John Fogerty is still at odds with his ex-bandmates who, much to his chagrin, insist on touring under the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
This conflict puts a full-fledged Creedence Clearwater Revival reunion firmly in the no-chance-in-hell category. Fogerty would also probably like to prevent his former record company, Fantasy, from releasing the six-CD Creedence Clearwater Revival box set, scheduled to hit shelves in late October.
Fogerty’s brother Bob, who also serves as his manager, left a phone message Wednesday evening saying, “As of right now, I don’t think John is aware of the box set. I know I wasn’t.” (He did not return follow-up calls, and John Fogerty could not be reached.)
A publicist for Fantasy insisted the new disc package was assembled with the consent of all living former bandmembers (Fogerty’s brother Tom, CCR’s guitarist, died of tuberculosis-related respiratory failure in 1990).
“Given the history of tension the label has had with John, we wouldn’t want to do anything to aggravate the guy,” the publicist, Terri Hinte, said. “And he’s gonna get plenty of songwriting royalties out of this.”
The history includes a lengthy legal battle with the label, which Fogerty said ensnared him in an unfair recording contract in the late ’60s, and a long period during which Fogerty refused to play any Creedence songs in his solo shows.
In 1975, Asylum Records founder David Geffen paid Fantasy $1 million to release Fogerty from his legal shackles, but the conflict was far from over — Fantasy sued the former bandleader 10 years later for defamation of character and plagiarism. In 1988, a jury ruled in Fogerty’s favor, and in 1994, the Supreme Court ordered the label to reimburse Fogerty more than $1 million for attorney expenses.
Between 1968 and 1972, Fogerty drove Creedence Clearwater Revival to nine top-10 singles, including “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary” and “Green River.” The band broke up in 1972, after which Fogerty had some success as a solo artist. He scored a top-10 single in 1984 with “The Old Man Down the Road,” and his 1985 album, Centerfield, went to #1. In 1986 he released the less successful follow-up, Eye of the Zombie, before dropping out of sight for the next 11 years.
He returned in 1997 with Blue Moon Swamp, and is now in Los Angeles working on his sixth studio solo record, according to his publicist.
Two of his former bandmates, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, tour as Creedence Clearwater Revisited with singer John Tristao and ex-Cars guitarist Elliot Easton.
One of the six CDs in the Creedence Clearwater Revival box set features pre-Creedence material, including four tracks by Tommy Fogerty & the Blue Velvets and 12 songs the group recorded as the Golliwogs. Producer Alec Palao assembled the material.
The remaining five discs include “Call It Pretending” (1967), the group’s first song under the name Creedence Clearwater Revival, and all nine Creedence albums: Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968); Bayou Country (1969); Willy & the Poor Boys (1969); Cosmo’s Factory (1970); Pendulum (1970); Mardi Gras (1972); Live in Europe (1973); and The Concert (1980).