Barry “The Fish” Melton
Country Joe and the Fish
From YouTube: “the psychedelic guitar of country joe and the fish legend ‘barry the fish melton rockin out at guitarman bar and live music venue in chiang mai,thailand”
Barry Melton was born in Brooklyn on June 14, 1947. In San Francisco in 1965 he and Joe McDonald formed the Instant Action Jug Band. Acoustic was simpler than electric. Jug band music was fun. Gigs could be found. Even when young, simple living requires some money and electric music was the more likely way to earn some. Melton and McDonald's band evolved into Country Joe and the Fish. The band became part of the San Francisco scene and a jewel in its psychedelic crown. In 1967 the band released its first album, Electric Music for the Mind and Body. Later that same year they released I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die. This was not AM-radio music. This was not American Bandstand music. FM "underground" stations were burgeoning and the Fish's music found a home there. Melton rode that wave all over the United States with the other San Francisco icons such as the Dead and the Airplane.
The movie, Woodstock, propelled many bands into a national limelight. And even though Barry Melton and the Fish were not part of it, Country Joe's solo performance that sunny Saturday afternoon in Bethel, NY, particularly his "I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" and the "Fish Cheer" helped the whole band.
The band Country Joe and the Fish did not perform until that dreary post-summer downpour Sunday evening. The cataract had finally passed ("No rain no rain no rain no rain no rain..."), thousands of wet, tired, hungry, white suburban kids had begun to sludge their way back to their parents' cars, gratefully found them there, and headed home hoping to be back to get to work on Monday on time. Meanwhile...
The band didn't last much longer after Country Joe went solo. Barry Melton helped keep it together for a few years with personnel coming and going.
From Allmusic: Working as Barry "The Fish" Melton, he continued as a solo act through the 1970s and into the 1980s, also fronting the Barry "The Fish" Melton Band. He also "...continued to play music...including a long stint with Dinosaurs, a band of 60s veterans that at various times included Peter Albin and David Getz ( Big Brother and the Holding Company), John Cipollina and Greg Elmore (Quicksilver Messenger Service), Papa John Creech (Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship), Spencer Dryden (Jefferson Airplane and New Riders of the Purple Sage), Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead lyricist), David LaFlamme (It's a Beautiful Day), Jerry Miller (Moby Grape) and the incomparable Merl Saunders on keyboards." While the law may seem like an unlikely career for any Woodstock alum, it was what Melton chose and he has been practicing law since 1982. According to his site, "I am primarily a criminal defense lawyer. I also provide representation in quasi-criminal matters, such as license revocation proceedings. I have a broad range of experience in general legal matters. I am and have been a musician all of my adult life, and I have always helped other artists and musicians with legal issues."
Please follow and like us: