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Where Did The Rest Of Creedence Go?

January 06, 1985|JON MATSUMOTO

As the band's principal songwriter and vocalist, John Fogerty was Creedence Clearwater Revival to most rock fans. But what about the other three members of the group: bassist Stu Cook, drummer Doug Clifford and rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty?

How do they look back on the group? What are they doing now? What do they think about Fogerty's new record?

One thing the three apparently agree on is there are no plans for a Creedence reunion.

"I wouldn't count on it," said Cook by phone from his home in Berkeley.

"Obviously, John doesn't want to bring Creedence back together. Even if he did, I would have my misgivings about such a venture. We just have never been able to recapture the camaraderie that existed when we started out. Why should we get together unless it's just to make a lot of money?"

According to Cook, the demise of Creedence was set off by a sibling rivalry between brothers John and Tom. The latter had been the leader of the group in its pre-Creedence days, but John guided it through its string of hits. Tom eventually began to demand more artistic input, which John was unwilling to grant, Cook says.

Clifford attributed Creedence's breakup to the tumultuous relationship that existed between John Fogerty and the band's label, Fantasy Records. "John and (Fantasy owner) Saul Zaentz had a personal war going," recalled Clifford by phone from his home in Lake Tahoe. I'd rather think positively about the longevity of Crreedence's music."

Despite the strong feelings that Creedence won't get back together, Cook and Clifford believe that the group members are still capable of recapturing their old magic together on a musical level. Both base their opinions on an impromptu reunion they had with John in October of 1983.

"John, Doug and I all played at our high school reunion," Cook recalled. "Doug and I didn't think John would come because he's not a real socializer. But he and his wife showed up and we talked for a couple of hours and had dinner. Then afterward, John came up to us and asked if we wanted to play. We played a mixture of old Creedence tunes and some blues covers that we used to do before we were called Creedence. It all seemed so natural."

Though Cook believes John is responsible for some of the all-time great rock songs, he's less than thrilled with Fogerty's new single, "The Old Man Down the Road."

"From what I've heard on the radio, I am not impressed," he said. "Don't get me wrong. I wish him well. But if he was going to copy an old Creedence tune, he should have picked 'Proud Mary' instead of 'Run Through the Jungle.' If we weren't good enough to play in his band, and this is what he's come up with by playing all the instruments himself, I am glad I didn't play on this album."

Clifford concurred: "I'm kind of disappointed. I expected it to be a little more contemporary. It sounds really stiff. I guess you can't expect much growing if you haven't worked with anyone else in 10 years."

Since Creedence split, the other three have been involved in studio work. Tom Fogerty, who lives in Arizona, has released several albums and, according to Cook, is about to begin work on another. Clifford is also looking forward to recording a solo album this year, in addition to playing drums for a new Doug Sahm album.

Though Cook anchored the rhythm (with Clifford) for Sahm's 1974 album "Groovers Paradise" and produced two Roky Erickson and the Aliens LPs, he spends most of his time now leading a quiet, leisurely life. Besides playing golf and talking to people around the world on his ham radio, he is enrolled in hotel and restaurant management courses at Golden Gate University. Cook, who is considering opening up a restaurant, also spends time recording songs on his four-track recorder and playing rock with local musician friends.

Despite some unpleasant memories over Creedence's breakup, Cook still looks back fondly over his years with the band.

"I miss the feedback and the communication that goes on between audience and entertainer," he explained. "It's something that really gives you a buzz. Playing Woodstock and the Royal Albert Hall in London were definite highlights.

"I think Creedence will be remembered as one of the great bands. That really gives you a sense of accomplishment that (every band member) should have, no matter how things turned out in the end. We really shouldn't be dwelling on how it all came apart."

CREEDENCE'S TOP-10 COMMOTION Here is Creedence Clearwater Revival's string of Top 10 singles, each written and sung by John Fogerty. If the flip side of the record also attracted considerable attention, it is noted.

Record Peak Position Year "Proud Mary" 2 1969 "Bad Moon Rising"/"Lodi" 2 1969 "Green River"/"Commotion" 2 1969 "Down on the Corner"/"Fortunate Son" 3 1969 "Who'll Stop the Rain"/"Travelin Band" 2 1970 "Up Around the Bend"/"Run Through the Jungle" 4 1970 "Lookin' out My Back Door" 2 1970 "Have You Ever Seen the Rain"/"Hey Tonight" 8 1971 "Sweet Hitch-Hiker" 6 1971

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