John Fogerty Feels Like ‘Fortunate Son’ With Upcoming Memoir

After nibbling on a few finger sandwiches at teatime, John Fogerty now feels energized to talk about his upcoming memoir and summer concert tour.

Aptly called “1969,” the 41-city tour represents that prolific year for Creedence Clearwater Revival: They released three albums – and Fogerty wrote one of the most profound protests songs of all time.

Photo: Jason Moore
Red Hat Amphitheatre, Raleigh, N.C.

“Fortunate Son” took a harsh look at America’s inequities during the military draft for the Vietnam War.

“It just seemed like the young male sons of rich people were managing to escape being drafted or at least being sent to places that weren’t dangerous,” Fogerty recently told the Associated Press.

Instead, the poor and middle class were shipped overseas to fight in the war.

“I really took a harsh look at that,” the Army veteran said.

Ironically, Fogerty decided to name his memoir after the song. Published by Little Brown, “Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music” comes out in October.

While the 70-year-old Fogerty feels a little funny about it, he finds the title is appropriate is a different way.

“The words still mean what they mean and yet to call my own book ‘Fortunate Son’ is certainly some sort of a leap,” he said.

“As I a kid I wanted to make music and dreamed about being like my musical heroes and eventually it came true. I have become very fortunate, so that’s my take on the use of the phrase now.”

Until then, Fogerty is on tour, playing a very Creedence-heavy set, but it wasn’t always like that. Legal troubles with his band and record label soured him on playing songs from his old band. In the 1980s, he was sued by record label, Fantasy Records for copying his own song. They claimed his 1985 hit “The Old Man Down the Road” ripped off “Run Through the Jungle.” Both were written by Fogerty, but the label owned the copyright. A jury sided with Fogerty.

There was also bad blood with his former band mates, including his brother Tom, who passed away in 1990, over control of the band and a variety of issues. They were also in court over royalties owed to Fogerty by performing his songs. The problems were so intense that when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Fogerty refused to perform with them.

Now with those dark days behind him, Fogerty feels the book will come out at the right time.

“It’s no longer about having an axe to grind. If you asked me 15 years ago it might have been quite different. A lot of stuff happened to me in show business and my personal life and there were certainly periods where I was pretty angry and pretty bitter,” Fogerty said.

Now that his life is at peace –he’s now happily married and plays music with his sons Shane and Tyler – Fogerty has no plans to reunite with remaining members of the band.

“Through the years I have left that question open. I think it’s safe to say the longer time you spend on the earth the more you realize you don’t know everything that gonna happen, but the other fellas recently made it difficult for me to do it,” Fogerty said.