Country Joe's Place

A Rock Riddle


Rock critic Joel Selvin's riddle:

What do the following artists have in common?

Really big showmanAlong with Jackie Mason, all of these artists were censored on the Ed Sullivan show and in some cases banned & blackballed from future appearances.

Tried to make Zimmy change his tune "Talking John Birch Society Blues" (he refused and never played on Sullivan), had The Stones & The Doors change their lyrics (Morrison conveniently forgot and took it 'higher'! while The Stones kept on coming back after spending some 'time' together), filming hip-swivelin' Elvis from the waist up in '57, and Jackie Mason lifted up the wrong finger to Ed toward the end of his set. He never came back!

Then there's Country Joe & The Fish. They were booked in '68, but the night before they were to be on Ed's show, they played at a beer festival in Central Park, where they debuted their soon-to-be-famous ``Fish Cheer,'' where Country Joe McDonald leads the audience, ``Gimme a big F! Gimme a big U!'' And so on, then, ``What's that spell?''

Ed himself was in the audience that night. Joe and his Fish were not only banned from the beer festival in perpetuity, but Ed himself personally approached the lads backstage and told them they could keep their $2,500 appearance fee, but they would never, ever appear on his television show.

And yet, recently there was a TV show about the Ed Sullivan Show, and there was Country Joe and the Fish, crashing the party 31 years after the fact. The boys still haven't lost their touch.


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