John Fogerty talks about the highs and lows of songwriting.
John Fogerty admits he still hits the same songwriting highs and lows as he did back in his Creedence Clearwater Revival days. Fogerty, whose joint “Blues & Bayous” tour with ZZ Top is already barnstorming across North America, features Fogerty and Billy F. Gibbons performing their new single “Holy Grail,” which was released last Friday (June 8th).
With over 50 years worth of classics that have become embodiments of post-war American culture, we asked Fogerty how he comes to terms with writing the songs we all live by. “Well, I’m very proud of that — and I’m obviously the songwriter — and when you’re able to create something from nothing it’s very special, it’s also quite mystical. Whenever I start up again and start writing, I always have to go through this same process and it’s frustrating and anxiety-ridden. Meaning, when you try and start to write then the first stuff you do is really crap. And then you do some more stuff — and it’s really crap. But you gotta to keep sitting down as if you’ve have a day job at this every day and you’re doing this job, which is writing songs, for days and days and days — sometimes months.”
Fogerty went on to explain that when the muse and the groove come together — like it did for “Fortunate Son” — it’s an almost otherworldly experience. “It was just the happiest of things that that first line was ‘Some folks are born. . . ‘ — and then I said something. That gave me a way of accessing the next thought in the next verse. Where did that come from? I don’t know. And I didn’t know it was comin.’ But, the fact that it did that afternoon when I did that, for ‘Fortunate Son,’ it meant that I was just flyin’! All the stuff just changed. That one took about 20 minutes.”
John Fogerty and ZZ Top tour dates (subject to change):
June 12 – Chicago, IL – Venue TBA
June 13 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
June 14 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
June 16 – Southaven, MS – BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove
June 17 – Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
June 19 – Youngstown, OH – Covelli Centre
June 20 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Heath at Jones Beach Theater
June 22 – Gilford, NH – Bank of NH Pavillion
June 23 – Canandaigua, NY – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
June 24 – Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion
June 26 – Mt. Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort (with Willie Nelson)
June 27 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
June 29 – Welch, MN – Treasure Island Resort & Casino
July 26 – Sacramento, CA – Papa Murphy’s Park (ZZ Top only)
June 30 – Fort Dodge, IA – “Shellabration” at Harlan Roger’s Sports Complex (ZZ Top only)
October 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20 – Las Vegas, NV – Encore Theater At Wynn Las Vegas (John Fogerty only)
October 25 – London, England – “Blues Fest” at The O2 (John Fogerty & The Steve Miller Band)
Some Fogerty Side Notes:
In October 2015, John Fogerty released his autobiography, Fortunate Son – My Life, My Music. As expected, the subject of his former Creedence Clearwater Revival bandmates — late older brother Tom Fogerty, and John’s high school best friends Doug Clifford and Stu Cook — weighs heavily in the story, along with their very public allegiance to Fantasy Records owner, and John’s eventual nemesis, Saul Zaentz.
Fogerty’s latest album, 2013’s Wrote A Song For Everyone, which was several years in the making, features collaborations with Bob Seger, Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Tom Morello, Jennifer Hudson, and Allen Toussaint.