Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, the forthcoming memoir from Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty, tells the singer's version of the band’s fractious history and long legal battle with producer Saul Zaentz. In this exclusive excerpt, Fogerty, now 70, explains why he refused to play with former bandmates Stu Cook and Doug Clifford at CCR’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. (Brother and guitarist Tom Fogerty died in 1990.)
People in a rock n’ roll band very much feel like it’s them against the world. Your parents think you’re wacky -- “Why don’t you get a real job?” The social structure thinks you’re wacky -- you’re not earning any money, and you look funny. All you have is a dream. You’re like guys in a foxhole. You don’t know what the future is, but those present are basically vowing, “Until the day I die, I’m in this thing with you.” Way back in 1968, I had made an agreement with Tom, Doug and Stu to be equal partners. I let them share in my songwriting money. At the time, I thought I was dealing with people who understood the responsibility of what we had. But in 1988, they sold their votes to Zaentz for $30,000 each -- that’s right, thirty pieces of silver. Stu told me, “I don’t care what they do with the music -- just give me the money”? I was disgusted.