Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music by John Fogerty, with Jimmy McDonough
Fogerty is proud about his musical skills. He may just be a Dumb Rock Guy, but he wrote and produced all the music of CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival) and launched a successful solo career too. If Fogerty is dumb, it’s being too trusting. He was ill-served by his management, the record company, and any financial advisers he had. Even his brother Tom Fogerty and the other members of CCR managed to screw him over time and time again. He can’t let it go (I don’t blame him), so this book is his chance to set the record straight as he sees it. Time, a new wife, (and deaths) have healed some of his wounds, but he still carries the scares.
Excerpts From My Kindle
I felt guilty about my success. I always felt guilty about it. I was kind of sheepish about having money after not having any for so long. I knew inside that I could buy things, but I also had a sense about not being flamboyant or showy. – location 2747-2748
The flip side of “Travelin’ Band” was “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” That’s really kind of a protest song, but I imagine a lot of people don’t look at it that way. I was going at it sideways. With I went down Virginia, I’m talking about Washington, DC. I watched the tower grow is their Tower of Babel. I’m talking about BS, really. Political spin. I think that song was done enough like a fable that you don’t necessarily have to know what it all means or even worry about it. – location 2771-2774
I used to say that there were four ingredients to a great rock and roll record. First, have a distinctive title. Next, the overall sound of the record has to be cool. Almost as if you could take a snapshot of the sound and look at that photo. Picture the difference between “Smoke on the Water” and “My Girl”. Different, but they both sound fantastic! Three, you have to have an exceptional song. And finally, the very, very best ones will have a killer guitar riff. That’s the icing on the cake. – location 2847-2850
I explained that there is a certain chord I play that’s really kind of swampy. You play an E7 chord at the seventh fret on the guitar. You have both a low-E and a high-E string ringing out. They are open, not held down like the other strings. This gives the chord a chime-y, sustaining sound with a bit of dissonance or mystery to it. Then if you kind of smash or slur your fingers over to the next strings, you get sort of a sustained A chord with elements of the E still there. You don’t hold it there, you just accent it there. It gives the music an eerie feeling. My colors, kind of my invention. At least I feel that way about it. Basically, this trial was all about style, my style of music, swamp rock. And if one guy can own another persons artistic style for the rest of his life, it would be a horrible thing for every artist. – location 4286-4292
Nick Clainos had this to say: “Saul was charming. He played the role of the simple, easy going businessman who had the law on his side. John was the fanatic who was complicating things. At least initially, Bill and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. We had been scammed by one of the best, this guy Saul Zaentz. Saul did in fact agree to an arrangement; he did receive money. Ultimately he reneged. Saul just stopped taking our calls. He’d gotten what he wanted: his pound of flesh from John. Saul screwed John Fogerty again.” – location 5721-5724