When I was 11, my dad took me to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles for a John Fogerty “revisited” show. As usual, I was the only child in attendance, but proud of it. The theater was strangely half empty. About halfway through the concert, we both admitted that John didn’t sound or look like himself. We tried not to judge, but we were a little sad. What was next for him? Would he appear on QVC selling turquoise necklaces?
Overhearing our perplexity, someone leaned over to us and said: “You know that isn’t John Fogerty, right? It’s a John Fogerty impersonator who won a contest to play this show.”
Moral of the story: read the fine print on the tickets.
When we finally did go see John Fogerty, it was worth the wait, but the wounds from that first experience turned to scars. After inadvertently seeing a terrible tribute act, I couldn’t listen to any Creedence Clearwater Revival covers again – until now.
Redemption came when I heard Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit do “Wrote a Song For Everyone” as the opening to his recent show in Illinois. I felt a little glimmer of respect when I started swaying. In this version, the band isn’t trying to sound like John Fogerty, but yet they do just enough without it being too much. Had Jason been the contest winner back in the 1990’s, maybe my dad and I would’ve stayed.
Check out more Creedence covers here. No John Fogerty tribute acts – we promise.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited was just the original bass player & drummer who won the rights to perform the songs after suing John Fogerty for plagiarizing himself. They pleaded that Old Man Down The Road was too similar to Run Through The Jungle. John played both songs in front of The Supreme Court of The United States and won the case. When we saw the real John Fogerty his rendition of Old Man Down The Road had “a little nasty on the fastball” with a superb performance and a guitar solo that was quite “Hendrix-esque”. Yes, read the ticket.