Fogerty Freakin’ Rocks
John Fogerty came to town last Sunday to Cruzan Amphitheatre and played an amazing show. The name of his current tour is entitled 1969. The reason for this is because 1969 was the year that Creedence Clearwater Revival put out three albums. The ability to put out three albums in one year is rather astonishing when you look at the fact bands only put out one record a year today. Before Fogerty came on there was this little documentary that talked about CCR, as well as what the year 1969 was like. It was interesting to watch because it also had Fogerty talking about who he listened to as a kid. Fogerty also talked where he gets his ideas, as well as how long it tkaes him to write a song. In the documentary Fogerty also spoke about how CCR loved the song “Suzie Q”. This was all it took for them to cover the song.
He came out guns loaded with “Born on the Bayou”. A big hit right from the getgo. He certainly got everyone’s attention with this one. Then it was on to “Travin’ Band”, “Suzie Q”, and then into “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”. “Looking Out My Back Door” has a catchy stuck-in-your-head chorus, which I really like. Fogerty, not only played but he told some really interesting stories. The first, and my favorite of the whole evening, was his Woodstock story. He explained that he got a call and was asked if CCR would play at Woodstock. The booking agent stated to Fogerty that his slot would be at nine o’ clock on Saturday night. To me, as well as the rest of the audience, this was a deal because it was a prime time spot. “The only thing they didn’t tell me”, said Fogerty, “was that I would be following The Grateful Dead”. So the Saturday of Woodstock comes and it gets to be about six o’ clock when Fogerty realizes that there’s about five more bands to go before The Dead come on. There’s no way he’s going to be on at nine o’ clock. Soon enough midnight rolls around and The Dead finally make their way onto the stage. Then at two in the morning it comes time for Fogertty to play. He races out to the stage to see all the people, but he finds them all asleep. Not only were they all asleep, but they were all naked and it was raining. After Fogerty introduces the band and thanks Woodstock for having them, he notices a guy all the way in the back. The only reason he could see this guy was because the guy had a lit lighter in his hand. The man hollard, “we love you”. “That inspired me to write this song”, Fogerty ended. With that he went into “Who’ll Stop the Rain”.
Fogerty did a few covers throughout the evening, but the most memerable were “Midnight Special” and “I Heard it Through the Grape Vine”. The band slowed it down and sang backup on “Midnitght Special”, which sounded really seet. “I Heard it Through the Grape Vine”, on the other hand, was just killer. His piano player Bob Malone, was outstanding on this number. Fogerty and the rest of the band just let him go at it, making their verison sound amazing.
The covers were fun, but one of my other favorites was a song called “Mystic Highway”. This tune took Fogerty about thirty years to write. Fogerty stated that the reason it took so long was because he didn’t know how to say what he really wanted to, at the time he came up with the idea for it. This song has got really interesting rhythums to its chorus and verses, but when Fogerty got around to the bridge, the song completely changed. The song changed from sounding like a trippy rock song, to having a very gospely and old-timy feel to it. At one point I wasn’t even sure if I was listening to the same song anymore. Besides having the old-timy feel the bridge also has backup sining on it, as well as clapping for its rhythum.
Besides having Bill Malone on keys, other players in the band, that stood out to me were, Shane Fogerty and Kenny Aronoff. Shane Fogerty is one of his two sons and an amazing guitar player. Fogerty talked all about his family and how his wife Julie straighted him out and they began a family. Shane, not only plays with his dad, but also has a band of his own. Aronoff, on the other hand, is an amazingly talented drummer who’s been around for years. Now he’s out on the road with Fogerty. His drumming was mighty impressive when they got around to doing “Fortunate Son”. Fogerty decided to speed up the song’s already fast tempo. Aronoff really held it together.
When it came time for the big hits he started with “Down On the Corner”. The version of this was interesting because Aronoff began it with just the cowbell, then the bass came in. When they started “Fortunate Son” the stage was full of red, white, and blue lights, which was a great idea. Then it came time for “Centerfield”. I love this tune, but I may love the guitar he plays during it a bit more. This guitar is made out of a baseball bat and is only played during this song. The only other guitar that comes close to this , in terms of cool themed guitars, is the flaming guitar that Cheap Trick uses for “Gonna Raise Hell”. The encores were “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary”; both were great.
While Fogerty has some cool tunes and had a steller band that evening, I think the most amazing thing is that his tone hasn’t changed. It hasn’t gotten lower, nor did he sound out of tune, flat or sharp at any time. This was certainly a greatists hhits show, but I’m glad he through in songs like “Mystic Highway” and “i Heard it Through the Grape Vine”. Reason for this is because they move slightly away from the theme of the show. Anyone who gets a chance to see him should. He’s doing CCR material, so how could you go wrong?