July 26, 2006

The perfect rock star

Let's build the perfect rock star, shall we?

For looks, we'll start with David Bowie.

For sheer stage presence, you gotta go with Mick Jagger.

For guitar pyrotechnics: Eddie Van Halen, of course.

And for voice? Well, that's the easiest choice of all: John Fogerty.

And I'm talking present-day Fogerty, too.

He may be 62, but the rock god's pipes haven't aged a day since his 1968 coming-out party with Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fogerty's well-worn voice has always had that ragged strain, that born-on-the-bayou twang, that high-note howl that can still send shivers.

I was lucky enough to see Fogerty in an intimate D.C., club a couple years back, and I was astounded at how he can still sound so remarkably relevant, especially when he performed Fortunate Son and Who'll Stop the Rain, antiwar roundhouses as vital and cutting today as they were during Vietnam.

Slow songs, fast tracks, monumental jams: Fogerty's voice forever sounds on the verge of breaking down, of blowing out. But it doesn't. It just keeps raging.

- SEAN DALY, Times pop music critic


No comments: