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Country Joe Band

Advert Design For Mojo Magazine
Advert for the 2004 tour.

Here is the artist page created for the 2004 Country Joe band tour.

Country Joe and the Country Joe Band are represented by Barking Spider Music in the U.K. For infomation about future tours, etc please email

Read on ....

Country Joe McDonald is going on the road with a new band, comprisong three of his old band mates from Country Joe And The Fish. Bassist Bruce Barthol, guitarist/keyboardist David Bennett Cohen and drummer Gary "Chicken" Hirsh will be reuniting with Joe for dates on the West Coast of America in April, and in England in June.

Barking Spider Promotions are pleased to announce that they're organising the U.K tour, which includes a gig at The Venue at Ryde, Isle Of Wight on Sunday, June 5th, and the finale of the tour, at South Parade Pier, Southsea on Jine 13th when Chas & Dave will be Country Joe's special guests..."They rock!" says Joe, who is a huge Chas & Dave fan!

This will be Joe's fourth appearance in Southsea - Barking Spider Promotions brought him over in 2001 to undertake a tour with Portsmouth favourites Reet Petite and Gone, who reformed especially for the occasion, and the finale of the tour was an unforgettable performance on appearance on The Bandstand, featturing the first ever psychedelic version of "The Hokey Cokey" - must be that Chas & Dave influence again!

However, his first appearance in Southsea was with Country Joe And The Fish at South Parade Pier on Tuesday 25th March, 1969, just five months before the Woodstock Festival, when Joe walked into rock history with "GIMME AN F" preceding the song that became Country Joe And The Fish's signature tune, "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'- To Die-Rag", immortalised in the "Woodstock" film.

"There's a sound that I've been unable to get with any other band that I've had," says Joe. "These guys were part of the creation of the psychedelic sound that Country Joe And The Fish were known for in the 60s. I'm looking forward to playing the old Country Joe And The Fish repertoire as well as hearing what we do with new material."

Country Joe McDonald grew up in El Monte, California, where his parents moved because their Communist Party activities had brought down too much heat. Joe' s been a familiar face around Berkeley, California since 1965, as the Free Speech Movement became the Anti-War Movement. He teamed up with Barry Melton not long afterward, and Country Joe and the Fish started out as a duo, which soon turned into a band after they both signed a recording contract with Vanguard Records, and they were joined by bass player Bruce Barthol, David Bennett Cohen on keyboards and guitar, and Gary "Chicken" Hirsh on drums.

The members of The Country Joe Band first played together as Country Joe and The Fish (together with Barry Melton) on 5th November 1965. With their appearance at Woodstock, Country Joe And The Fish became an international sensation, before dissolving at the peak of their popularity in June 1970, when Joe embarked on a succesful solo career. They reunited briefly for two gigs in 1994, one in Berkeley and the other at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Barry Melton bowed out the day before the first performance.

Gary "Chicken" Hirsh had come to Berkeley from Chicago "where any self-respecting drummer is born," he says. He'd "been playing with a few other bands when I ran into Barry Melton in the Café Mediterraneum on Telegraph Avenue, having recently been kicked out of the California College of Arts and Crafts for using the word ` fuck' on a final. I was critiquing the teacher's questions."

Two weeks before recording was to commence on the first album, "Electric Music for The Mind And Body", Barry Melton was looking for a drummer - "So I raised my hand and said, `I'll go,'" Hirsh said.

Of the up and coming tour, Chicken , who now lives in Ashland where he's a painter and Southern Oregon's resident jazz drummer, says "I want to hear what this band will do with the more than three decades of musicianship behind us since we first played together."

Bruce Barthol, resident composer/lyricist and musician for the Award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe says "There's a war going on, the country's divided and it's feeling more like 1968 every day, so I wasn't totally surprised to get a call from Joe. I had a lot of fun playing with those guys, and I'm looking forward to doing it again."

David Cohen, recently honoured with the Niagara Centennial Committee Certificate of Appreciation, says, "I've been doing gigs with Joe,and also with Bruce, but to get the four of us together in the same place at the same time is going to be great. With the country in the shape it's in, I think it's the right time to get together. By adding our voice to the growing anti-war, anti-Bush movement, I hope to we can take back our freedoms through dialogue and growing awareness."

"What we hope to do with our tour is provide a little humour and validate our audiences' goodness," McDonald says. We play pretty nice and we try to make fun of the president - a fine old American tradition. We hope to have a few reverent moments and maybe make a few bucks, too!"

Meanwhile, the song that became Country Joe And The Fish's signature tune, "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag" has renewed meaning in the days of an Iraqi war that is being increasingly compared to Vietnam. `A lot of young people haven't heard the Rag, but a lot have because of the "Woodstock" film. We'll be doing some of the psychedelic instrumentals and love songs from our first two albums, a few songs from Woody Guthrie, and a new song, "Cakewalk to Baghdad," about the Iraq war,' says Joe.

After the 2004 U.K. tour ends, the members of Country Joe and The Fish are going to Hanoi, where on June 26th the World Peace Music Awards are honouring them with "Life of Peace" Awards as American musicians who lent their musical talent to the movement to end the war in Vietnam. Other recipients of the at the ceremony in Hanoi will be Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, Peter, Paul and Mary, and the late Vietnamese composer Trinh Cong Son.

If you would like to contact Barking Spider, please email J.R. at
or ring the
Barking Spider Hotline on: 023 9243 6267

 buy tickets now ...

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