Category Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Elliot Gino Cahn

Elliot Gino Cahn

Elliot Gino Cahn
Screen grab

Elliot Gino Cahn was a founding member of Sha Na Na and played rhythm guitar for them from 1969–1973. That obviously included the Woodstock Music and Art Fair performance just before Jimi Hendrix closed the festival.

And while his performance career ended after that 1973 departure, he went back to school and eventually became a lawyer, he did not leave music completely, just the stage.

Elliot Gino Cahn

Esquire

In 1977 he received his Bachelor of Arts/Political Science. In 1981, his JD, Law as well as a Masters of Arts from University of California, Berkeley.

He opened his own law office in 1985 and his path since then, as mentioned above, has often included music as well as film.

For example from January 1995 to January 1997 he served as co-president and CEO of (510) Records, a joint venture label with the Universal Music Group.

During that same time and after, he managed numerous acts included Green Day.

Elliot Gino Cahn

Sha Na Na

It is difficult, I suppose, for someone who performed at such a famous event to remain anonymous. I also suppose for someone who performed at such a famous event that the occasional recognition is welcome.

From a 2009 Fandom blog entry: Back in June, I was surprised to see a request from Elliot “Gino” Cahn…. He asked if anyone had any access to a copy of a television special entitled “Good Vibrations from London” which starred the Beach Boys and Sha-Na-Na, among others. While I don’t have a copy in my archives, I felt that this was a golden opportunity. I figured if I could do me a favor, he would do me a favor and autograph my poster. I replied to his e-mail, privately, and told him where he might be able to find a copy. I also asked him if he would sign my poster for me. Elliot Cahn is interesting man. After he left Sha-Na-Na, he moved to the Bay Area and went back to school at the University of California at Berkely where he studied law. Eventually he married his love of music and his love of the law to be an attorney for such groups as Primus, The Offspring, and Rancid to name a few. He also served as Green Day’s first manager until they broke big with the “Dookie” album. I sent out my poster to him and he very quickly signed it and returned it to me. 

And an occasional reunion can happen, too. 2010 at Hofstra University. His comments, “ This is a delight; I left in 1973. The last two times I sang in public were at memorial services for friends of mine who died.

Elliot Gino Cahn

Advise

Nowadays, his firm is Cahn & Saltzman, LLP and under their name it reads, “We Know Music & Entertainment Law.”

They go on to say, “And we’ll have your legal and management needs handled and your backs covered all the time, all the way.

Don’t spend precious time worrying about things–spend it making and creating what you’re good at!

Elliot Cahn speaks to a group about copyright and music:

Elliot Gino Cahn
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Bruce Bruno Clarke Woodstock

Bruce Bruno Clarke Woodstock

If Life gives allows us enough time, there will interesting intersections. For Bruce “Bruno” Clarke, Columbia University, a doo wop band on a lark, a surprisingly well-received Woodstock performance, and cybernetics all intersected.

Tutti Frutti > Plastic Fantastic

In 1960, a cadet uncle attending West Point gave Clarke Little Richard’s “Here’s Little Richard.” He was 10 and fell in love with rock and roll.

He built a crystal radio and hung an antenna out his McLean, Virginia bedroom. Along came Beatlemania and an acoustic guitar. He replaced it with a Gibson Melody Maker, an amp, and some high school friends to become Fuzz, his first band.

He played rhythm guitar until the bassist’s parents removed the bassist from the band. Along comes bass player Bruce Clarke.

Fuzz morphed into Fantastic Plastic and great SAT scores helped get him into Columbia University.

Bruce Bruno Clarke Woodstock

Columbia

He wasn’t part of Columbia’s a Capella King’s Men, but when its members wanted to do a one-night doo wop show, Clarke became its bassist. The success of the show led to more than one night.

Late June, 1969, the newly minted Sha Na Na got a two-week late-night run at Steve Paul‘s Scene.   Who should stop by one night and happened to see this Sha Na Na? Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang. A late invitation followed.

According to a video interview,

…I just had this insane crazy good fortune to stumble into a phenomenon which turned into the group Sha Na Na which then became a successful rock act and played at Woodstock when we were three months old. 

In a Wild River Review piece, Clarke relates his story leaving Friday morning for Bethel, finally getting to the site, and experiencing the whole scene.

When they left the stage on Monday morning, Jimi Hendrix “…shook hands all around and, shaking mine, uttered the personal compliment I’ve tried to live by ever since: “You got soul, man.”

Bruce Bruno Clarke Woodstock

Jumps off

In that same video interview, Clarke says “...I did it for four years…I just happened to be there, caught the thing by the tail and took the ride.

I don’t really want to dedicate myself to more years on end, ready to go back, go to grad school, see what happens. So I did. I cut it loose.

Bruce Bruno Clarke Woodstock

Texas Tech

Bruce Bruno Clarke Woodstock

Bruce C Clarke currently teaches in the English department at Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX. According to the Department of English site at TT, “Bruce Clarke is Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Literature and Science in the Department of English at Texas Tech University. His research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century literature and science, with special interests in systems theory, narrative theory, and ecology. In 2010-11 he was Senior Fellow at the International Research Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy, Bauhaus-University Weimar, and in Summer 2015 he was Senior Fellow at the Center for Literature and the Natural Sciences, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. He edits the book series Meaning Systems, published by Fordham University Press.”

It appears that his most recent book was the 2014 Neocybernetics and Narrative. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. His credited list of Special Issues, Book Reviews, Invited Presentations and Book Chapters in Print, Articles, Article Reviews, and Introductions is a long one as well as the awards list for research.

Bruce Bruno Clarke Woodstock
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Bassist Doug Metzner

Bassist Doug Metzner

Doug played bass with Country Joe and the Fish at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

He has has a minuscule internet footprint. As far as his part at Woodstock, Wade Lawrence and Scott Parker write in their WoodTALK article on the band’s performance that drizzly Sunday evening: The group followed this with a short jam based around a Barry Melton guitar solo before moving gracefully back into “Rock and Soul Music,” this time taking the jam out to some length. This came close to falling apart when bassist Doug Metzner got completely turned around on the beat, forcing the group to fumble around for a few moments before righting the ship and bringing the main set to a powerful close.

Bassist Doug Metzner

CJ Fish

The first Fish album he appeared on was CJ Fish, which they recorded  in January 1970 at the Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles.

Bassist Doug Metzner

According to Brandon Budenz’s AllMusic review of CJ Fish: Country Joe and the Fish went through a personnel change for their fifth album, CJ Fish, adding Greg Dewey, Doug Metzner, and Mark Kapner in place of David Cohen and “Chicken” Hirsh. They retained, however, their primary composers Barry Melton and Country Joe MacDonald, keeping the sound and style of the original band. CJ Fish is not as strong as their other albums, but it does have a few highlights. The content is typical Country Joe and the Fish: more love, less war, and the tunes are only a little fresher than the ideas. On their previous release Here We Are Again, they experimented with various styles. On CJ Fish, they tried to recapture the sound of their previous success, but they “went back to the well” only to find there wasn’t much there. Most of the lyrics are thoughtful and bright; many are in rhyme as many of that time were. The overall timbre is interesting, being both joyful and sobering at the same time. Some bright spots in the material are “Hey Bobby,” “She’s a Bird,” and “Hang On,” which are delightfully Country Joe. Overall it’s not a bad album and no Country Joe and the Fish collection is complete without it.

I realize that that is a review of an album that bassist Doug Metzner was on, but not much about Doug himself.

I’m buying time, I guess, because I cannot find much about Doug.

ALLMUSIC doesn’t have much more. It indicates that Metzer was also on their 1971 albums, Quiet Days in Clichy and From Ashbury to Woodstock.

Also a 1981 compilation The Life and Times of Country Joe & the Fish and a 2009 compilation Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm, which is a Woodstock festival album, not a Country Joe & the Fish album.

Bassist Doug Metzner

Help

So other than what appears to have been a brief time with Country Joe, I cannot find any other references about life before Woodstock nor life since the Fish.

If anyone has something, please email or comment.

Bassist Doug Metzner
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