Musician John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Monday, 14 November 2005
Presenter: Richard Fidler & Ritchie Yorke
As the Vietnam War dominated headlines and freelove was promoted by the hippies, Creedence Clearwater Revival songs like Bad Moon Rising and Down on the Corner filled the airwaves.
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In fact, from 1968 to 1972, the band had nine top-10 hits in a row. Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) have sold more than 100 million records, which puts them in the elite company of very few rock bands.
The band's singer, John Fogerty, grew up in California and with older brother Tom, started his first band in the late 1950s. In the early 60s they recorded their first single but the record company gave the band the odd name of The Golliwogs. "The people that owned Fantasty Records thought that was way hip... but everywhere we went we had to explain it to everyone," he says. "I mean if you have to explain your name over and over it's probably not a good thing!"
Eventually John Fogerty re-named the group Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band scored eight gold albums between 1968 and 1972, all fueled by Fogerty's rock songs and his poetic lyrics.
But it wasn't always smooth sailing. The band imploded in 1972 amid messy band spats and legal disputes with their record label. The band's lead singer John Fogerty then refused to play any Creedence Clearwater Revival songs in concert. Fogerty was also sued by the Fantasy label for plagiarising his own CCR song Run Through the Jungle in his 1984 solo song The Old Man Down the Road.
But in the 1990, a visit to the grave of 1930s bluesman Robert Johnson changed Fogerty's mind about the ownership of his songs. "I found myself at the purported gravesite of Robert Johnson," the Californian singer explains. "I was facing the tree under which Robert was buried on a hot July day... and he was very successful in 1990 because his album had gone platinum even though he was around in the 1930s."
"I was thinking 'I wonder who owns his songs', because that is something you'd worry about in the modern world. I thought 'probably some lawyer with a cigar sitting in New York City'. I shook my head in disgust," he says.
"But then I thought 'it doesn't matter because Robert is the the spiritual owner of his songs.' So I started to defend his honour. The minute my brain formed that thought I went 'wow that's just like me! I'm in the same boat. I'm the spiritual owner of the songs and people want to hear me play the songs'," Fogerty says.
Due to changes at the helm of the Fantasy label, Fogerty is now back recording at his home label three decades after CCR broke up. Fogerty's new album contains CCR hits like Bad Moon Rising and Down on the Corner, plus his solo efforts like Centrefield.
Fogerty was also part of the Vote For Change tour leading up to the Presidential election in the US last year. He joined up with REM and Bruce Springsteen to play in support of the Democrats. He is currently touring Australia with his family.
The Long Road Home - The Ultimate John Fogerty Creedence Collection (Universal Music).
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John Fogerty's websitehttp://www.johnfogerty.com/Click here for more information