John Fogerty Recalls His Desire to ‘Make America Better’
John Fogerty said the current American political situation is "very similar" to the civil rights era of the '60s and '70s, which inspired many of his Creedence Clearwater Revival songs.
In a new interview with Billboard, he reflected on the fact that he'd been described as "one of America's most politically significant songwriters" at the time.
"Well, I took that stuff very seriously," Fogerty said. "When things seemed unfair and they shook my sense of balance and fairness and equality, I thought in terms of, 'We need to fix this. We need to make America better.' And, of course, in America at that time civil rights was a very high priority among people, young people especially. I think it still is in certain portions of our society."
Asked to compare that era with today's politics, he argued: "There is a very similar situation now. One of the differences, to me at [least], is back in the '60s I always felt the young people – meaning the people that were my age at the time – all felt about the same, kind of left-leaning, liberal, wanted to improve America's civil rights and social rights and stand more for the things that were in our Constitution.
"It seemed like the young people identified with that and the conflict was basically between young people and old people. Nowadays it's not that simple and you'll find even young people in certain political instances or ideologies saying things that certainly I don't agree with, and you'll find young people AND old people on the other side."
Fogerty went on to lament the way political conversations play out in the modern world. "There were people in the '60s and '70s who expressed the conservative side...but you knew they were gentlemen. You knew they perhaps had a different mindset but expressed it pretty eloquently. We didn't throw chairs at each other while we were trying to figure things out. That's the part that's pretty disturbing now; I do not think people listen. I think they just try to say what they're saying louder than the other guy."
He also reported that new music was "in mind" with "a lot of ideas and a few completed songs," adding: "It's the kind of swampy music that I love to do. That's what I’m feeling."