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CCR’s Famous Front Man, John Fogerty
Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) was a quite possibly one of the most popular American bands in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. They enjoyed huge success in the United States and after the Beatles split up, they picked up even more momentum and became world famous. They group consisted of John Fogerty, Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford. The group released seven albums and a myriad of hit singles in just 4 short years.
CCR was responsible for giving us songs like Bad Moon Rising, Proud Mary and Who’ll Stop the Rain. They were just about one of the only groups able to resonate with hippies, rednecks and country fans. Bruce Springsteen once stated, “They weren’t the hippest bad in the world, just the best.” Quite a complement coming from Springsteen.
As you may know, John Fogerty was the front man of CCR. He was a driven and ambitious young man to say the least. When he was just 14 years old, Fogerty formed his first band called, The Blue Velvets. Eventually, they signed with Fantasy Records and were renamed, The Golliwogs. Shortly after the group was renamed, John Fogerty was drafted into the Army Reserve. During that time, he began his epic songwriting.
Fogerty was always a very socially in tune and responsible with his music. His mission was not only to make music but to make sense of music. His songs were written with compassion and moral clarity. He was well known for writing songs in protest of the Vietnam War. He was a very powerful influence.
After Fogerty was discharged from the Army Reserves, the band regrouped and became known as Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). The Group had a new name (thank goodness) but was without a publicist, manager or producer. The music label that they were signed with was almost obscure, so they knew they had their work cut out for them. They would either succeed or fail on their own merits. Fogerty, being the most ambitious, stepped up to take the lead. Each of the four men had quit their day jobs to focus solely on their music career. Fogerty’s insightful songwriting and leadership catapulted CCR to the best success the four men ever knew as a group; even being invited to perform at Woodstock.
Fogerty was religiously dedicated to his music and most other things in his life took a back seat to it. He was somewhat of a control freak and workaholic which was awesome for the band’s success. Unfortunately, in the process, he destroyed the personal relationships he had with the other band members, which ultimately led to the band splitting.
Following the band’s split, years of legal battles and bitterness ensued. Fogerty had even fallen out with his brother, Tom. Fortunately, he was able to come to terms with it before Tom died in 1990.
At some point, the pain subsided for Fogerty and he had a change of heart. He was tired of living in a cloud of negativity. His music career took a break but he never stopped being talented. After getting out of his funk, he went on to write and release several other great songs. It was somewhere around 1997 when he began to embrace the old CCR songs. It was a kind of healing that had taken place. Unfortunately, when it was all said and done, he realized that he robbed himself of a lot of happiness.
John Fogerty wants the world to know that he is not that miserable, angry and bitter person he once was. He reports that he is very happy and wants his fans to know that!
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