Country Joe and the Fish - 1969 UK gigs

March 1969

The band played a short tour in March. There was a fairly low-key announcement in the 1st March issue of Melody Maker:

As you can see, the 29th March gig was due to be held at the Roundhouse. At the time the Roundhouse was home to Middle Earth, described by Wikipedia as "an influential hippie club". As a 16year old I became a member in December '68 but only managed to attend 3 gigs in Dec & Jan '69. Why only 3? Because in February Middle Earth closed, only to be resurrected at the Royalty Theatre, Ladbroke Grove a week or two later. But that venue also closed after a couple of weeks and with it went Middle Earth.

What follows are the ads in Melody Maker for these gigs.
Interestingly I couldn't find an ad for either Manchester or Grimsby (I will double check at some point just in case I missed them). So the first ad is for Portsmouth, except it's no longer Portsmouth but Southsea.

The 27th is, as advertised, at Waltham

As I said above, Middle Earth moved from the Roundhouse and here is that news being reported in MM. Also news of a new appearance (pity about the poor standard of english)

And here is the ad for the Marquee gig

Not sure why the Marquee refers to "farewell appearance" because from here the band moves on to Ladbrook Grove. But wait, there's another change ...

Notice that there is now no reference to Middle Earth (and not a bad line up for 1.25GBP). Oh yes, I was there!!! I've also seen a bootleg of this gig, although it says it's recorded at Middle Earth.

Finally a gig on a date not mentioned in the original announcement.

September 1969

The band made a return to the UK in September for a single gig, as the front page of Melody Maker announced

The ad for the Royal Albert Hall looked like this

A wide range of prices from 20p (sounds unreal - I was earning about 8 pounds per week) to 1.05; which is the cost of the ticket I purchased. My second CJ gig in a year. From memory a much better gig than at the lyceum. MM carried a small review of the gig

And that's it. If you're interested in hearing any audience recordings of some of these shows then have a look here.

The recordings you'll find are:

  • the Walthamstow gig
  • the "Middle Earth" gig - actually the Lyceum
  • another unannounced gig, 28th MArch at the ICA in London
  • finally, the Royal Albert Hall gig.

This is an amazing site, with an incredible range of recordings. Most, if not all, are audience recordings so not up to the quality of a soundboard recording. But I've heard a lot worse. And if the choice is between an audience recording and nothing - I'll take the audience recording every day of the week.