John Fogerty Prepping Autobiography, Career-Spanning Box Set For 2015

Nela Koenig
John Fogerty

The rock legend discusses the 45th anniversary of his amazing 1969 run.

After celebrating some of the most glorious of his glory days in Canada this fall, John Fogerty is looking forward to bringing the party south of the border, and maybe even beyond, in the new year.

Fogerty's critically lauded 17-show Canadian tour, which wrapped up Nov. 29 in Victoria, B.C., was designed to commemorate the 45th anniversary of his triumphant 1969 with Creedence Clearwater Revival -- three Top 10 albums ("Bayou County," "Green River" and "Willy and the Poor Boys," which all went multi-platinum), four Top 5 singles and the distinction of out-selling the Beatles during that 12-month span. The shows included the bit hits, of course -- including "Proud Mary, "Bad Moon Rising, "Green River" and "Down on the Corner" -- but also let Fogerty and his band dip into rarities such as "Ramble Tamble," "Keep On Chooglin' " and covers of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu."

"It's been a lot of fun, a really enjoyable presentation," Fogerty, who credits his wife and manager Julie with the idea. "It's one thing to talk about something or envision it, but when you get it into real life, well...You know how it is when you talk to your wife — you'll hear something and then life gets busy and you'll go on to something else. But Julie was always intrigued with the idea of presenting it in its time and talking about the era and all of that, because that year was certainly a momentous year in my career and development, and of course with the band, Creedence."

Nevertheless, Fogerty says he always took 1969's achievements in stride. "I always just looked at it as, 'Yeah, that's what happened,' " he explains with a laugh. "At the time I wasn't surprised — I set out to do something  and then did it. It's only now I realize how remarkably rare and almost impossible that is, but that's the magic of being naive and innocent and just sort of going, 'OK, here's what I'm gonna do...' "

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Fogerty is now looking forward to bringing the show, which also included some of his more recent solo material, to the U.S. in the new year. "One thing I noticed is that even though you usually say, 'this is the production' and keep it that way, with this it almost immediately started to evolve because of the subject matter, and I can really see it as being even more developed than it is now,” he explains. “You don't really want to be overloading your audience with too much input, and especially not too much talking; it's supposed to be a concern, not a science project. But it's fun, and I'm one of those people who actually experienced that era, so I'm at least qualified to tell about my own experiences, anyway."

Fogerty will be doing that in the new year as well with an autobiography he started working on in 2013 and hopes to complete and publish before the end of 2015. "I'm in the middle of digesting it," Fogerty reports. "It's finished, but it's not done. I'm going through it and figuring out what should have more emphasis and what should have less. So right know I'm knee-deep in that process.” And, he promises, it will be a revealing tome. "I'm just being brutally honest. I'm not trying to shock or surprise anybody, about my own mistakes and certainly the mistakes of others. But I'm not running for president or anything, so I'm not white-washing the life that I've lived."

Fogerty will also be exploring his past with a career-spanning box set that's due out in 2015 and is currently being assembled. But new music is in his crosshairs, too, though he says there are "not quite specifically songs yet, but the textures of the sound of the music, and that sort of thing takes shape for me. I do practice a lot or have a guitar in my hands every day, so ideas develop from that."


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