Happy Birthday to John Fogerty — the man Bruce Springsteen has often introduced as “The Hank Williams of his generation” — who turns 76 today (May 28th)!!!
Between 1968 and 1972, John Fogerty wrote and produced such timeless classics for Creedence Clearwater Revival as “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Lodi,” “Green River,” “Commotion,” “Down On The Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Travelin’ Band,” “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” “Up Around The Bend,” “Run Through The Jungle,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” “Tombstone Shadow,” “Green River,” “Wrote A Song For Everyone,” “Long As I Can See The Light,” “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?,” “Hey Tonight,” “Sweet Hitch-Hiker,” “Someday Never Comes,” and “Born On The Bayou,” among many others.
Last January, John Fogerty released a new single and accompanying video, “Weeping In The Promised Land,” which offered up a stark reminder of the devastation and heartbreak Americans faced in 2020, while offering hope for the days to come.
Fogerty said in a statement, “I took a look back at what 2020 has been and tried to get my feelings out about the political climate, Black Lives Matter, Covid and everything else that occurred this year. Friends are dying, we are stuck at home, we are indeed weeping in the promised land.”
Back in November, Fogerty and his kids released the new 12-track album of their quarantine recordings, titled Fogerty’s Factory.
Rounding out the group is Fogerty’s sons and bandmates, Shane on guitar, and Tyler on bass, along with daughter, Chelsea on guitar, brushes, and snare.
The tracklist to Fogerty’s Factory is: “Centerfield,” “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” “Lean On Me,” “Hot Rod Heart,” “Blue Moon Nights,” “Tombstone Shadow,” “City Of New Orleans,’ “Proud Mary,” “Blueboy,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Fortunate Son,” “and “Don’t You Wish It Was True.”
November 2019 saw the release of Fogerty’s latest live collection — 50 Year Trip: Live At Red Rocks.
In 2016, John Fogerty published his autobiography, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music. The book dealt with his early years goring up in Northern California, his breakthrough in the late-1960’s writing all of Creedence’s classic hits, his retreat from the music business and acrimony with his former bandmates — including his late, older brother Tom Fogerty — along with his resurgence as an active recording and touring artist over the past 30-plus years.
John Fogerty told us that his earliest and deepest musical inspiration was the late great Sun Records singer/songwriter/guitarist, Carl Perkins: “He was the first guy, really, that was a great writer, a great singer, and a great guitar player. And, so, in the old days, when I was a kid, I wanted to pattern myself after him because I noticed that he could do everything.”
We asked John Fogerty about the blossoming creativity he was enjoying in the late-’60’s and early-’70s, which even led him the band to release no less than three albums in 1969, alone: “Young people — including who I was then — are quite precocious, immortal; it’s not true but that’s how you feel. I set out to do something and did it, y’know (laughs)? That was my intention. It’s only now, y’know, I’m kind of flabbergasted, that it’s like, ‘wow!’ I mean, I’m not sure. . . If I set out to do that now, I would also know how remarkably rare and almost impossible it is, and that might preclude the effort in the first place. You don’t know that when you’re young, you just kind of go ahead and do it.”
John Fogerty told us he’s constantly amazed at how his Creedence classics seem to pop up in his everyday life: “Very cool things happen when I’m actually incognito. I’ve actually been in a diner in the middle of Wyoming or Nebraska, or someplace. And my little boy is standing there with me, and some dude gets up from the very end of the counter, kinda saunters over to the jukebox, puts in some money, pushes a couple of buttons, and then ‘Bad Moon Rising’ starts. And to have your little boy look up at you, and you both go, ‘huh?'(laughs)”
Fogerty recently reissued his 1985 comeback solo album Centerfield. Although the collection features such classics as “Rock And Roll Girls,” “The Old Man Down The Road,” and the recent Baseball Hall of Fame-inducted title track, portions of the album remain a bit too dated for Fogerty’s liking: “In a lot of ways it’s really interesting, of course there’s several really good songs on there, but as the guy that listened to this again recently as we were remastering it, that sort of thing, I tended to notice somebody went crazy with the electronic drums (laughs). And that’s kind of what stuck out to me. I had kind of forgotten, let’s say the local stylistic choices of the day, y’know, 25 years ago. Some of the things sounded a little foreign to me now.”
John Fogerty told us that out of respect for both Creedence fans and the songs themselves, he tries to keep the song’s live arrangements note-for-note as they were played on the record: “I just feel that because of the fact that my touring, and even my career, has been so interrupted for long gaps of time, I think it’s up to me to kind of reinforce the reverence that I have for those earlier songs — and also, I think the way the audience treats them. So that’s a way of explaining why when I do ‘Bad Moon Rising’ — it still sounds like ‘Bad Moon Rising.'”