Tag Archives: John Fogerty

Rocks In The Attic #823: Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Live At Woodstock’ (1969)

RITA#823One of my favourite moments of 2019 was tuning into an American radio station that was broadcasting the original Woodstock festival in real-time, fifty years to the day. And of course, one of the highlights of that weekend was hearing Creedence’s Saturday night set.

The documentary film Woodstock, directed by Michael Wadleigh, is slightly misleading in its portrayal of the festival. Several key acts are omitted from the film – The Band, The Grateful Dead, Creedence and Blood, Sweat & Tears – and so it’s easy to forget that these bands took part at all.

RITA#823aHearing Creedence’s incendiary 55-minute performance, finally released on vinyl by Fantasy Records in 2019, it’s incredible that the band didn’t appear in the film because John Fogerty thought their performance was sub-par. It’s definitely a no-nonsense set, filled with the highlights of their first three albums, but it’s a blazing performance. Fogerty later claimed that the Grateful Dead, who played immediately before them, sent the audience to sleep. Bloody hippies.

This marks the seventh individual performance in my Woodstock collection. I’m hoping for more releases in 2020, as there are still some big names missing. It can only be a matter of time before CSNY, The Band and The Who, are released, but I’d like to see some of the smaller names get some attention. I have my fingers crossed to get my hands on the sets by Canned Heat, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Joe Cocker.

Hit: Proud Mary

Hidden Gem: Bootleg

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Rocks In The Attic #738: Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Creedence Gold’ (1972)

rita#738Our weekly Wednesday night pub quiz had a great question the other night. There’s a round called The List where you have to, erm, list ten of something. It’s either something boring – the ten longest rivers of the world, or the ten countries with the highest population, for example – or it will be something from popular culture. Ten Tintin books, ten films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ten Oscar nominations for Meryl Streep have been my favourites so far.

I’m waiting for the day that the question relates to the James Bond films…

The trick is that you only get points for an unbroken run of answers, so if you get your eighth answer wrong, you would only get seven points (even if answers nine and ten are correct). In other words, the strategy is to put down your dead-certs first, with anything you’re unsure about down at the bottom of the list.

Last weeks’ question was to name any ten of the twenty-two bands that played at the original Woodstock festival in 1969. Now, I could name ten artists who played quite easily, but the question clearly stated ‘bands’ and so it was much, much trickier.

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Not only could I not remember some of the more obscure band names, but I also doubted how accurate the answers would be. Would they know, for example, that Hendrix’s band on the day wasn’t the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but the little-known Gypsy Sun & Rainbows? In the end, it turns out the quiz company did know this (they even had Hendrix’s second name when he referred to them as a plain ol’ Band Of Gypsies), but I was so confident that they wouldn’t, that I put it down as my tenth answer.

I got a pitiful six correct:
1. The Who
2. Canned Heat
3. Country Joe & The Fish
4. Jefferson Airplane
5. Santana
6. Ten Years After
7. Crosby, Stills & Nash (INCORRECT)
8. Big Brother & The Holding Company (INCORRECT)
9. The Mamas & The Papas (INCORRECT)
10. Gypsy Sun & Rainbows (CORRECT BUT NOT COUNTED)

rita#738bI did some healthy kicking of myself when the answers were read out. CSN was deemed incorrect because the band had been infiltrated by that Canadian interloper Neil Young by August ’69, Janis Joplin’s backing band at that time was the Kozmic Blues Band (having left Big Brother & The Holding Company the prior year), and the Mamas & the Papas was just plain wrong (I didn’t think they played, but thought that they might have been one of the bands not featured on the film soundtrack due to rights reasons, and more importantly my mother-in-law was adamant).

It’s interesting to look at the full line-up outside of the film and the accompanying soundtrack. It feels almost like bands as big as the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival have been written out of history because of their absence from the film.

rita#738cI wondered if their sets were even filmed, before old friend (and Woodstock expert) Moo sent me the link to the Creedence set on YouTube. It’s a ripper of a set, opening with a blustering version of Born On The Bayou. After the first song ends, John Fogerty looks at the cameraman and asks “Is that thing on now?” before the video cuts off. Much of the rest of the set is audio-only, with the video creeping back intermittently.

Is there a songwriter more overlooked than John Fogerty? His name should share the same breath as Brian Wilson, Lennon and McCartney and Ray Davies, but apart from the Dude, nobody else seems to care.

Hit: Proud Mary

Hidden Gem: Born On The Bayou

Rocks In The Attic #472: Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Willy And The Poor Boys’ (1969)

RITA#472.jpgProbably my favourite Creedence record, this is album number four for John Fogerty and company, and their third to be released in an extremely productive 1969. Their first five albums are untouchable in my eyes – Americana at its finest – and for me, the band hits a peak with this record that they continue with 1970’s Cosmo’s Factory.

Just take the only single from the record –  Down On The Corner b/w Fortunate Son. That’s a double-A side single in anyone else’s book. A week after it was released, the Billboard charts changed the way they measured sales for singles with hits on both sides. Too right; Fortunate Son is a great song.

Great songs always get overused by pop culture though, and in the last couple of decades, Fortunate Son has become Hollywood short-hand to portray the inequality of the Vietnam War (Forrest Gump comes to mind). I still love it, regardless.

The one thing that never gets mentioned about Creedence is their absolute groove. They get pigeon-holed into the dusty swamp rock genre, and nobody ever mentions that they’re one of the grooviest bands to come out of the late ‘60s. Suzy Q from the band’s first record showed that they can groove, and their albums are just one great groove after another. I could listen to the groove from Feelin’ Blue for hours and never get bored.

Hit: Down On The Corner

Hidden Gem: Feelin’ Blue

Rocks In The Attic #186: Status Quo – ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ (1977)

RITA#186I’ve grown up all my life thinking Rockin’ All Over The World was a Status Quo song! I regard myself as being a pretty big Creedence fan but I’m shocked to hear it was written and originally released by John Fogerty. Well, you learn something new every day.

I can understand why people don’t like Quo. They really are a one-trick band. At one time I was besotted with the song Caroline, which I still think is very cleverly written from a musical standpoint – but they seem to fall back on up-tempo 12-bar blues far too easily. The only refreshing parts of their music are when they stray from this formula – and unfortunately that isn’t often enough.

This is album number ten, so the formula is well established by this point.

Hit: Rockin’ All Over The World

Hidden Gem: Hard Time