Northern California’s own Country Joe McDonald is the only Woodstock musician to perform two complete distinct sets. Like Richie Havens and John Sebastian, McDonald was in the wrong place at the wrong time (or the right place, depending on your perspective) and found himself shoved on stage for an impromptu Saturday acoustic performance.
He tried to say no, first saying that he didn’t have a guitar. One was handed to him. Then he tried the “I don’t have a guitar strap” route, but a piece of rope appeared. So on stage Country Joe went and created one of Woodstock’s most iconic moments: the “Fish Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag.” He actually performed his well-known sing along again with The Fish during their set, but what you see in the movie is from Joe’s acoustic set.
McDonald appeared onstage throughout the festival, even taking the mic during The Grateful Dead’s set to help calm down the kids who took bad acid.
Joe still lives in Berkeley, California and he still gigs. Drop by his place for dates and other news.
Here’s McDonald’s Woodstock set list and where to find official versions of his performance:
- Janis (Youtube)
- Donovan’s Reef (Woodstock 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
- Heartaches by the Number
- Ring of Fire
- Tennessee Stud
- Rockin’ Around the World )Woodstock: The Lost Performances (VHS))
- Flying all the Way (Woodstock: The Director’s Cut Ultimate Collector’s Edition (DVD ))
- Seen a Rocket (Youtube)
- Fish Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag (Woodstock 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
Your official Woodstock soundtrack song count to date: 36 plus 2 Youtube clips.
Update: On August 2, 2019, Rhino Records released Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive and changed the game forever. With exception to two Hendrix tracks and one Sha Na Na cut, the massive box set contains complete sets from every Woodstock artist—even those long believed lost or never recorded.
Here is Country Joe‘s set as it appears on the Back to the Garden archive, including announcements, etc.:
1. Chip Monck – “Would those of you who have taken up residence on the towers please come down?”
3. DONOVAN’S REEF
4. HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBER
5. RING OF FIRE
6. TENNESSEE STUD
7. ROCKIN’ ROUND THE WORLD
8. FLYING HIGH
9. I SEEN A ROCKET
10. THE “FISH” CHEER/I-FEEL-LIKE-I’M-FIXIN’-TO-DIE RAG
11. I-FEEL-LIKE-I’M-FIXIN’-TO-DIE RAG (Reprise)
12. Chip Monck – “Cut, bleeding, whatever”