Woodstock Stocked With Wood

6
Posted August 13, 2009 by Jeff Prince in Music

Yep, Jimmy, the Woodstock 40th Anniversary concert lineup couldn’t bore me more.

Country Joe McDonald will host, and the other performers include Canned Heat, Jefferson Starship, Ten Years After, John Sebastian, Melanie, Levon Helm, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Grateful Dead’s Tom Constanten, and maybe Richie Havens.

So, at the risk of upsetting geriatric hippies everywhere, I wouldn’t walk across the street to see most of those groups except for Havens, who’s still going pretty strong, and Helm, who’s feeble these days but hanging in there with his down-home band.

As for the rest, talk about a bunch of one-hit wonders…

Country Joe’s “Feel Like I’m Fixing To Die Rag” was greatness, but he was an annoying ass back then and is probably more so now, if he’s even able to function after all the acid he took.

Nope, I just checked out Country Joe’s website and he looks fried. Here’s the first thing you see in big letters: “Welcome to my home on the web. I’m a singer and songwriter, I used to be in Country Joe & The Fish, and I live in Berkley, California.”

That’s good, Country Joe, now stomp your foot twice and bark and you’ll get a cookie.

Melanie was cool with her “Brand New Key” song. I loved that song. I was 10 in 1969.

The real Grateful Dead is dead. I’m not grateful about that but I guess they are.

Most of the rest weren’t very good in their primes, so how likely is it that they sound worth a crap now? I can only hope they’ve practiced a lot in the past four decades.

Let’s see, if Canned Heat rehearsed twice a week for 40 years…that would be 104 rehearsals a year… times 40…equals 4,160 rehearsals. Surely they’ve learned to sing in tune by now.


6 Comments


  1.  
    finally

    Here’s an email from Don Young, who’s having trouble with the web site’s comment process (anybody out there having similar problems?):

    “OK, I’ll take the bait. You are mostly right about this new concert lineup. Havens is the man to see/hear. The main problem is that most of these groups are not the original band members. I don’t think ANY of the original Canned Heat are still alive, for example. The raw energy these groups had in their prime was more important than their being great musicians. Their music fueled a rebellion that needed to happen or we would still be getting down with Ozzie and Harriet on TV. You should check out the deep cuts on the early Fish albums before you dismiss them so flippantly. Try, Rock Coast Blues or High Flyin” Bird (LBJ) for starters. Joe is or was a master of razor sharp political satire. Don’t criticize a living legend just cause he’s not what he used to be. You could find yourself on the other side of the ticket before you know it. I’m also baffled by your oversight of John Sebastian. Several Top 10 hits and a few movie and TV soundtracks ain’t a bad career for a jug band named Lovin’ Spoonful, of which JB was the driving force. Anything after that was gravy. I know you must have dug Daydream and Nashville Cats. His Woodstock performance was low key but just what the crowd needed. DY




  2.  

    One last shout-out for John B Sebastian: That was John Sebastian playing a wicked harmonica on the Doors classic recording, Roadhouse Blues, from Morrison Hotel. He also played on a Live Doors LP and was featured on the CSNY classic cut, Deja Vu. The guy gets around.




  3.  
    jeff.prince

    Okay, you’ve sold me on Sebastian, particularly in light of his harmonica solo on “Roadhouse Blues.”




  4.  

    Richie Havens still kicks ass, and he’s playing Friday on the field. Not to be missed. Keep it real, Richie!!




  5.  
    Peter Gorman

    If you really want to taste Fish, go back to the Electric Music for the Mind and Body album. I know you were only 8 when it came out, and would have been spanked for even listening to Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine or the other tracks, but it’s worth finding it. Seminal LSD music. Don Young probably has a copy somewhere.
    And then there was Woodstock itself: Waking up in the crowded woods to several hundred thousand people stomping their feet to Sly and the Family Stone’s Stand was an amazing thing…and Canned Heat with their Goin’ Up to Country was perfect at the time.




  6.  
    Don Young

    Thanks for coming to CJ’s defense, Peter. You’re right, I do have the vinyl in my closet under a ton of Fellini posters. As good as the first LP was, Fixin’ to Die was my fave. After that it went downhill.





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