Let me provide a warning right up front… If you’re a huge John C. Fogerty (JCF) fan and wish to remain as such, you may not want to read this book. If you’re on the fence about Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) and not sure whether they were a great band or simply both a lucky and extraordinarily unlucky one, this book may convince you that the latter is more likely the case. This band biography is simply not a pretty picture which is why Bad Moon Rising is subtitled, “The Unauthorized History of CCR.”
How bad does JCF come off here? On page 293 of this 316-page treatise, he’s quoted as saying: “We call these Beatles songs and I guess we call them Monkees songs, and in my case we call them Creedence songs. But actually, John Fogerty wrote all the songs. So I think now that I’m out in this limelight, I’m going to try and straighten out that misconception.”
Ouch! Not only does JFC compare CCR to both Those Guys and The Monkees, but he refers to himself (Himself?) in the third person. The book does, on the plus side, clear up the misconception that JCF refused to appear at the deathbed of his brother Tom. But little else here puts either JCF or the two other surviving CCR members – now in Creedence Clearwater Revisited – in a positive light.
Slogging through this book is like revisiting the worst parts of your own family’s history while watching an unpleasant soap opera on the tube. And remember all those stories about Saul Zaentz, founder and head of Berkeley-based Fantasy Records, as the supposed bad guy (which culminated with JCF’s solo song Zanz Can’t Dance/Vanz Can’t Dance)? There’s little here dealing with this, which may even be fortunate.
Bottom line, there’s more unsaid than said in this not so definitive book which was advertised as covering “30-odd years of legal wrangling, thwarted ambitions and lost potential.” Lost potential for the reader, definitely.
For me, it has been more difficult to listen to either JCF or CCR since reading this book. No more unauthorized band biographies for me, as long as I can see the light.
Note: This book was purchased by the reviewer.
Reprinted courtesy of the Troy Bear blog; originally posted on April 27, 2009.