How John Fogerty Finally Found Peace With His Late Brother Tom: Exclusive
John Fogerty's disagreements with his former Creedence Clearwater Revival bandmates have become the stuff of legend. Still, he seems to have found some common ground with Stu Cook and Doug Clifford recently, establishing their first joint CCR-related commercial ventures.
The same can't be said for Fogerty's late brother, Tom. Creedence Clearwater Revival's former rhythm guitarist quit a year before they angrily disbanded in 1972, aiming for a solo career. He died in 1990, having never really reconciled with John.
"At some point, I made a point to myself of forgiving my brother," John Fogerty tells UCR. "I just felt like I had to do that because he wasn’t around for me to get to work it out with him. I tried but he was so not connected to reality, all of it that had happened. It was years after he had passed that I kind of kept thinking about it and working on it and thought – certainly, in honor of our mother – I could come to a point where I’m at peace with it, which I did."
Tom Fogerty's best-known album, 1974's Zephyr National, actually featured a semi-reunion of the old band. All four members appeared on "Joyful Resurrection," though John's part was recorded separately. Nevertheless, the album failed to chart. In fact, Tom Fogerty's best-performing solo project was his self-titled debut, which got to No. 78.
The elder Fogerty died at age 48 from complications of AIDS, after receiving an un-screened blood transfusion while undergoing a back procedure. Three years later, Tom was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posthumously, in a moment that laid bare how dysfunctional Creedence Clearwater Revival remained: The other three members were on hand but did not perform together.
Clifford and Cook subsequently formed an offshoot group, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, sparking a legal fight with John Fogerty. It wasn't the last. But Fogerty says he's let all of that go too.
"With Doug and Stu, because they continue to – what's the word – throw another log on the fire now and then, I kinda go, 'Goodness!'" Fogerty says. "But it doesn't really get my old embers flared up anymore. I just accept that that's the nature of it, that's the way that it's gonna be."
Clifford and Cook recently said they plan to retire after completing Revisited's 2019 dates. Fogerty admits he's unsure if they'll join the army of other classic-rock stars who end up reneging on their retirement plans.
"I don’t know any more than anyone else knows," he says. "I can't imagine there would be any kind of trick to it or ploy, but I don't really know."