Posts Tagged ‘John Fogerty’

Bluesfest - John Fogerty

Bluesfest returns to The O2 this October with the first headliner announced as John Fogerty plus very special guests The Steve Miller Band.

Grammy-winning Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty, who as lead singer of multi-million-selling blues-rock outfit Creedence Clearwater Revival has penned a string of hits including ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’, is the first headliner announced for this year’s BluesFest,

Fogerty, performing his first headline show since 2008, will be joined on the bill by one of the top-selling acts of the ‘70s Steve Miller Band, who this year celebrate 50 years since the release of debut album Children Of The Future. It will be the band’s first UK show in over 5 years. Fogerty and Steve Miller Band will perform their own full sets in The O2 on the opening night of the festival on Thursday 25th October for what will be their only UK shows of the year. Fogerty will be paying homage to his back catalogue with a Creedence Clearwater Revival greatest hits set.

This year’s festival will expand to run across four nights from Thursday 25th – Sunday 28th October and will once again utilise all areas of The O2, including the 14000-capacity Arena and Indigo at The O2. Further artist announcements will be made over the coming Miller Band are two acts that have been on our wish list for some time and we’re delighted to have confirmed exclusive shows with them for this year’s BluesFest.

BluesFest presents John Fogerty

Willy & the Poor Boys is just a fun record, perhaps the breeziest album Creedence Clearwater Revival ever made. Apart from the eerie minor-key closer “Effigy” (one of John Fogerty’s most haunting numbers), there is little of the doom that colored Green RiverFogerty’s rage remains, blazing to the forefront on the track “Fortunate Son,” a working-class protest song that cuts harder than any of the explicit Vietnam protest songs of the era, which is one of the reasons that it hasn’t aged where its peers have. Also, there’s that unbridled vocal from Fogerty and the ferocious playing on CCR, which both sound fresh as they did upon release.

“Fortunate Son” is one of the greatest, hardest rock & rollers ever cut, so it might seem to be out of step with an album that is pretty laid-back and friendly, but there’s that elemental joy that by late ’69 was one of CCR’s main trademarks. That joy that runs throughout the album, from the gleeful single “Down on the Corner” and the lazy jugband blues of “Poorboy Shuffle” through the great slow blues jam “Feelin’ Blue” to the great rockabilly spiritual “Don’t Look Now,” one of Fogerty’s overlooked recording gems.

This is an anti-establishment song of defiance, both anti-Washington and against the Vietnam War. John Fogerty and Doug Clifford (drummer) both enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1966 (to avoid being drafted and shipped to Vietnam) and were discharged in 1968 after serving their military commitments.

John Fogerty: The thoughts behind this song – it was a lot of anger. So it was the Vietnam War going on… Now I was drafted and they’re making me fight, and no one has actually defined why. So this was all boiling inside of me and I sat down on the edge of my bed and out came “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son!” You know, it took about 20 minutes to write the song

“The song speaks more to the unfairness of class than war itself,” “It’s the old saying about rich men making war and poor men having to fight them.”

This is one of three political songs on the Willy And The Poorboys album. The others were “It Came From the Sky” and “Don’t Look Now (It Ain’t You or Me).”

Richard Nixon was president of the US when group leader John Fogerty wrote this song. Fogerty was not a fan of Nixon and felt that people close to the president were receiving preferential treatment.

This song spoke out against the war in Vietnam, but was supportive of the soldiers fighting there. Like many CCR fans, most of the soldiers came from the working class, and were there because they didn’t have connections who could get them out.

The covers don’t feel like throwaways, either, since both “Cotton Fields” and “The Midnight Special” have been overhauled to feel like genuine CCR songs.

It all adds up to one of the greatest pure rock & roll records ever cut.

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“It should be obvious by now that Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of the great rock and roll bands. ‘Cosmo’s Factory,’ the group’s fifth album, is another good reason why.” – Rolling Stone, 1970

46 years ago today, Cosmo’s Factory was released on the 22nd August 1970.

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with their fifth studio album “Cosmo’s Factory”. The name of the album comes from the warehouse in Berkeley where the band rehearsed. Bandleader John Fogerty was so insistent on practicing (nearly every day) that drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford began referring to the place as “the factory”.

Creedence Clearwater Revival released three classic albums in 1969. Their first in 1970 came after a small break for leader John Fogerty, who turned in some of his band’s greatest songs here. (“Lookin’ Out My Back Back Door” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain” is just the tip.) Creedence would tap out soon – they released another album five months later that was the beginning of the end – but they’re at the top of their game on ‘Cosmo’s Factory.’

The band included guitarist brothers John and Tom Fogerty, bass player Stu Cook and Clifford – had signed in 1964 to the San Francisco based Fantasy Records, an independent jazz label. Fantasy co-owner Max Weiss initially named the group the Golliwogs (after the children’s literary character, Golliwogg), apparently to cash in on a wave of popular British bands with similar names. The band, who hated the name, then suffered a setback in 1966 when the draft board called up John Fogerty and Doug Clifford for military service. Fogerty at least managed to enlist in the Army Reserve instead of the regular Army, while Clifford did a tenure in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, the following year, new management at Fantasy extended their deal along with agreement to a name change. The group arrived at their new title Creedence Clearwater Revival from three elements. From Tom Fogerty’s friend Credence Newball’s name they added an extra ‘e’, making it resemble a faith or creed; ‘clear water’ came from a TV commercial for Olympia beer; and finally ‘revival’ spoke to the four members’ renewed commitment to their band. The raw edge of John Fogerty’s voice, or the driving force of the rhythm section, CCR sounded different to everything else, delivering for the most part, short sharp songs, a rare thing in 1967, the year of psychedelic jams and long freakouts. Not totally immune, the band’s other side manifested itself in long, guitar-driven versions of selected songs on their album, including 8 minutes of Suzie Q.

Creedence Clearwater RevivalCosmo’s Factory [Full Album] Concord/Fantasy, 2008 RM. Video with album liner notebook. Album is 1 disk of 14 tracks: original 11 track recording remastered plus 3 bonus tracks. Cosmo’s Factory is the fifth studio album by CCR released in July 1970. All songs written and composed by lead guitarist and vocalist John Fogerty except as noted

Side A 1. Ramble Tamble 0:00 2. Before You Accuse Me 7:10 3. Travelin’ Band 10:37 4. Ooby Dooby 12:45 5. Lookin’ Out My Back Door 14:52 6. Run Through The Jungle 17:25

Side B 1. Up Around The Bend 20:28 2. My Baby Left Me 23:11 3. Who’ll Stop The Rain 25:29 4. I Heard It Through The Grapevine 27:27 5. Long As I Can See The Light 39:00

Any artist that manages to stick around will end up evolving at some point — but few do it as quickly or successfully as Creedence Clearwater Revival who returned to record stores on August. 5th, 1969, with Green River, their third overall album and second of the three LPs they’d release that year. Green River followed hot on the heels of the group’s second effort, Bayou Country, which had arrived in the January. As singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty later recalled, it was that album’s success that spurred him to go deeper with his music.

“After Bayou Country, I began to feel I had the freedom or power to do what I wanted,” said Fogerty explaining the nostalgic mood that permeates Green River. “And where I went … was right to my emotional, musical core.”

That inward journey included an embrace of childhood memories, specifically on the title track, a No. 2 hit single that was inspired both by a Fogerty family vacation spot and a drink John loved to order at a particular soda shop when he was a kid. “The drink was a green, lime drink on ice with fizz water, a soggy green snow cone,” he said later. “That’s what I would order and it made me the happiest.”

All of which is not to say that Green River is a misty album of watercolor memories; it includes some of the band’s punchiest, most instantly memorable work, as well as a fair amount of good old-fashioned storytelling. Of the plaintive “Lodi,” which laments the narrator’s lot in life as he’s stuck in the titular one-horse town, Fogerty mused, “I saw a much older person than I was, because it’s sort of a tragic telling. A guy is stuck in a place where people really don’t appreciate him. Since I was at the beginning of a good career, I was hoping that that wouldn’t happen to me.”

Fogerty also looked outside his own experiences for the No. 2 hit “Bad Moon Rising,” which he later admitted was inspired by a viewing of the 1941 film The Devil and Daniel Webster. “That just seemed so spooky, the idea of an epochal force — nature, or the devil, or whatever — that’s gonna get you,” he said. “Later, people began to point out, ‘Hey, John, you’ve got this song about death and doom, but it’s this bouncy little thing.’ And I’d go, ‘I just didn’t worry about that part.’”

What Fogerty did worry about — along with his bandmates Tom Fogerty (rhythm guitar), Stu Cook (bass) and Doug Clifford (drums) — was rehearsing like crazy so the band could make sure the songs were exactly where they needed to be before they entered the studio. It was that dedication that helped make CCR such a reliable source of great music in 1969 — and, much to their label’s delight, kept recording costs low.

“They were one of the few bands [that] when they came in to record, they were ready,” said engineer Russ Gary. “They worked hard. One of the few bands that used to show up and really kick it. Really take care of business. [Studio owner Wally Heider] used to say he never saw a band that came in and took care of business like Creedence. They came in, wham, bam, thank you ma’am, they cut ‘Green River’ right off the bat. It didn’t take long. It was a lot of preparation.”

In fact, Fogerty said they completed five basic master tracks — with music, but no vocals — in just one day. “I think we scrapped one and redid it,” he said. “Whatever was left, three songs, we did the next day. In this age of studio-conceived music, I guess it seems weird, but we rehearsed first.”
As a result, Fogerty added, CCR’s first three albums each cost less than $2,000 to make. “We always know what we’ll do before going into the studio,” John said in a 1970 interview with Hit Parader. “We want our music to last a while, be part of a continuous thread. Stay on the main line rather than go off on side trips. The basis of our thing is country blues and it might always be. Blues is blues anywhere. It’s the most straight forward way to say anything that’s on your mind. The one-four-five chords. Even Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, figured it out that those chords are the most pleasing to the ear. He figured it out mathematically.”
Not that the albums didn’t represent creative growth, speedy as they may have been. “Green River was the next step without changing much, format-wise,” Clifford argued. “We did have that sort of Southern thing; it was a little more focused than on the other albums. The tune ‘Green River’ is one of my favorites. That’s a great tune. It’s fun, it’s an up, happy, summer song and it can warm a heart during the middle of winter.”
For John, Green River remained “a high water mark in my musical life, only because it felt so good. Here was the music closest to my musical center. Even though we had bigger albums, that album was my favorite. Green River was where I lived from the sound of the record, what the record’s about, the riffs, the setting, which spills out on the rest of the album, the cover. It’s my most comfortable place.”

Tom Fogerty said “everything described in that song is real and actually happened.” And it wasn’t just that title track that grew out of John’s private life; he eventually admitted that the Green River track ‘Wrote a Song for Everyone’ was inspired by an argument with his wife, who wanted him to be more involved in their young son’s upbringing. “As she walks out the door, I say to myself, ‘I wrote a song for everyone and I couldn’t even talk to you,’” he explained. “You sit and write these songs, yet you try to talk to your own son and daughter and maybe you’re totally inadequate, trying to explain life to a child.”
Clifford too asserted that “John was better able to communicate through his music than he was speaking with people.” It was, at least in part, this inability to articulate in times of crisis would eventually help hasten the band’s demise. But, in August 1969, the future seemed limitless for Creedence Clearwater Revival. “Our career is just starting,” John said at the time. “There is so much untapped sound and so many songs waiting to be written.”
Greeted with rave reviews, Green River topped the album charts, spinning off a pair of hit two-sided singles (“Bad Moon Rising”‘ backed with “Lodi” and “Green River” backed with “Commotion”) before yielding to CCR’s third album of 1969, Willy and the Poor Boys, in November.

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A Record Store Day collectors’ heads up: Concord (UMG) will release the Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969 Box Set– 3 vinyl and ephemera from the time period celebrating the historic year. The box will also come complete with 3 CDs and 3 international EPs on 7” vinyl.  Albums include Green River, Bayou Country and Willy And The Poor Boys. A sneak peak at this amazing piece can be seen here

Creedence Clearwater Revival

From the Fantasy vaults comes the Record Store Day 1969 Archive Box celebrating Creedence Clearwater Revival’s epic year. In that year alone the band released three Top Ten albums, had four hit singles (charting at #2, #2, #2 and #3 respectively) with three additional charting B-sides. This archive box collects artifacts from 1969, documenting the global success of a band from El Cerritos, who were believed by many to be from the Mississippi Delta. Meticulously reproduced artifacts include 3 x LPs, 3 x CDs (of each of the above LPs), 3 x 7” vinyl International, EPs, 2 x Posters, 1 x Concert Ticket, 1 x Bumper Sticker, 1 x Publicity photo 60 page scrapbook and more. Limited to 7000 copies.

What is sometimes forgotten with the passing of time and against the seminal influence of Woodstock is that Creedence Clearwater Revival were one of the few bands to appear at the festival that had already achieved significant success . Truth is that there are some that do not even know about the band’s forgotten Woodstock performance shortly after midnight on 17th August 1969. The reason, of course, is that CCR were not in the movie or the album that came out in the wake of Woodstock.

Creedence’s hour-long set was like a greatest hits album, with ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Proud Mary’ both having reached No.2 chart positions. As they walked on stage at Woodstock, just after midnight on Saturday, their current single, ‘Green River’ was at No.15, it’s third week on the U.S. chart; it would be their third single to stall at No.2. As John Fogerty later said, “By the time we got to Woodstock, I felt we were the number one band. Assuming that The Beatles were God, I thought that we were the next thing under them.”

This iconic performance, CCR really brought the southern soul to Woodstock in 1969 with “Born on the Bayou.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival opened up their set with “Born On The Bayou.” They also played such hits as “Green River,” “Suzy Q,” and “Proud Mary.” Janis Joplin came on after Creedence. John Fogerty had never actually been to a bayou before writing this song, instead he researched it an encyclopedia.

Opening with this fresh, southerly funk at the greatest concert of all time, Creedence really brought the house down at Woodstock that year .The most famous concert in Rock and Roll history. Creedence Clearwater Revival was actually the first band to sign a contract to play Woodstock. They got $10,000 in exchange for playing a single set. The guys ended up playing just before 1 am on Sunday. John Fogerty allegedly complained about his late starting time due to Grateful Dead playing over their time slot. He thought everyone had already gone to bed. He’s apparently expressed his disappointment in the festival at other times, as well.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s catchy music was one of the true hightlights of the whole festival. Though they started late in the night from Saturday to Sunday their blend of R&B, Folk- and Country-Rock didn’t fail to impress. However, John Fogerty complained that the long set of The Grateful Dead delayed their set so most of the audience went to bed when CCR performed in the middle of the night

For some reasons Creedence Clearwater Revival weren’t heavily bootlegged in their prime time (1967 – 1971 ), but this is a very good recording of one of the greatest bands .

Although we see this as a legendary and life changing performance, the band actually forbade Woodstock to use any of the footage of it in the movie considering they were unhappy with this 3 AM show.

This great, feel- good tune really does make us all want to head down to the South and enjoy some fresh air on the bayou, doesn’t it?

To the band, Woodstock must have seemed like – just another festival, as it did at the time to so many of the artists. In the summer of 1969 CCR had already played the Newport Festival in California, the Denver and the Atlanta festivals, along with the Atlantic City Festival. Given the fact that they were just about the hottest band on the charts every promoter wanted them at the top, or close to the top, of the bill.

Unlike so many of the bands at Woodstock CCR went on stage fairly closed to their scheduled midnight slot, although they were supposed to be in a prime Saturday evening slot. According to John Fogerty, ” We were supposed to be in the prime spot for that evening. The Dead went on and pulled their usual shenanigans.”–

Their hour-long set started at half past midnight on Sunday 17th August and kicked off with the perfect opener, ‘Born On The Bayou’. They followed it with ‘Green River’ and then a cover of Wilson Pickett’s ‘Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do)’, from their debut album, after which it was ‘Commotion’, ‘Bootleg’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Proud Mary’

They played their current single and their two previous big hits and the other songs in the set, to this point, very much as they were on record. As their set progressed they stretched their songs set into longer, more improvised, rock songs, which was their normal way of playing them.‘I Put A Spell On You’ stretched the 5 minute single to almost twice its length, while ‘Keep On Chooglin’’ ran for close to ten minutes. ‘Suzie Q’, the Dale Hawkins classic had been their first hit and on the album it ran for 8 minutes; for their encore they kept it rocking for even longer.

John Fogerty later said, “I could never put my finger on what it was, but we were considered outsiders in our own town.” Maybe they were outsiders in San Francisco but they were at the top of their game when they played Woodstock. John Fogerty’s unique voice and great song writing had come together as a perfect combination just at the right time.

Why were they not on the film? Most likely their record company at the time was unwilling to co-operate. Did it affect their career? Well it would have done them no harm on the world stage to have had all that additional exposure. Like ‘Green River’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Proud Mary’, both ‘Travellin’ Band’ and ‘Lookin’ out My Back Door’ made No.2 on the Billboard chart. They really were one of the unluckiest bands bands that could never break through to achieve the coveted top spot on the America singles chart, although they did top the charts in Britain with ‘Bad Moon Rising’. Their album, Green River came out a month after Woodstock and it topped the charts for four weeks, as did Cosmo’s Factory following year – it had a nine-week run at No.1. The fact is CCR were huge…but they might well have been even bigger.

Creedence Clearwater Revival Woodstock Performance

The setlist consists of material from their first three albums (the fourth album Willy and the Poor Boys was released in November 1969). There were no surprises, CCR chose only the hightlights. The performances are tight and upright. They rushed through “Green River”, “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary” and left little room for improvisation. John Fogerty keeping the tempo up and the band just followed him.

At the end they got a little bit more relaxed. The haunting “I Put a Spell on You” (written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins but nevertheless the opener on their self-titled debut album) hollows in the dark, followed by – the title says it all – “The Night Time Is the Right Time”.

“Keep on Chooglin'”, announced as their last number, includes a harmonica solo and lasts for over 9 minutes. The band then returned with the pretty “Suzy Q” as the encore and jammed for about 10 minutes before leaving the stage at Woodstock forever. This is the full set

1. 00:00 Born on the Bayou (Video)
2. 04:57 Green River (audio)
3. 07:45 Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do) (audio)
4. 11:02 Commotion (audio)
5. 13:46 Bootleg (audio)
6. 16:58 Bad Moon Rising (Video)
7. 19:07 Proud Mary (audio)
8. 21:59 I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover) (video)
9. 26:00 Night Time Is the Right Time (Roosevelt Sykes cover) (audio)
10. 27:59 Keep On Chooglin’ (video)
11. 37:25 Suzie Q (Dale Hawkins cover) (audio)

Green River is the third studio album by American rock and roll band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released in August 1969. It was the second of three albums they released in that year,

Green River The album isn’t just an excellent introduction to Creedence Clearwater Revival, but rock ‘n’ roll as a whole. Creedence were huge band and ‘Green River’ is a near-perfect collection of country, blues, soul and rockabilly, resulting in a record that digs into bedrock Americana. The guitars twang, the bass lines tumble down, the drums chug like a locomotive and Fogerty’s foghorn voice barks above it all. The sound is collectively beautiful in its simplicity – the sound of a band locked into a gleeful groove. The songs, on the other hand, , ‘Lodi’ – a dead-end town where Fogerty imagined he might find himself down the road, singing for his supper. Fogerty was feeling the weight of his responsibility when writing many of the songs on ‘Green River,’ weary of urban ‘Commotion,’ wary of his ‘Tombstone Shadow,’ unable to communicate with his love on ‘Wrote a Song for Everyone.’

If I had to pick a favorite song from this album of Credence Clearwater Revival it would hard… but this song would be a contender. It’s the way Fogerty wearily sings the lyrics, he sounds so much older than he was at the time. The song is off of the great “Green River” album. John Fogerty on writing the song.

“Inspired by my young wife at the time. It was early ’69, and I was 23 years old. We had our first child, who, at the time, was two and a half. I was sitting in my room, writing the songs, pushing my career. Without the songs, the career ends. You might be a great band, but without the songs, you’re not going anywhere. At one point, my wife and I had a mild misunderstanding, I wouldn’t even call it a fight, She was miffed, taking our young son out, wishing I would be more involved. But there I was, the musician manic and possessed the only guy holding things up. Without me, it all collapses, so I’m feeling quite put upon. As she walks out the door, I say to my self, “I wrote a song for everyone, and I couldn’t even talk to you.” I looked at my piece of paper and changed gears. How many great leaders can’t even manage their own families? So I went with that. “Pharaohs spin the message/Round and round and true/Richmonds about to blow up” referring to nearby Richmond, California. It was actually a true emotion that took on a larger meaning. It’s still a special song in the sense that it keeps my feet on the ground. You sit and write these songs, yet you try to talk to your own son and daughter and maybe you’re totally inadequate, trying to explain life to a child. We used to record our album very quickly and I remember finishing five different songs in one afternoon. The fifth one didn’t work, and that was “Wrote A Song For Everyone.” I had to start over on that one.”

Even the warm nostalgia of the title track is tainted by the knowledge that ‘Green River’ might be the last refuge. or fear in Fogerty’s heart – between the jaunty chords of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and the end of all existence described in the lyrics – makes for a rocking listen, again and again.

Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • John Fogerty – lead and backing vocals, lead guitar, piano, keyboards, harmonica, arranger
  • Tom Fogerty – rhythm guitar, except on tracks 2-4
  • Stu Cook – bass guitar
  • Doug Clifford – drums