Creedence Clearwater Revisited, a project started by bass player Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford of the legendary group Creedence Clearwater Revival, will headline Eagle Mountain Casino on March 29 at 8pm.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited began in 1995 when Clifford invited Cook to spend a week at his home in Lake Tahoe, and possibly reconsider his plans to live in L.A.
“We were jamming in my studio with bass and drums,” Clifford told the Voice. “It got very boring actually. We decided we missed playing in a band. We hadn’t played the (Creedence Clearwater Revival) songs in 30-odd years and we missed playing them.”
Clifford and Cook decided to put a band together and perform their old hits at two shows. They continued playing because “we were received so well.”
They quickly learned to only play the old songs.
“If we would come out and play new music, we’d lose our audience,” said Clifford. “Our show consists of 21 songs and they’re all hits. If we threw in an album cut here or there, people would go to take a leak or buy a beer.”
It’s unfortunate that Creedence Clearwater Revisited doesn’t play the old album cuts. There is a song called “Porterville,” written by John Fogerty, that never quite became a hit, but which would have been appropriate for their local show.
“I’m not sure that John Fogerty had ever been there when he wrote it,” said Clifford. “That was almost 50 years ago. It was a very small town then. The idea was about living in a small town and coming from there. I think he liked the sound of the name.”
Clifford said his musical influences were rhythm and blues and early rock’n’roll singers such as Little Richard, Fats Domino and the Coasters. As a drummer, he was inspired by performers like Gene Krupa, Earl Palmer and especially Al Jackson, Jr., the drummer for Booker T. and the M.G.’s.
“We had a philosophical discussion about the drums,” said Clifford about Jackson. “He really helped me more than any other performer.”
The Beatles inspired Clifford and the others in Creedence Clearwater Revival, which was also a four-piece band with bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drums. The band – John Fogerty, Tom Fogerty, Cook and Clifford – signed with their first label in 1964.
“It gave us a renewed faith in what we were doing,” Clifford recalled. “If anyone could come here and become famous playing rock’n’roll, why not us?”
Creedence would become famous, but not for a while. “It took us 10 years from when we started to when we had our first hit,” Clifford said.
The band would go on to have a lot of hits, including “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Lodi,” “Green River,” “Down on the Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Up Around the Bend” and “Someday Never Comes.”
They would also have one of the bitterest breakups in rock history. After the disbanding, John Fogerty stopped associating with his bandmates, including his brother Tom, who died in 1990.
“(John) won’t talk to us,” explained Clifford. “We have to go through his lawyer to talk to him. Lawyers get pretty expensive at $650 an hour. It’s been that way for a decade. It’s not something I think about at all. I have a great band. I put duct tape on my rear view mirror and moved on.”
Even so, Clifford said, “If he called me, I would lift up the phone.”
Fortunately, things are a lot more relaxed with Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
“When we started this in ’95, Stu and I had a five-year plan,” said Clifford, who said that since then, he and Cook renew their decision to continue playing at the end of each year. “This is our 20th anniversary, and I don’t plan to quit anytime soon.”
Tickets are $30 and $40, and are available at www.eaglemtncasino.com or at the casino gift shop. For more information, call (800) 903-3353.