Rekindling the Magic of CCR’s Original Music

When the whole world was swept up by Beatlemania and the British invasion, only a select few US bands boldly averted the Brit-sounding trends, holding to their own spin on rock ‘n’ roll. One such sonic transcendence came from the earnest, minimalistic leanings of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Led by singer/guitarist/ songwriter John Fogerty, the band racked up an extremely impressive 14 Top 10 hit singles from 1968 through 1971.

After this brief stint of rock stardom, Creedence Clearwater Revival disbanded in 1972, leaving behind a trail of legal disputes and soured inter-band relationships. In 1995, Creedence Clearwater Revisited was born from the ashes of this legendary act. Twenty years later, the musical phoenix continues to flourish, paying tribute to a singular sound that can still be heard in car stereos and bars across the country.

Featuring CCR’s rhythm section, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, Creedence Clearwater Revisited succeeds in rekindling the magic of the original tunes. Rounding out the group is singer John Tristao, guitarist Kurt Griffey and keyboardist Steve Gunner. “It feels good. I think this is a more mature band and we honor the music,” Cook said.

Don’t expect to hear new compositions interspersed with the classics at the upcoming Revisited show at the Paramount in Huntington on August 20; it’ll be strictly the classics. “‘Down on the Corner,’ ‘Born on the Bayou,’ ‘Green River,’ ‘Proud Mary,’ ‘Lodi,’ ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain,’ ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain.’ I like all of them,” Cook said. “As simple as the songs are, it’s not an easy thing to play them right every night. You want to play them so that they really mean something.” According to Cook, it’s the fan response that drives this project. “This is our 21st year of doing this. We had no intention of hitting it hard like this from the beginning. We certainly didn’t expect to be doing this this far down the road. As long as people want to hear us, we’ll keep playing.”

In 2011, ex-CCR frontman Fogerty dropped a few hints in an interview that he’d be open to a reunion with his surviving bandmates. But according to Cook, there is no news to report. “I believe he did say something like that, but I think it was one hundred percent insincere.” When referring to his current relationship with the former bandleader, Cook said, “Well, pretty much like it’s been over the years. The current is not a whole lot different. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. We try not to let it dominate our perspective.”

greg prato

greg prato

Greg Prato has lived almost his entire life on Long Island. He has written for Rolling Stone, and has penned many a book on either rock n’ roll or sports. See what he’s up to on Twitter @gregpratowriter.