Hey folks, John Fogerty here. You probably know some of my songs from over the years, such as "Fortunate Son," "Proud Mary," and "Born on the Bayou." On my new album "Wrote A Song For Everyone," I collaborate on these songs and more with artists like Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, Brad Paisley, and Keith Urban. I'm very proud of the album and I hope you like it as much as I do. You can buy it now on iTunes and Amazon.

I'm excited to talk to you all and answer any questions you may have. Proof it's me? Verification here.

We're going to get started at 2 PM EST, so start preparing your questions, and I'll stick around for an hour to get through as much as I can. Here's your chance. Ask me anything.

Edit: John has left the building! Thank you all so much for participating. He had a great time answering your questions!

Comments: 1797 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

waslikeyouropinion987 karma

Hello, I'm a big fan. Thanks for doing this!

What exactly does "chooglin" mean?

johnfogerty1416 karma

It was just a fun expression that I made up. It wasn't a real word but I wanted to have a word that sounded kind of like "rockin," "shufflin," "boogie," kind of rock n roll.

mhwtexplode763 karma


johnfogerty2164 karma

My starting point is actually in the second verse. It's an age old struggle and unfortunately it's still with us. Something that probably bothers me more about life in this world and anything else is wealthy, privileged, spoiled rich people have so much power. All you have to do is look at Wall Street and some of the firms, big names on Wall Street, and trace some of the members of those firms directly to the White House. You realize "oh my god, they're running things, no matter which party gets elected." This REALLY pisses me off. I hope someday because of the iternet and fact that we can all be so connected, we are able to put a stop to that and have the common man running things. After all, there are so many more of us.

SaggyBigNutz313 karma

any thoughts of politics? You have my vote..

johnfogerty1416 karma

I have no thoughts about being a politician. It's a thankless job. It seems the only really truthful politicians are done in pretty quickly by their cohorts, the other politicians. It seems to be reelected you have to lie to someone so you will look good to everybody and find yourself agreeing with the largest group of voters. I believe you end up losing yourself because there is so much insincerity. That said, I still go to the polls and vote because that's our privilege, our right and our duty, and I'm perennially disappointed.

norogernorerunnorent727 karma

Back in 1993 you actually were sued for plagiarizing yourself when your former label argued that your solo song, "The Old Man Down The Road" sounded too similar to CCR's "Run Through The Jungle". The case was actually agued before The Supreme Court! What did you learn - if anything - from this experience? Do you think the case had any merit?

johnfogerty2303 karma

Came to trial in 1988. This is a complicated story and I'll try to explain it even tho it gets weirder when I try to type it. I really don't think the case had merit. For instance, when my album Centerfield first came out, I heard a rumor that Fantasy was going to sue me, but at first they were talking about the song Green River. Later they changed their mind to Run Through the Jungle. Seemed they were searching to find something they owned that sounded similar to The Old Man Down the Road. Obviously I finally ended up in a courtroom where I sang a little of both songs and showed how my style on the guitar evolved, making many of the things I do sound similar musically Every artist in the world actually spends a lifetime hoping he will find "a style." That is a style. A musical style. If you're lucky enough to find one, it means you are instantly recognizable to the listener. Byt he way, the case was, I believe, really clear when Fantasy's musical expert played a computerized version of each song with a series of beeps coming out of the speaker. He explained that if the songs were the same, you would only hear one note at the song. If you heard two beeps at the same time, the melodies weren't the same. As we've now come to learn in our internet world where you click the button and there it goes, the man in the courtroom clicked the button. Three notes - same melody. Rest of the way was 2 beeps. I chuckled to myself cause the man had blown his own case. Proved the songs were not similar, but uniquely different. I didn't argue the case in front of the Supreme Court. There was argued my right to get my attorneys fees back. Wasn't built in uniquely in cases like this. The deck was really stacked against me and all songwriters. Fact that they made that ruling is very important for songwriters from now on. Vote was 11-0.

braindamnager574 karma

Hi John! Huge fan, thank you for doing the AMA! I'm a guitarist, and i've always been curious how you got that amazing tone for many of your CCR songs? Your new album is AWESOME! Glad to see you're coming back strong in the music world!

johnfogerty1938 karma

Tone - wow. You spend a lifetime thinking about tone, worrying about tone. I realize here I am probably being a guitar geek and so I may have a selective audience who even worries about this part. I was very lucky back in the day things were still analog, not digital. I formed my values early on from the correct realm. I'm sure you've all heard other artists rant about how digital sucks the life and tone out of their music, and in some ways that's true. I grew up loving the great tone of people like Duane Eddy, Bo Diddley, Chet Atkins, Lowman Pauling from the group The Five Royals. Give yourself a treat - go look up the Five Royals and play these three songs - Think, Don't Let it Be in Vain, and most notably Slummer the Slum. You will have trouble sleeping until you figure those out. Basically, my answer about tone is the simpler, the better. I love to plug in a great guitar, which already sounds good, into a great amp. A handwired point-to-point amp. Vintage "snob, boutique" amps you can get nowadays. Summing it up - first time I picked up a Les Paul custom guitar in Albany, CA, plugged it in to a Fender Blackface Amp (A twin? maybe a deluxe) in 1969, I think February.. I tuned the guitar down to D, kind of like in Proud Mary and Bad Moon Rising. I played one E chord which came out as a D chord. I believe I was on the bridge pickup. The sound that came out was the opening chord of Midnight Special. Even to this day, when I play that chord live in front of an audience, I always take a moment to revel in how great that sounds. The red seas have parted.

mikerout572 karma

What was your experience of Woodstock 69?

For me your performance of I Put a Spell on You is my favorite ever.

johnfogerty1665 karma

Getting to Woodstock was an experience I'll never forget. As we got closer and closer in a helicopter from the holiday inn where we were staying, you could see cars parked on the highways abandoned for miles. Long skinny parking lots. Everyone left their cars and walked. Ive never seen that again in my life. Once on the ground, I felt a sense of trepidation. I was kinda worried that someone might yell "fire!" in a locked club. I was afraid of the prospect of people stampeding or getting anxious about something. Happily nothing like that happened. Everyone had a great time and I followed the Grateful Dead, who put half a million people to sleep. It was my job to warm them up for Janis.

aspbergerinparadise482 karma

What do you think about the song "Fortunate Son" being used on Wrangler Jean ads, where they completely change the meaning of the song (they take out the "it ain't me" part)?

It really pissed me off the first time I heard it.

johnfogerty1385 karma

Hey Mr. Berger. I was really pissed off the first time I heard it, too! I think my reaction was "Oh my God, they turned my song into pants!" Here's the funny part about all of this. Back in the times I was raised, I didn't want my musical stars to be pitchmen selling products. Especially guys with a conscience - Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen... you get the picture. Those guys, myself included, got lots of airplay on the radio. It seemed tawdry to be going after even more money by making commercials. So, here we are in the new millenium. It's much harder for people of my generation, including myself, to get that sort of radio airplay. It's a fact of life, the way the music industry has changed. Some actually believe that the straightest line to getting airplay is to make some sort of commercial with your song in it. Therefore, the new millenium of this brave new world, I have a much more tolerant idea about such things. Oh my god, call me a hypocrite, but I feel the day may come that I will willingly have a commercial with my song in it. By the way, so far, those songs you've heard in commercials have not happened willingly on my part. Stay tuned...

pittsburgfan17364 karma

Thanks for stopping by reddit, Mr. Fogerty. I got the new record yesterday, and it's pretty good. I really like the mini-biographies you have for each song in the booklet. My questions for you are:

  1. Was there anyone you wanted to have on the new record, but couldn't?

  2. Do you ever get tired of playing CCR songs after all these years?

  3. If you had to choose three songs to represent your career, what would those songs be and why?

johnfogerty1053 karma

  1. Yes, but I don't want to reveal who they might be. There were a few. I think it would be unfair to reveal cause it was mostly about scheduling. These are artists I really love, and you never know - maybe I'll get to cross paths with those mystery guests sometime in the future.

  2. Well the actual complete answer is, for a long time I didn't play my early CCR hits because of so much bad feeling between myself and the original record company and also with the other members of CCR. It was a very complicated and confusing and hurtful state of affairs for me. So after meeting my beautiful wife Julie and falling deeply in love and also in love with life in general, my heart re-imbraced that music for all the right reasons, starting with the fact that I had written all these songs in the first place. I am now able to have a very strong affection for this music I created. i love singing Proud Mary, Born on the Bayou, I love singing Have You Ever Seen the Rain with an audience. Its one of the great joys of being a musician, to share that experience with an audience.

  3. First song I would choose is Joy of My Life, because - I know things like this get a little corny to some people, but it's not corny to me. I'm the guy that's living it. In so many profound ways, I'm just grateful my heart was reclaimed by Miss Julie. Second I would have to say Proud Mary amazingly because at the time I wrote it, I just knew it was a really great song. There's a connection there I cant really explain. Theres some kind of mystical knowledge I was given almost like clairvoyance, to see the future even tho I was still living on $20 a week. For some reason, God let me realize this thing was far above what I had ever done before, and someone that everything was gonna turn out OK. I'm sure glad he didn't tell me it was gonna take 40 years! If I had to pick a third, it's a tie between Mystic Highway and Train of Fools. I really enjoy MH for many reasons. In some way, I have the same feeling I did about Proud Mary. Don't know why this song landed on me like this but I'm sure glad it did. At the same time, if this was the olden days, the B side would have been Train of Fools. I must admit the visceral side of me really loves Train of Fools - how it sounds, soulful way it's played, dark mystery of lyrics. It happens to be one of those songs I played in my car for weeks after it was finally done. Hate to admit I do that sort of thing cause I usually don't, but Train of Fools was so rock n roll. I love that song.

Richey_Tenenbaum332 karma

Where did CCR get it's sound? What were some of your influences?

johnfogerty737 karma

The sound of CCR was really a direct result of my musical influences. For instance, I really loved the sound of some of the country artists like Johnny Cash and many of the early Sun Records stars. I think this was probably an influence that wasn't really present in the other guys' backgrounds. I also loved blues and R&B, which we all shared, and some of my heroes had a bit of influence on the overall sound that I wanted to project. For instance, Bo Diddley, Carl Perkins, Hank Williams, Wilson Pickett, and of course the influence of Elvis was everywhere in rock n roll. It' really hard to make a complete answer out of this question. Like most kids my age, just about anything great that happened in rock n roll I was influence by.

gladizh283 karma

Hi John! First of all, thank you for doing this. I am a big fan. I am 18 years old now and I have been playing guitar since I was about 10. You are a big part of the reason I started playing. My name is also John. I am pretty sure my dad named me after you, he is a HUUUGE Creedence fan, and also of your solo career.

The first song he ever taught me was Bad Moon Rising. I know the whole song to this day, my dad plays and sings it every day.

I asked him what he wanted me to ask you and as the goof he is, he told me to ask you if you would like to go fishing with him! So what I am asking for is maybe a picture of you holding up a sign that says

"Hi Mikael, I would love to go fishing with you"

I know it's a long shot but that would mean the world to him.

But other than that I just wanted to thank you. You are my biggest inspiration along with my dad.

johnfogerty672 karma

What a wonderful way to share with your dad. I think that's the greatest feeling in the world. Family is very important to me. The fact you can share your musical interests and fishing with your pop is wonderful. Thank your dad for me for obviously giving you great values, especially fishing, which I would love to do at the drop of a hat any time. My daughter Kelsy began to ask a couple years ago to go fishing. This summer we're gonna get some great fishing time in. God bless you for putting a very great emotional direction in all of this.

mathgod268 karma

Hi John!

Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of my go-to bands when I'm doing karaoke. Thanks for all the great memories!

I am curious as to whether the songs "Proud Mary" and "Down on the Corner" are based on real-life experiences of yours or someone you know, or were they just made up?

johnfogerty872 karma

Hmmm. Well in the case of Proud Mary, the song kind of just landed on me. Sometimes it feels that way, as if you had just tuned a radio station in your mind correctly and some music comes through very clearly. Proud Mary was written directly after I had just been honorably discharged from the Army in 1968. It was sitting on the steps to my little apartment and was a surprise when I opened the envelope. I was so happy, at the height of Vietnam, that I turned a cartwheel on the lawn and went inside and 50 minutes later I had written Proud Mary. Boy was I happy. You may call that a real life experience but not sure what it had to do with a river and a boat.

Down on the Corner, believe it or not, was kind of inspired by seeing an advertisement in the paper one day. It was an ad from Disney that said in great big letters "Winnie the Poo." Something in my brain said "Winnie the Poo and the Poo Boys." Obviously that was close to "Willy and the Poor Boys." As I began to develop this idea it turned into music in that weird mystical almost uncontrollable way music comes to songwriters. Winnie the Poo is still my favorite character who I've shared with my daughter Kelsy since the day she was born, tho she's growing out of it. But I'm not.

iBrowse1193 karma

Were there any songs you wrote where some of your band members or anyone said, no that won't ever be a success, but turned out to be a huge success?

johnfogerty552 karma

Well, I will tell one tale out of school, I guess. I remember showing the band the song Down on the Corner. We were in the studio, now remember that song has a lot of tricky rhythmic parts. At some point, Stu Cook was frustrated with playing the bass line and he said something like "Well this isn't good. It's not even rock n roll." Something like that. As leader of the band, therefore the general that was trying to lead his troops over the hill to victory, there was a large cartoon bubble over my head that said "Didn't come to fight, came to make a record." I kept my mouth shut to provide support and info to get our job done. I will say in hindsight, besides that singular event, a lot of the time the guys really liked the songs I wrote. This was the general feeling until the band got to that stage where a lot of bands find themselves, where the bickering and silliness from within began to get louder than the job of making music.

leggomyeggo644169 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do this John!

I'm 19 and starting a rock n' roll band. What's the best advice you can give on how to enter the industry in 2013?

johnfogerty518 karma

More power to you! Believe in your dream absolutely. Go for it. Now, in all sincerity, and you may find that strange, but when you come to the point where you have bandmates and you think they're the guys you're going to battle with in this musical skirmish if you will, try to get the things you've agreed upon in writing. I am serious about this. I had many agreements with my bandmates way back in the day. Unfortunately those agreements were not in writing. I was counting on everybody's word as a gentlemen. Unfortunately people change and they think their word can change to suit later situations. Oh man, am I sorry about that. Ok, after that disclaimer, my advice is to trust your heart, do the sort of music and material/songs you really resonate with. Don't let someone else control or thwart your dream and your vision. Take advice when you can, but be true to yourself.

GaryOster159 karma

What do you feel defines America?

johnfogerty583 karma

Do you mean then? Or now? That's obviously the answer from an older person with a bit of nostalgia in his heart. I grew up in an America that took great pride in its ability to be the best there was in the world. I feel our citizens still feel that way in their hearts. I do believe we have our talents and our every-man sincerity squandered by our titans and tycoons of business. All you have to say is "China." I'm hoping we will re-discover that pride in workmanship, in service, in an honest day's wage for an honest day's work, which is the slogan we all used to live by. I do remember a time when a person who was doing a chore for you really tried hard to make the customer be first. "The customer always comes first." Nowadays, I realize that almost sounds corny. But I really do hope we get back to those values.

[deleted]149 karma

Hi Mr. Fogerty! Im a big Fan, and im only 21 Have you ever seen the rain? Where did that come from?

johnfogerty494 karma

It was written during a very chaotic time in the life of myself and my band CCR. Literally the song is about the band breaking up. To explain it as clearly as I can, the band seemed to have arrived at a place where we had accomplished all of those amazing goals we had set for ourselves and everything should have been perfect but right at that same time, the guys in the band were voicing louder and louder their dissatisfaction with this thing or that thing, usually tiny things like why cant we each have a separate limo. It seemed to me as if you had a beautiful blue sky, God's perfection, but at the same time it was raining down all the dissatisfaction. The amazing thing is now, when I look back, this song has a really beautiful melody. I thank God for that. It kind of landed on me. The song has taken on a new and joyful meaning for me. It is because the song reminds me of my daughter Kelsy. As you know, she is also the joy in my life. A rainbow, if you will. My song Have You Ever Seen the Rain does have a rainbow in it.

FortunateSon75141 karma

Hi, John - the new album is fantastic! "Train of Fools" is just the latest among many excellent songs you've written about trains - have you had a lifelong interest in them, or are you just attracted to the imagery they evoke?

johnfogerty352 karma

I've had a lifelong interest in trains. I can't really explain it, but there just seems to be something very American about them. At least, some connection to American history. When I was quite young, I remember I was stopped at a railroad crossing and a train was coming. My dad talked about the trin and said something like "Son, trains like that are disappearing quickly and won't be any more like that." Talkin about a steam engine from the 1800s. We were in Montana at the time. Must have been an extraordinary train to see with my father. Trains also represent some mystical escape.

AlexGunslinger134 karma

Congratulations on your new album! In a scale of 1 to 10 I give it a 20!!

I see that you are working with a lot of country musicians, do you always have seen yourself as a country artist?

Whatdo you think is the difference between country music and rock?

How was working with Brad Paisley??

Thanks!! You can answer only one question if you want.

johnfogerty440 karma

Growing up, I was greatly influenced and had great admiration for many country artists. I'm not sure I ever saw myself as a country artist. What I always felt I was, was pretty much a mainstream rock n roll kid growing up, listening to rock radio. In those times when I was young, rock n roll really embraced a lot of other styles of music and simply called it rock n roll. I'd quote people like Carl Perkins, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty- there were so many that seemed to flow in from the country wing of rock n roll. But then again, lots of great artists like Ray Charles, Solomon Burke... and to be a little esoteric, Harry Belafonte, Pete Seger - these were all people who had a different take. We as the audience loved them in rock n roll. I just grew up loving good music. My own tastes were formed by these and many many more great artists. One of the parts of country I've always admired was there seemed to be so many fabulous musicians. Sort of player who sits on his front porch and play mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar, bluegrass kinda wild and crazy pickin on all those instruments. I wanted to grow up and be like Chet Atkins. Rock n roll began as more powerful and louder music. Somewhere in the 70s after Van Halen, who I love, rock n roll embraced technical ability and so we have many great player sin rock field now like Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, lots of great pickers these days. A little off track here, which brings me to present. A guy I really admire and wanted to work with is Brad Paisley. A really nice guy and fabulous guitar player. What's amazing is he could play rock n roll, country - hes one of those artists in between those worlds. If you put a rock band behind him, he wouldn't change a thing and he'd be the greatest rock player in the world. I want to grow up and be Brad Paisley.

lcvg111 karma

Hello big fan here, which artist did you enjoy most to cooperate with on your new album?

johnfogerty256 karma

That answer changes by the minute. When I'm listening to Proud Mary, I remember the wonderful day I had with Jennifer and Allen Toussaint and the New Orleans musicians. Almost Saturday Night - great time with dear friend Keith Urban. When I listen to Fortunate Son, remember incredible experience recording and playing live with the Foos. So much fun. It's a matter of who I'm thinking about at the time. This album was truly a joyful experience, wonderful learning experience for me, and I'm quite certain something I'm gonna remember for a long long time.