The summer touring combination of John Fogerty and ZZ Top has resulted in a “Holy Grail” musical moment.
Fogerty and ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons have joined forces for a gritty, shuffling new rocker called “Holy Grail” written by Fogerty that will be released digitally on June 8 and is the first track from Fogerty’s next album, which he’s currently writing and hopes to record this fall.
Fogerty tells Billboard that the song was the result of a short session he and Gibbons did during late February and posted on Facebook to promote the tour, which kicks off Friday in Atlantic City. “We played short versions of a few of each of our songs,” Fogerty recalls, “and even before that, as the (tour announcement) was going to happen I began to think, ‘Y’know, we ought to write a song and record it kind of in honor of this tour.'” The two men met up at Fogerty’s house not long after that, though he wound up doing the heavy lifting due to Gibbons’ schedule, with the song finally finished just a few days ago.
“Billy was really busy during this time, and I think I might have grabbed the reins at some point because…I was starting to feel the deadline for our tour coming,” Fogerty explains. “I got a track recorded and then Billy came in and put his voice and guitar on it. I probably would’ve had this thing come out two months ago, but we haven’t quite started the tour yet. So by this Friday we’ll start to really groove on the song.”
It’s not hard to figure out where “Holy Grail’s” lyrics come from, either. “It just occurred to me that standing on a stage somewhere playing guitar with Billy Gibbons, that’s gonna be the Holy Grail,” Fogerty says. “I wanted to write a song about the Holy Grail, but of course I’m not so specific in the song.”
Gibbons feels much the same way about playing with Fogerty, saying in a statement that, “It’s not an overstatement to say that writing a song with John Fogerty is a genuine bonus. It’s fair to say that John and I are both pumped about our collaboration and we think this new one called ‘Holy Grail’ holds true with some great storytelling and some solid guitarist movin’ the number right along. It begs a shout of, ‘Turn it up!'”
Fogerty says he expects the joint tour to be “a lot of fun” and plans to play “Holy Grail” with Gibbons, and hopefully more. Fogerty will be taking out the horn section that accompanies him at his Las Vegas residencies, and he plans to keep working on his new album — his first since 2013’s Wrote A Song For Everyone — while he’s on the road.