By Kevin C. Johnson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch –
ST. LOUIS — When Creedence Clearwater Revival called it quits in 1972, that looked like the end for the rock band that gave us “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” and “Susie Q.”
And if lead singer-songwriter John Fogerty had his way, the end might have been more permanent.
But the band’s rhythm section of bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford had other ideas, re-banding with different players in 1995 to form Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
Their mission is to keep the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival alive.
“Fogerty doesn’t like it; he thinks it’s terrible, probably because it’s interfering with his job,” Cook says. “We agreed in 2001 to stop arguing and fighting about it, but it still gets under his skin — probably because we’re better.”
Cook remembers the original band’s last days as unhappy ones.
“The band was in a tailspin, and the end was imminent,” Cook says. “We weren’t enthusiastic about it in the end. We’d crashed and burned and stayed in that condition for many years.”
The impetus to form Creedence Clearwater Revisited came in 1993, when Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cook says Fogerty dissed the band at the ceremony — Fogerty performed live with the house band that night, and Cook reportedly walked out during the performance.
“We were left with that to ponder,” says Cook, who admits the evening subconsciously laid the groundwork to do Creedence Clearwater Revisited. “A couple of years later we (he and Clifford) ended up living in the same small town and hanging out, and we started to do the Revisited.”
The idea of Creedence Clearwater Revisited was initially met with disbelief from fans and critics — how could they go on without Fogerty? Cook says Fogerty was asked to be part of the reunion, but he declined.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited didn’t get much work its first year, only performing a half-dozen shows. By the second year, Revisited played more than 100 shows and is going strong.
The band’s recording output hasn’t been huge, however. Its first album, “Recollection” (2008), was a double album of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs performed by Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
“We had no plans to record an album, but popular requests from fans changed our minds on the topic,” Cook says. “It eventually turned into a platinum album, which surprised me.”
Revisited isn’t interested in adding new songs to the catalog.
“The original band had such a great legacy and a great collection of songs, and we didn’t think that was the premise of the new project,” Cook says. “We’re here to honor and celebrate the original band, and it doesn’t fit adding new material to the mix.”