John Fogerty Opens Up About Feuding With Former Creedence Clearwater Revival Members in Memoir Excerpt
Billboard has posted the first excerpt from the book, which is titled Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music and due for publication Oct. 6. In the passage, Fogerty recalls his dismay upon discovering that ex-CCR bandmates Doug Clifford, Stu Cook and Tom Fogerty sided against him in a long-running feud with their old label boss, Saul Zaentz — and describes the lingering bitterness that kept the group from reuniting for a pair of once-in-a-lifetime gigs.
"Way back in 1968, I had made an agreement with Tom, Doug and Stu to be equal partners. I let them share in my songwriting money," claims Fogerty. "At the time, I thought I was dealing with people who understood the responsibility of what we had. But in 1988, they sold their votes to Zaentz for $30,000 each. ... Stu told me, 'I don’t care what they do with the music — just give me the money.' I was disgusted."
Adding insult to injury, Fogerty says the subsequent lawsuit between himself and Zaentz — in which Zaentz essentially accused Fogerty of plagiarizing his own Creedence hit "Run Through the Jungle" with the newer song "The Old Man Down the Road," then a single from his solo Centerfield LP — was sparked by Cook egging Zaentz on.
"My lawyer asked him why he sued. Saul answered, 'Well, that bass player in Creedence, Doug Clifford' — you’d think that Saul could at least remember that Stu Cook is the bass player, since the band had made him a fortune — 'came to my office and played John’s new album.' Stu said, ''John is ripping off Creedence! You should sue him!’' I felt that I had been intentionally stabbed in the back. For Stu to go see Saul — a person who’d cheated and lied and really treated all of us like crap — and do that?"
According to Fogerty, that was the final straw, and he subsequently refused to perform with the other surviving members of the band (brother Tom Fogerty died in 1990). Although he'd later go on record as being at least open to the idea of a reunion, Fortunate Son paints a less forgiving picture, with Fogerty recalling turning down offers to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Bill Clinton's first presidential inauguration. "These guys sold their rights in that band to my worst enemy," he writes. "I said, 'I don’t play with those guys. We will never play as a band again.'"
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