Country Joe's Place

Woodstock 1969-1999

How Much Wood Could a Woodstock Stock -- memories of '69.
Steal This Festival -- links to the various 'Stocks.
Before Woodstock -- the dawn of hip.

How Much Wood Could a Woodstock Stock?

Here are some odds and ends from my Woodstock '69 scrapbook.

I was not aware they were filming. I was just aware that I did not want to fill in after Richie Havens. There were too many people. I was scared. They found a guitar, a Yamaha FG 150, and tied a rope on it, see the photo, and pushed me on stage. The rest is history.  

Mary V. Pendergast writes:

Hi Joe. I was just checking into info and value on an old guitar my oldest brother got me in '71 or '72 from a PX when I was in high school and he was in Viet Nam. It's a Yamaha FG-150. Imagine my surprise when my research turned up a picture of you playing one at Woodstock! What a great story -- and photo. I never played it that much. Like many kids I took lessons in high school and wanted to be good at it. I remember having calluses trying. But it's not as natural to me as to say, my other brother who plays by ear and just couldn't teach me. I always felt bad it wasn't going to better use, although I did keep it out of harms way as I had respect for it and it had sentimental value for me. Anyway I may or may not sell it, but the sentimental value of it has now increased with your connection to it as well as my brother's and the war. Can't wait to email the picture to my brother (the guitarist) who is five years older than I am and turned me onto lots of 60's music, including yours, since he was just going to college around 1968. I had a broader view of music then than many of my fellow suburban eighth graders! I lived through him vicariously as I was just a little too young to be in the thick of it - and still was admittedly into some softer, less psychedelic/acid/hard rock/bluesy sounds. (Although junior high girl favorites of then - e.g. Gordon Lightfoot - were a long way from the Brittany pop crap of now). Speaking of girlfriends, my closest had the Woodstock album since her Dad was a buyer in that dept. at Sears, so she got lots of good stuff free. She said when he heard the Fish Cheer he was pretty upset but he didn't take away the album -- he just scratched out that track! Your track I should say - so you will forever be part of my childhood memories. Love your website. Fun to see what you are playing and thinking and doing. You look great and I hope you are happy. Have fun! Mary (in Chicago)

Me on stage for the "Fixin' to Die" performance. Photo by Benno Friedman.
The famous guitar, a Yamaha FG-150. The FG-150 was produced from 1968-1973 by Nippon Gakki ("Japan Musical Instrument Company").
More info.
Still more info.

Listen to the notorious cheer.
Vietnam casualties from Sullivan County (home of the original Woodstock)

John Morris, Bill Belmont, Barry Melton

Jerry Garcia and Barry Melton. If this looks blurry to you, you must have had some of the brown acid.

The crowd as it looked from my viewpoint.

Unknown, Chip Monck, Fish manager ED Denson
Wood carving by Skip Dempsey
At long last I have the full set list from the solo Country Joe set and the Country Joe and The Fish set from Woodstock. You will not see this anywhere else. On Friday right after Ritchie Havens played I was asked to "fill in" a set until someone else could play. They got me a guitar and here is the set I played:

1. Janis
2. Donovan's Reef
3. Heartaches By The Number
4. Ring Of Fire
5. Tennessee Stud
6. Rockin' 'Round The World
7. Flying High
8. I Seen A Rocket
9. Fuck Cheer / Fixin'-to-Die Rag
Encore: one more verse and chorus of Fixin'-to-Die Rag

Country Joe and The Fish set on Sunday:

1. Rock And Soul Music (short version) / Love
2. Sweet Lorraine
3. Sing Sing Sing
4. Summer Dresses
5. She's A Friend, She's Lover
6. Silver And Gold
7. Maria
8. The Love Machine
9. Mark Kapner plays uke and sings Tiny Tim song, Jimi Hendrick riff as he smashes uke
10. Crystal Blues
11. Rock And Soul Music (full version, 13 minutes long)
12. Fuck Cheer / Fixin'-to-Die Rag

Can you find Country Joe and the Fish on the handbill?
The Woodstock lineup: Mark Kapner, Country Joe McDonald, Barry Melton, Doug Metzler, Greg Dewey.

Ticket to the premiere of the movie.

Steal This Festival

Whose Woodstock is it, anyway? or, three days of peace and music followed by arson and looting.

Listen live in RealAudio.
Me at Woodstock 94
Me at Woodstock '94 from USA Today's Woodstock '99 coverage.

Before Woodstock

It didn't all start at Yasgur's farm. These are images of celebrations and events that preceded Woodstock.

The Frozen Jug Band at an anti-war demonstration in front of Berkeley City Hall: Barry "The Fish" Melton (left) and me. This is the performance Tom Wolfe describes in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Photo, Gene Anthony

With beads and hippie shirt.

Me and Pat Kilroy (right) and the New Age face the crowd at the Human Be-In. Photo, Gerhard E. Gesheidle.

The Colonel A Sixties Moment

On an airplane flight to a gig, Woodstock drummer Greg Dewey found himself seated next to none other than Colonel Sanders. Greg asked the old gentleman how he felt about the hippies. The Colonel reflected for a moment and then replied, "They eat fried chicken, don't they"?


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