John Fogerty Questions Timing of Former Bandmates’ Retirement
Creedence Clearwater Revival's surviving members may have founded a new joint company to further the brand, but that doesn't mean they're exactly friends again.
Bassist Stu Cook now admits he and drummer Doug Clifford only speak to former frontman John Fogerty through lawyers. Fogerty, meanwhile, is questioning the timing of a retirement announcement for their offshoot band.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited, launched in 1995 in the wake of a public rift with Fogerty at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recently said they'd be leaving the road after completing this year's scheduled dates. That was just as Fogerty got set to start a new Las Vegas residency, called My 50 Year Trip, at the Wynn's Encore Theater.
“Isn’t that funny?" Fogerty told Rolling Stone. "They could have said it two weeks ago or the day after next week. But it's them dogging my career, so it's not unusual."
Still, Cook said the founding of Creedence Clearwater Revival LLC – a joint adventure which will oversee the first-ever line of band merch – marks a notable turning point.
"It's not what most people would call a reunion, but it's still a milestone,” Cook said. "It's a landmark in our relationship, given how it's not been a thing of beauty the last 45 years. There's still a lot of stuff to iron out, but things are functioning more like they should. There's more trust. From my perspective, it bodes well that we can at least have all the water and mud and shit under the bridge."
Cook and Clifford's Revisited project has now lasted almost two decades longer than the original Creedence, who were together from only 1968-72. The lawsuits began in 1986, as Fogerty challenged their use of a similar name in court. He initially won an injunction, and Revisited were briefly re-branded as Cosmo's Factory. An appeals court later ruled in Cook and Clifford's favor, restoring the name but giving Fogerty a cut of the proceeds.
Cook, Clifford and the estate of the late Tom Fogerty also filed a 2014 suit against John Fogerty, claiming trademark infringement over a series of album-length performance concerts. John countersued in an effort to collect unpaid royalties going back three years. "We stopped paying him," Cook told Rolling Stone. "We thought, 'Why should we pay you when you're taking these kind of un-allowed liberties?'"
So, the idea that the remaining trio was working together in any capacity – much less on a series of projects that could include the release of Creedence Clearwater Revival's complete Woodstock performance – seemed like very big news, indeed.
Fogerty, however, is making it clear that issues remain. "I don't follow them on Twitter or anything," he fired back.