Monday, May 28, 2012

Music Monday ~ John Fogerty

Today's the birthday of John Fogerty, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, formerly of the famous 1970s band Creedence Clearwater Revival (aka CCR), photograph below. I'm glad that I can feature this artist today, Memorial Day. He's a songwriter who has made his feelings clear about war. Here for instance:
I Can't Take It No More

Stop talking about staying the course
You keep a-beating that old dead horse
You know you lied about how we went to war
I Can't Take It No More


Deja Vu
Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you try to read the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again

Day by day I hear the voices rising
Started with a whisper like it did before
Day by day we count the dead and dying
Ship the bodies home while the networks all keep score

Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Could your eyes believe the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again.

I, along with most of my generation on both sides of the Atlantic, am familiar with his many hit songs: Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Rockin' All Over the World, Lodi etc. - whether sung by him or covered by others (eg Tina Turner, Status Quo).

Fogerty's musical style, according to music critics, can be described by any combination from the following list: swamp, roots, rock, country, blues, folk, gospel - throw in operetta and that'd be a full house! What the heck is "swamp"? I guess it's music of the Louisiana cajun must be added to that list, though nothing of his I've sampled has been quite that swampy.

Fogerty's star burned brightly for around three years in the early 1970s, along with CCR's, but the band disintegrated. Accusations of jealousy and betrayal were followed by years of litigation.

From Reclaiming My Voice at the Daily Beast website ~

.............. By the mid-1980s the emotional and financial toll of fighting these battles for so long came to a head. One day I was giving yet another deposition and found myself so angry that I couldn't remember my own address or telephone number! I remember going into a department store and being so fearful and dysfunctional that I could not ask a salesperson about buying a pair of socks. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't feel. Music was who I was and I could not understand why or how I could lose so much.
He withdrew from the music scene completely for several years, eventually returned with solo albums. At first he refused to perform CCR songs live, but began to do so again at a benefit concert for Vietnam Veterans, who made up much of the generation for whom his songs became the story of their lives. He said, in interview "Gradually I realized that these were not just my songs anymore."

Many of Fogerty's songs address important social issues. Though these originally related to events during a particular slice of time, they remain relevant, and timeless. Examples:

Fortunate Son A song written in part due to a response about Eisenhower's grandson marrying Nixon's daughter. It was meant to symbolize the frustrations by the common man, just drafted. During the Vietnam War, 234 sons of Congressman were drafted. Out of the 234, only 28 were actually sent to Vietnam and zero were killed.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
Ooh, they're red, white and blue.
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,

It ain't me, it ain't me,
I ain't no senator's son, son.
It ain't me, it ain't me;
I ain't no fortunate one, no,

Who'll Stop the Rain
(2 verses)
Long as I remember the rain been comin' down
Clouds of mystery pourin' confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who'll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia seekin' shelter from the storm
Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow
Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder still I wonder who'll stop the rain.

Long Dark Night , relates to Hurricane Katrina and President G. W. Bush

I'll embed my own, non-political, favourite, Lodi, from the 1970s:

I'm Stuck in Lodi Again.....


John Fogerty's natal chart with data from Astrodatabank

Once again, I don't have far to seek to find rebellion against the establishment - Sun conjunct Uranus (planet of rebellion and revolution, change and the avant garde).
Don't need to say much more than that!

If pressed I might add that there's an opposition from Capricorn Moon (inner self) to Capricorn's ruling planet Saturn (business matters, restriction, limitation) in Cancer, linking to two square (inharmonious) aspects with Neptune (creativity) in Libra. This makes up what astrologers call a T-square, though to be an unstable, stressful aspect pattern but can also act as "a prod" to effectivness and dynamism. The signs involved in thsi T-square are cardinal signs, making the configuration extra-dynamic, a need to act at once - patience is not usually in an individual with this configuration in their natal chart. the planets and signs involved do fit the general "feel" and pattern of Fogerty's career.

POSTSCRIPT ~~~ After drafting this post and adding tags I noticed that I'd written about John Fogerty before, in 2007, after hearing him sing on a late night TV talk show. Dang! Never mind! Anyway, here's a link to the 2007 post: John Fogerty's Revival. There's more detail in that post on his wonderfully rebellious nature.

PPS ~ Also after drafting the post I saw John Fogerty perform on the American Idol finale show last Wednesday evening, singing with Phillip Phillips who was later announced as this season's American Idol.

Congratulations to both are in order:
Happy Birthday John Fogerty, and thanks for those wonderful songs!

Congratulations Phillip Phillips, and good wishes for quick recovery after surgery!


James Higham said...

Slightly OT but did you like Aldrich's Twilight's Last Gleaming? That hinted more than Fogerty at the hidden power behind the power.

R J Adams said...

A truly great singer/songwriter. Loved his work, and that of CCR. It's a pity so many good bands end up hating each other.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~~ I had to look that one up, couldn't recall seeing it, though I was a fan of Burt Lancaster.

Mmmm - sounds interesting. I shall find a secondhand VHS tape or DVD and watch it. Those I've found so far online are all far more expensive than normal for an old movie though. Must be rare, limited issue I guess. Will see whether our local video rental place has it.

Thanks for the hint! :-)

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~ Yes, they're still very listenable, and John is still in good voice.

It seems to be an unwritten rule, a variation of Murphy's Law if you will, that at some point band members will fall out. ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Love. Him.
That is all.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ You have good taste. ;-)