Donovan, Arlo Guthrie and Country Joe


The Three Hippies, I call them. The Minstrel, The Joker and The Rebel. Donovan, Arlo Guthrie and Country Joe.

Donovan, the minstrel. His music was mystical, psychedelic, mythological and innocent all at once. Psychedelic lullabies. He painted pictures with his songs. Donovan's music relaxes you as it tells a story. After listening to a few songs, you'll think that you are in a mythological tale with all the characters in Donovan's world. When Paul McCartney was writing Yellow Submarine, Donovan offered the line "sky of blue and sea of green." Paul McCartney returned the favor by singing background vocals on Mellow Yellow. Donovan was called the British Bob Dylan. Donovan's well known songs include Catch The Wind, Universal Soldier, Sunshine Superman, Season of the Witch, Mellow Yellow, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Jennifer Juniper, Lalena, To Susan on the West Coast Waiting, Atlantis, and Cosmic Wheels.

Arlo Guthrie, the joker. Dylan sang about the joker. He must have meant Arlo Guthrie. Arlo's most popular song, Alice's Restaurant is a landmark of the 60's. The song has a simple lyric, "You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant.." The verses are spoken. Its a story about a young man who goes to the draft board and is asked if he's ever been arrested. So he tells the army people about an incident near Alice's restaurant where he was caught littering. He's not good enough to kill because he is a convicted litterer! The Joker is laughing at the system with a confident smirk. Arlo Guthrie played at Woodstock. Two of the three songs that he played are available - Coming Into Los Angeles and Dylan's Walking Down The Line. The Pickle Song is another Arlo Guthrie classic.

Country Joe, the rebel. Country Joe and The Fish were a hippy rock band in the 60's. They sang anti-war and pro-psychedelic songs. At the Monterey Pop Festival, Country Joe and The Fish sang "Please Don't Drop That H-Bomb On Me" to the flower children. It was at Woodstock where The Rebel would enter history. On the afternoon of day two at Woodstock, the scheduled bands hadn't arrived. Country Joe was hanging out, waiting for his scheduled appearance with The Fish on day three. The festival organizers threw him on the stage. "Gimme a F," and Woodstock replied, "F". The Rebel and Woodstock spelled the word "fuck" together. "And its one, two, three, what are we fighting for? Don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Vietnam." The song is called The Fixin' To Die Rag. This spur-of-the-moment appearance is one of Woodstock's most memorable moments. Other 'must hear' Country Joe and The Fish songs are Marijuana, Acid Commercial, and The Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine. How many rebels show Mom and a wedding on an album cover? Together is Country Joe & The Fish's third album - 1968. I had the Life And Times Of cd - its like a greatest hits - and quietly wanted more. So I found Together on Ebay. Wow! Every song has a good reason to be there. What a picture it paints of 1968. Had they known, they could've called it Between Monterey and Woodstock.

Do yourself a favor - immerse yourself in the music of The Minstrel, The Joker and The Rebel.