...."

Mike Lang's new book about Woodstock is out (The Road to Woodstock) and I have just read it. It is a good book but it is inaccurate. It states that John Sebastian and myself performed on Saturday. That is incorrect. As I have always said I performed right after Ritchie Havens (see the story on my original Woodstock page) and then John Sebastian and sometime afterwards the Swami. The facts in Mike Langs' book are substantiated by Randy Zac who says he has listened to the tapes for Rhino Records for "four years," but he was not at Woodstock. He says he has forensic evidence that I performed the "Fuck Cheer" and "Fixin'-to-Die Rag" on Saturday. I thought that only applied to crime scenes. But maybe he thinks Woodstock was a crime scene. I donno. So of course all the new releases by Rhino are wrong also. That includes the new deluxe box set that brags that it finally has the complete song list and performance order. John Morris the MC at Woodstock confirms what I have said and I will soon post his set list for entire festival. (Chip Monck's songlist is here.) You can compare it to the Rhino and Lang lists if you like. It is a set list you can believe in.

The myths just keep on coming. If you happen to have had the lucky experience of being there at the beginning on Friday and heard Ritchie perform and know what happened next and feel like doing it, please send us an email and we will post it here.

PS: Upon reviewing the audio of my performance solo at Woodstock at the end of my performance encore the MC says "very soon we'll have Santana," so at this moment I am thinking I have been wrong for 40 years and I did go on Saturday. But please if you have your own memories send 'em.

I thought I would take a look at some of the photographs and see if anything can be gleaned from those. What I have noticed is that the wooden fence in front of the stage became festooned with blankets and other soft furnishings as the weekend progressed. As shown in the attached photographs, Pictures 1 and 2 (Richie Havens and Sweetwater) were both taken on the first day and the fence is completely clear of blankets. Picture 3 is of Quill who opened the second day. Blankets are now clearly visible - as they are for the shots of Joe and John Sebastian (Pictures 4 and 5). As such, I conclude that the solo performance was on the Saturday. --Ross Hannan

I am going to give an experience of a 7 year old. Our father David Faison and Kelly had driven my brother Jere and I from the city to The Woodstock concert. The road in to the amphitheatre was long and windy and it was more than a traffic jam as we were crawling in, and it probably took at least a hour or more to get to the stage. Finally when we got very close to the stage both of them had to work hard and fast to gather the equipment for the band to be ready. There were people everywhere and there was no elbow room. Somehow we manage to get to the back of the stage and then we were waiting and waiting, what seemed like hours. I remember being excited when Richie Havens went out and start to perform after a long, long wait, or so it seemed to me. Unexpectedly, within a short period of time after his performance, with no one stating it was time, but the time it was, as Country Joe started to play his song. That is it. --Jennifer Faison

I was at Woodstock on that Friday, and always "thought" I remembered both you and John Sebastian playing that day. It gets a little fuzzy after forty years. Most set lists have you both performing on Saturday, but my drenched friends and I were already on our way home by then (Eight hours on Route 17-B). Thanks for clearing up what I've always believed. --Mark Elias

I was at the original show. Let me tell ya what happened. Rithchie Havens played first set on Friday. Maybe around 5:00 pm start time. After he finished playing "Freedom," Country Joe played a solo set, my friend and I did not know Country Joe was going to play at that time, but he did. Without the "Fish." Then, Country Joe and the Fish did their set on Saturday, which would explain the picture of him on stage with the blankets on the fence. I went to the show to see Country Joe, as I have seen him at other concerts. This is no fluke, I was there to see him, and was very surprised when he did a set on Friday. --Lee Lamb

Perhaps it is the way in which the album and movie have distorted my sense of the music order, or just a general loss of memory (during the event, and) after 40 years, but I can not say with any authority when Country Joe was on stage first or even if there was a second or third time (but I believe there was). My absolute and strongest memory of Saturday however is that Santana played that afternoon and brought the crowd to a frenzy -- at times I imagined we had all been possessed by the devil -- and it was only the mild mannered, easy lilt of John Sebastian that brought me back to earth. And just in time it turned out, since when he got me calmed down I had to make the long trek to the Port-a-Johns. As I returned Sebastian was finishing his set and I have always believed that Mountain came on next. Most of the official lists say that it was Canned Heat, Grateful Dead and then Mountain. None-the-less John Sebastian did play on Sat. afternoon, but it was an impromptu thing and not a part of the schedule. In interviews he has done since '69 he has noted this fact and that he was somewhat F**Ked up when he did the fill in job. Perhaps he should weigh-in on this and as to whether he followed another impromptu from Joe (alone on stage) doing the Fixin to Die Rag -- now that is what I think I remember happening.... --Blake D. Hayes

I know Country Joe McDonald played the first day. I had never heard "Tennessee Stud" song before that and loved it. I didnít hear it again until I listened to Doc Watson. Joe set the mood. He was really great then, one of my favorite memories from Woodstock, and is still as entertaining as ever. I know it wasnít Saturday because the weather was still nice when Country Joe did his solo set and I was still halfway up the hill. --Patrick Connolly

I am writing this email on behalf of my ex husband, Robert McLeish. He was at Woodstock and arrived there early Friday morning around 3:30 a.m. He vividly recalled Country Joeís solo performance and the famous ďCheer.Ē He said that Country Joe played after Richie Havensí many encore performances that Friday. --Flo Ford

Sue and I departed for the festival on Saturday morning in my old 62 Plymouth Fury. We drove through intermittant rain showers and sunshine and of course the traffic got heavier and heavier the closer we got to the site. We persevered onward and eventually left the Plymouth on the side of the road, grabbed a blanket and started walking. We got a ride for a mile or so from some hippies in an already packed VW Beetle. They told us how groovy it was that we had a baby on the way. And then we walked some more and Sue who was barefoot stepped on a lit cigarette butt and burned the sole of her foot. We eventually got to the festival site. I remember hearing you sing "Sweet Lorraine" -- one of my favorite songs at the time -- as we walked past naked swimmers in the pond. And we got to the gate -- or where the gate used to be -- just as you launched into the "FUCK Cheer and FixinToDie Rag." I don't know whether this was solo or with the Fish. Anyway, we found a place to sit and stayed for all of John Sebastian's set. And all of Santana. And then another band. I was in paradise; Sue was suffering. It was hot and muddy. She was way pregnant and had a cigarette burn on her foot. We left. Hitched a ride to the car and drove home. So I was only there one afternoon, Joe, Saturday afternoon. I heard you, John Sebastian and Santana. Of this I am certain. I wish I had been there Friday and Sunday, but I wasn't. --Chris Martelli


o Musicians for Peace has formed a coordinating committee to help organize and promote 40th Anniversary Woodstock events.

o West Fest is a free anniversary show in Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadows on October 25. [ BULLETIN: Woodstock Ventures, who lay claim to the Woodstock name, have issued a cease and desist order to the SF organizers.] I will perform.

o A show is being planned for Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

o Plans are afoot for a Woodstock festival in Norway on June 10-13.

o I will be playing with the "Heroes Of Woodstock" package at Bethel during one of those days, although it's not really an anniversary event.

o There will be a new DVD and Blu-Ray release from Warner Brothers, a six-disc CD package by Rhino, and a TV documentary on VH-1.

o Ang Lee's film Taking Woodstock will be released on the August 14 anniversary. See the trailer. Read an interview with the director.

o The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland will celebrate the anniversary with a new exhibit running from July 3 to November 29.

o Simon and Shuster will publish Back to the Garden by Pete Fornatale, for which I wrote a foreword. Promoter Mike Lang has written The Road to Woodstock (Ecco, 2009).

o The Shadowbox Cabaret in Columbus, Ohio is producing an original musical about Woodstock. Director Steve Guyer is taking the plum roles of Country Joe and Max Yasgur.
"When I was in Ohio on November 15 I was lucky to see Back to the Garden, a musical performance by Shadowbox. This excellent musical brings to the stage the entire Woodstock Music Festival in a entertaining way I would not have thought possible. And it is an honor to have someone play me and sing "I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die." This show belongs on Broadway! Shadowbox is bringing it back by popular demand starting February 7, 2010. I suggest you all go and see it." --Joe

o Michael Carabello of Santana, Paul Kantner of the Airplane, and I reminisce about Woodstock in the San Francisco Chronicle.

o Find out who was born at Woodstock and who's going to get married there.

o Thomas Overbeck has a webcomic about a time traveller named Cassie who visits Woodstock.

o Read Sing Out editor Irwin Silber's old-left take on Woodstock.

o Look at my original Woodstock page.

o Look at "Wildman" Dave Diamond's Woodstock page.

Woodstock Set List


Richie Havens

From The Prison/Get Together/From The Prison
Iím a Stranger Here
High Flying Bird
I Canít Make It Anymore
With a Little Help From My Friends
Handsome Johnny
Strawberry Fields Forever


Motherless Child
Look Out
For Peteís Sake
Whatís Wrong
Crystal Spider
Two Worlds
Why Oh Why
Let The Sunshine In
Oh Happy Day
Day Song

Bert Sommer

The Road to Travel
I Wondered Where Youíd Be
Sheís Gone
Things Are Going My Way
And When Itís Over
A Note That Read

Tim Hardin

How Can We Hang On to a Dream
If I Were A Carpenter
Reason To Believe
You Upset The Grace Of Living When You Lie
Speak Like a Child
Snow White Lady
Blue On My Ceiling
Sing a Song of Freedom
Misty Roses

Ravi Shankar

Raga Puriya-Danashri/Gat in Sawaritai
Tabla Solo In Jhaptal
Raga Manj Kmahaj


Close To It All
Momma Momma
Beautiful People
Animal Crackers
Mr. Tambourine Man
Tuning My Guitar
Birthday Of The Sun

Arlo Guthrie

Coming Into Los Angeles
Wheel of Fortune
Walking Down The Line
Oh Mary, Donít You Weep
Every Hand in the Land
Amazing Grace

Joan Baez

Oh Happy Day
Last Thing On My Mind
Joe Hill
Sweet Sir Galahad
Hickory Wind
Drug Store Truck Driviní Man
One Day at aTime
Why Was I Tempted to Roam
Let Me Wrap You in My Warm and Tender Love
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
We Shall Overcome



They Live The Life
Thatís How I Eat
Waiting For You

Country Joe McDonald

Donovanís Reef
Heartaches By The Number
Ring Of Fire
Tennessee Stud
Rocking All Around The World
Flying High
I Seen A Rocket
Fish Cheer/I Feel Like Iím Fixing To Die Rag


Evil Ways
You Just Donít Care
Soul Sacrifice
Fried Neckbones

John Sebastian

How Have You Been
Rainbows All Over Your Blues
I Had a Dream
Darlin Be Home Soon
Younger Generation

Keef Hartley Band

Spanish Fly
Sheís Gone
Too Much Thinkiní
Believe in You
Halfbreed Medley

Incredible String Band

The Letter
Gather ĎRound
This Moment
Come With Me
When You Find Out Who You Are

Canned Heat

Iím Her Man
Going Up The Country
A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town
I Know My Baby
Woodstock Boogie
On The Road Again


Blood Of The Sun
Stormy Monday
Theme From An Imaginary Western
Long Red
For Yasgurís Farm
Beside The Sea
Waiting To Take You Away
Dreams Of Milk & Honey
Southbound Train

The Grateful Dead

Saint Stephen
Mama Tried
Dark Star
High Time
Turn On Your Lovelight

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Born On The Bayou
Green River
Ninety-Nine And A Half
Proud Mary
I Put A Spell On You
Night Time Is The Right Time
Keep On Choogliní
Susie Q

Janis Joplin

Raise Your Hand
As Good As Youíve Been To This World
To Love Somebody
Try Just A Little Bit Harder
Cosmic Blues
I Canít Turn You Loose
Work Me Lord
Piece Of My Heart
Ball & Chain

Sly & The Family Stone

Sing A Simple Song
You Can Make It If You Try
Everyday People
Dance To The Music
Music Lover
I Want To Take You Higher
Love City

The Who

Heaven & Hell
I Canít Explain
Itís A Boy
Amazing Journey
Eyesight To The Blind
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
Do You Think Itís Alright
Fiddle About
Thereís A Doctor Iíve Found
Go To The Mirror Boy
Smash The Mirror
Iím Free
Tommyís Holiday Camp
Weíre Not Gonna Take It
See Me, Feel Me
Listening To You
Summertime Blues
Shakiní All Over
My Generation
Naked Eye

Jefferson Airplane

The Other Side Of This Life
Somebody To Love
3/5ths of a Mile in 10 Seconds
Wonít You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Eskimo Blue Day
Plastic Fantastic Lover
Wooden Ships
Uncle Samís Blues
The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil
Come Back Baby
White Rabbit
The House At Pooneil Corners


The Grease Band

40,000 Headmen

Joe Cocker & The Grease Band

Dear Landlord
Somethingís Coming On
Do I Still Figure In Your Life
Feeliní Alright
Just Like A Woman
Letís Get Stoned
I Donít Need No Doctor
I Shall Be Released
Hitchcock Railway
Something To Say
With A Little Help From My Friends

Country Joe & The Fish

Rock & Soul Music /Love
Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Sing Sing Sing
Summer Dresses
She's A Friend, She's A Lover, She's A Woman, She's A Wife
Silver & Gold
The Love Machine
Iím A Nut
Crystal Blues
Rock & Soul Music
The Fish Cheer /I Feel Like Iím Fixiní To Die Rag

Ten Years After

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
I Just Canít Keep From Crying Sometimes
Help Me
Iím Going Home

The Band

Chest Fever
Donít Do It
Tears Of Rage
We Can Talk About It Now
Long Black Veil
Donít You Tell Henry
Ainít No More Cane
This Wheelís On Fire
I Shall Be Released
The Weight
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

Johnny Winter

Talk To Your Daughter/Six Feet In The Ground
Leland Mississippi Blues
Mean Town Blues
Mean Mistreater
I Canít Stand It
Tobacco Road
Tell The Truth
Johnny B. Goode

Blood Sweat & Tears

More And More
Just One Smile
Somethingís Coming On
More Than Youíll Ever Know
Spinning Wheel
Sometimes In Winter
Smiling Phases
God Bless The Child
And When I Die
Youíve Made Me So Very Happy

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Helplessly Hoping
Marrakesh Express
Four and Twenty
Mr. Soul
Iím Wonderiní
You Donít Have To Cry
Pre-Road Downs
Long Time Gone
Bluebird Revisited
Sea Of Madness
Wooden Ships
Find The Cost Of Freedom
49 Bye-Byes

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Born Under A Bad Sign
No Amount Of Loving
Driftiní And Driftiní
Morning Sunrise
All In A Day
Love March
Everythingís Gonna Be Alright

Sha Na Na

Get A Job
Come Go With Me
Teen Angel
Her Latest Flame
Who Wrote The Book Of Love
Little Darling
At The Hop
Duke Of Earl

Jimi Hendrix

Message To Love
Hear My Train A Cominí
Spanish Castle Magic
Red House
Lover Man
Foxy Lady
Jam Back At The House
Gypsy Woman
Voodoo Child
The Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze
Woodstock improvisation
Villanova Junction
Hey Joe


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