Country Joe McDonald
My first concert was Willie Nelson in January of 1984. I was only eight years old. My mum took me as her date since my dad was sick. We trekked across town to the Universal/Gibson Amphitheatre which was later demolished for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. I remember it being cold and rainy. Regardless of the weather, Angeleno’s were decked out in their country finest. Dark denim, blinged out belts, rhinestone-embellished cowboy hats and Americana regalia filled the theatre.
The year was 1969. Richard Nixon was in the White House. Neil Armstrong was on the Moon. And revolution was in the air. In that backdrop, 500,000 young people gathered on a mid-August weekend in upstate New York for the promise of three days of peace and music. What they experienced at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was something far greater.
The fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love is among us. Country Joe McDonald’s music was a cornerstone of those times. Whether you know him best from his iconic Vietnam protest anthem “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-To-Die Rag” or have dug deep into his brilliantly diverse Country Joe & The Fish seminal albums, including the aforementioned title album and Electric Music for the Mind and Body, all of the above happened in 1967, fifty years ago this summer.