How John Fogerty Came Up With ‘Green River’ When He Was 8 Years Old
John Fogerty recalled how the original idea for Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Green River” first occurred to him when long before he could play an instrument.
He was inspired not by a body of water, but by the popular lime-flavored soda of the time, which at one point sold better than every other soft drink except Coca-Cola in soda fountains across the U.S. However, it wasn’t the drink itself that provided inspiration, as Fogerty told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“I got the idea when I was eight,” he said. “There was a little pharmacy, a little drug store out at the end of my street, and they had a little soda fountain in there. Eventually, when I got in high school, a lot of my high school friends would come over there and have a sandwich and a Cherry Coke or whatever… But one of the fizzy drinks they could make for you was Green River. They had a little picture – kinda, now, looking back, it looked kinda like the label on Sun records.”
He continued: “I just stared at that thing… ‘I gotta save that.’ I wasn’t really sure why, a song title or what. I was only eight, I wasn’t playing yet – but I think I was speaking about songs.”
“Green River” appeared on the 1969 album of the same name, the second of three LPs Creedence released that year. The single reached No.2 and helped the album hit the top spot, along with another No.2 success, “Bad Moon Rising.”
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