Country Joe and the Fish are one of the great bands to come out of San Francisco in the 1960's. They never made a big impact on the charts - their first single got to about number 98 in the American hot hundred, but they were a truly innovative group. As bassist Bruce Barthol said recently, ""It was real easy to be a genius, there were probably some folk songs that I was the first guy in the world to play electric bass on." Although they are sometimes viewed as a hippie band - Country Joe and the Fish weren't really hippies in that they all seemed to have shared left-wing political views, whereas the hippie view was against politics. Their first (and to most people, best album) was called "electric music for the mind and body". It ranged from the politics to folk - instrumentals to rock.
When they were making their 'difficult' third Album, the band almost split up. Indeed Country Joe left for a short while. The reason Joe gave for leaving was that he and lead guiaterist Barry Melton were arguing, Barry could "play anything" while drummer "Chicken" Hersh didn't want to play repedative beats while Bassist Barthol emulating Paul McCartney was strugglingto stay in tune. but, these were the very things that made them such an interesting band.