Country Joe McDonald, whose anti-war anthem, “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag,” became a classic of the anti-Vietnam War movement after his performance at the Woodstock festival in 1969, will perform a concert in Santa Monica.
McDonald is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, October 23rd, at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Tickets are $16.
The memorable lyrical hook of McDonald’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” is:
And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.
The song made its debut at a 1965 anti-war protest in Berkeley, California. Like the rallies in the Civil Rights Movement before them, organizers began to book bands before and after the speakers at the rally.
At that time, the band Country Joe and the Fish had released an acoustic folk version of the tune.
A plugged-in version using electric guitars was released on Vanguard Records in 1968. The song, which was denied radio airplay as songs with controversial content often are, truly broke big after Woodstock documentary film was released in 1970.
Starting in April 1971, Country Joe was billed as a performer at coast-to-coast anti-war demonstrations.
McDonald was also a witness at the Chicago Seven trial, due to his being asked to perform at an infamous Yippie demonstration at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that turned into a bloody clash between police and demonstrators.
McDonald has never stopped performing and he releases an album every year or year-and-a-half, according to his Web site.
McDonald keeps involved with the anti-war movement to this day, and most recently has been writing and performing songs against the Iraq War and Bush administration policy.
Information, (310) 828-4497.