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Country Joe and Me
Country Joe and Me
$18.38
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Oct.01.2003
  • 9781410765376

Ron gives an overview of the book:

Country Joe and Me is a biography of Country Joe McDonald founder of the seminal rock band Country Joe and The Fish and a star of the Woodstock Festival held in 1969. It is also partially a autobiography of the writer Ron Cabral. Ron and Joe met while serving in the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station, Atsugi Japan in 1960. Both being trombone players and hailing from California they became friends. They were also both Air Traffic Control Tower Operators and were in the same unit. The friendship continued after they both returned to California in the early 60's. Joe turned into Country Joe in 1965. Ron got his teaching credential that year and began his 35 year career with the San Francisco Schools. Ron was so moved by the rock and roll music explosion in his home town of San Francisco that by late 1967 he started managing three different bands two of which played at...
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Country Joe and Me is a biography of Country Joe McDonald founder of the seminal rock band Country Joe and The Fish and a star of the Woodstock Festival held in 1969. It is also partially a autobiography of the writer Ron Cabral. Ron and Joe met while serving in the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station, Atsugi Japan in 1960. Both being trombone players and hailing from California they became friends. They were also both Air Traffic Control Tower Operators and were in the same unit. The friendship continued after they both returned to California in the early 60's. Joe turned into Country Joe in 1965. Ron got his teaching credential that year and began his 35 year career with the San Francisco Schools. Ron was so moved by the rock and roll music explosion in his home town of San Francisco that by late 1967 he started managing three different bands two of which played at Fillmore-West and Winterland for Bill Graham - Celestial Hysteria and Gold. Ron figured he could teach by day and work with the bands at night and did this for five fantastic years.

The book follows Ron and Joe through the acid days of the Haight-Ashbury and the Human Be-In and their associations with Rock Czar Bill Graham. There is a chapter called Joe and Janis and it's about Janis Joplin and Joe's brief, but passionate love affair in 1967. Later a chapter features a rock concert starring Jerry Garcia put on by Ron's school Opportunity High with Joe's help. Actually it was Joe's idea to hire Bimbo's 365 Club and put on a historic rock concert run entirely by Opportunity High students to help raise money for the school's music program. There is a chapter called Summerland devoted to this event and it was historic as it turned out. The poster from that event has became a prized collector's item.

In 1973 Joe started a new band called Country Joe and The All-Stars and this band featured two ex members of Big Brother and the Holding Company Peter Albin and Dave Getz. Joe was looking for a trombone player to add to the new horn section and the only one he could find was Ron who was given a 4 night try out at Mandrakes in Berkeley. There is a chapter about this musical event in the book called Mandrakes....

A chapter about Joe the Family man covers Joe's family life and his role as a devoted father to his five children. There is also a section devoted to Joe's work with and for Veteran's. Being a veteran himself he knows of what he speaks. Joe wrote the concluding chapter about Veteran's and why he supports some of the causes he does.

The book includes lyrics from some of Joe's most important songs and a complete discography of all the works of Country Joe and The Fish and all works Joe has done as a solo or in collaboration with others. Joe has written over 300 songs and has almost 40 LP's, CD's in worldwide circulation. There is also a filmography showing the many films and Hollywood Movies Joe has appeared in. There are also 60 rare photos and graphics in the book.

In more recent times Joe has toured with Paul Kantner's Jefferson Starship family and has taken a one man Tribute to Woody Guthrie on the road to great acclaim. He recently headlined the 40th Anniversary Summer of Love concert held in 2007 in Golden Gate Park.

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Joe met Janis Joplin in early 1967 as both Country Joe and The Fish and Big Brother and The Holding Company burst on to the big time music scene. Their lives were meshed together as they found themselves caught in the musical tidal wave that peaked in the Haight Ashbury that summer. Janis came out to San Francisco from Texas to break into show business just as Joe had done a few years earlier from Southern California.

Country Joe and The Fish and Big Brother And The Holding Company were two happening bands along with the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Joe and Janis often were billed together at the Fillmore and Avalon Ballrooms during the early days of the San Francisco music explosion of the late 60's.

Joe rarely spoke of his relationship with Janis. "It was just a very normal love affair between two people who shared exciting times in the Haight", he said.

ron-cabral's picture

In 2004 and 2005 I went on two West Coast tours with the Country Joe Band – Joe and three members of the original Country Joe and The Fish.

About Ron

Ron Cabral was born in San Francisco in 1941 and raised in the Mission District, Bernal Heights, and Noe Valley.  He attended both Catholic and Public schools including: St. Philips, James Lick Junior High, Polytechnic High,  Mission High, City...

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Published Reviews

Author's Publishing Notes

<p>&quot;It's a book about music, war, politics, the 60's and most of all friendship.&quot; <strong>Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle</strong></p><p>&quot;'It's a wonderful read, full of nostalgia and some fascinating sequences.' &quot; <strong>Phil Elwood, San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle</strong></p><p>&quot;"In the 60's. people took acid to make the world wierd. Now the world is wierd and people take Prozac to make it normal. Fresh out of the U.S. Navy, sailor buddies, Ron Cabral and Joe McDonald land on a planet called San Francisco just in time to get hit by a tidal wave of counter culture and political change giving birth to the hippies, and diggers in the Haight Ashbury. This fun narrative includes psychedelic rock bands, Bill Graham, the Hells Angels, the Vietnam Vets, and hell can't tell you everything.'&quot; <strong>Phil Reser, BluesWax</strong></p><p>&quot;'Ron's book is about how Joe McDonald became Country Joe and of Joe and Ron's adventures in the Navy, the public schools and in the counterculture. It is also a compelling story about rock and roll in San Francisco.'&quot; <strong>Sam Andrew, Big Brother and The Holding Company</strong></p><p>&quot;The personal dedication of Cabral to his subject is compelling.&quot; <strong>Barbara Sloane, The Monclairon - Oakland</strong></p><p>&quot;Well I know I was there. I have the pictures to prove it. Did we really do those things? As Pete Seeger would say, 'Wasn't that a time!', As Jerry Garcia would say, 'What a long strange trip it's been', As Robin Williams would say, &quot;'If you can remember the 60's you weren't there.'.&quot; 'I think this is a great book! It fills in the blanks and is a good read.'&quot; <strong>David Bennett Cohen, Country Joe And The Fish</strong></p>