Entertainment

Original CCR members keep rolling with Revisited

John Law

By John Law, Niagara Falls Review

Original Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook, centre, and Doug Clifford, second from right, continue the tradition with Creedence Clearwater Revisited. They play Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort Wednesday and Thursday. PHOTO: Submitted

Original Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook, centre, and Doug Clifford, second from right, continue the tradition with Creedence Clearwater Revisited. They play Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort Wednesday and Thursday. PHOTO: Submitted

It's a question Stu Cook has been hearing since the early '70s. Every few years, it picks up more steam: Will the original Creedence Clearwater Revival ever reunite?

For Cook, the legendary band's original bassist, the answer has always been certain: An emphatic no. CCR went through one of rock's most acrimonious splits, and the past 45 years singer John Fogerty and the other founders have traded insults and law suits. To the point Fogerty refused to perform with Cook and drummer Doug Clifford during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1993.

And yet, it was Fogerty who hinted he would at least consider a reunion “if someone started talking.”

Cook can't help but chuckle when the subject comes up. For CCR, there is no waffling about a revival.

“Never,” he says, sternly. “John can waffle, John can toast, he can pancake, he can donut...there's no chance that we'll ever play with John again. He's just not our kind of people. We all grow up in different ways. Sometimes we grow closer, sometimes we grow apart. There's nothing about John that makes me want to have any personal relationship with him.

“I don't mind doing business with him. Creedence is a great legacy and should be celebrated and honoured every day. But personally, he's not my kind of guy.”

Since 1995, Cook and Clifford have continued as Creedence Clearwater Revisited, playing the Niagara Fallsview Casino Oct. 4 and 5. As half of the original band, they've battled Fogerty in the press and in the courtroom for the right to play their songs. A catalogue that includes classics like Fortunate Son, Who'll Stop the Rain and Bad Moon Rising.

All songs Fogerty wrote, which he also performs regularly.

Shortly after Cook and Clifford formed the new CCR - 'Revisited' being the key word - Fogerty sued to force a name change. The court eventually sided with Cook and Clifford.

In his 2015 book Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, Fogerty dismissed the band as frauds: “Why am I the guy who's got to go spend the rest of my life battling this crap so that this stupid charade that calls itself Creedence Clearwater Revisited won't be allowed to foist its phoniness on an unsuspecting public?”

But Cook has always maintained CCR was a band – not just the Fogerty show. He may have written the songs, but they were all responsible for that classic, swamp-blues sound.

Cook laughs when asked if he'd be happy to never see a lawyer's letter again.

“Extremely,” he says. “There's no joy there at all. It's expensive, and at the end of the day, not that satisfying. Because it's never going to end the way you'd like it. It's always some kind of compromise that 12 strangers figure out for you, right?”

In addition to Cook and Clifford, the current Creedence line-up features guitarist Kurt Griffey, keyboardist Steve Gunner and new singer Dan McGuinness.

The band has lasted 17 years longer than the original CCR, and Cook says the reason is obvious: The songs endure, and are still fun to play.

In some cases, they're even more relevant. Feel like you're hearing Bad Moon Rising more than usual lately? Might have something to do with the song's apocalyptic theme, which feels entirely appropriate for 2017.

“Maybe it's about the weather!,” says Cook. “I don't know that it's ever been inappropriate, but yeah, you could say there's some things going on. 'Earthquakes and lightning,' the lyric is? It's certainly trying to get our attention, huh?”

jlaw@postmedia.com

  • WHO: Creedence Clearwater Revisited
  • WHERE: Niagara Fallsview Casino
  • WHEN: Oct. 4 and 5, 8:30 p.m.
  • TICKETS: Start at $40 www.ticketmaster.ca

 



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