ROCK N’ ROLL ICON JOHN FOGERTY KICKS OFF SEASON FOUR OF THE BIG INTERVIEW, WITH AN ALL-NEW EPISODE PREMIERING TUES., JAN. 12, AT 8pE
AXS TV kicks off season four of THE BIG INTERVIEW with an all-new episode featuring legendary Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and beloved Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty, on Tuesday, January 12, at 8pE. During the eye-opening hour-long discussion, the rock n’ roll icon sits down with Dan Rather to provide an in-depth look at the early days of Creedence, the inspiration and creative process behind the classic hit “Born On The Bayou,” and a doubting club manager who just didn’t get it.
While the interview covers the creation of a myriad of hits, including the CCR staple “Proud Mary,” one of the most memorable anecdotes comes courtesy of Fogerty’s experience crafting the unforgettable foot-stomper “Born On The Bayou.” Taking viewers back to that evening, Fogerty explains, “The song had its genesis, really, at a sound check where Creedence was kind of a fresh, new name. This was only after ‘Suzie Q,’ it’s in 1968. And we were gonna get to play at the Avalaon Ballroom, in San Francisco. We were like seventh on the bill… and this was our first really big thing in San Francisco.”
Far from the headliners they would become, the band was placed into the opening spot on the lineup—a usually unceremonious position to be in, but one that provided them with a unique opportunity that night. Fogerty says, “When you’re the last person on the bill, you’re also the last person to do sound check. Because that means they can just leave your equipment up and, an hour later, they just open the doors and there you are. ‘Cause, if you’re last on the bill, you’re first to play in front of the audience, ya know. So, we were right in the middle of our sound check, probably at 20 minutes before they’re gonna open the doors. And, suddenly, this inspiration came to me.”
Fogerty illustrates how this simple warm-up exercise transformed into one of the band’s trademark pieces, saying, “I’ve got my amplifier doin’ the vibrato thing, it’s that shaky kinda sound, which has always been kind of Voodoo-y sounding. And, I start playing a certain E chord on my guitar, and I just holler to the band, ‘Doug, just play this beat!’… And I’m just inspired. I start shouting out all these nonsense vowels, just consonants and vowel sounds, no words. I do that a lot… I still do it. Because… you don’t have to worry about words. It helps you get an essence going.”
Though inspiration was striking Fogerty at this moment, one particular club manager failed to see the magic that was being created on his stage—a fateful moment that would stick with Fogerty throughout his legendary career. He reveals, “So, I’m right in the middle of this sort of noisy [mimes playing and singing]. And, suddenly, everything stops… the stage manager has pulled the plug on my amplifier and everybody else’s amplifier. It’s just dead silent. And, ya know, I was pretty turned on and excited, and [I said], ‘Why’d ya do that?’ And he says, ‘Oh, man… you gotta get outta here, it’s time to quit… and, besides, you’re not going anywhere anyway.’ Now, maybe you can say that to a lot of other people, but he said that to me. And, I just looked at him and I said, ‘Ok, buddy. You give me one year, and I’ll tell you whose not goin’ anywhere!’”
Those words would turn out to be more prophetic than even Fogerty, himself, could imagine. He continues, “It was literally a year later that the band had become so big, we really couldn’t play that place anymore. Ya know, in that one-year’s time, out came ‘Proud Mary,’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising,’ and ‘Green River,’ and I guess three albums, and ya know we were really on our way. But… I didn’t know any of that. I was just sort of reacting to this guy having the audacity to squash me that way, ya know. So, I reacted. And I would sit up in my little apartment at night and just stare at the wall, and try to imagine songs. And, at one point, I started imagining the Bayou. And I could hear that sound, ya know, that I had created at that place… and, slowly, the two of them morphed into one song.”
To see more of this in-depth episode, be sure to tune in to THE BIG INTERVIEW on Tuesday, January 12 at 8pE, only on AXS TV.
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