Duane Clawson, photo provided by artist
Let me take you back to 1969. Not that I remember much from 1969, as I was a mere four years old. But from what I gather from my elders it was a wild time! John Fogerty is a man that lived and rewrote the history books in 1969. As most know, Fogerty is most famous as the founder of Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR). But what many don’t know are some of the behind the scenes stories that Fogerty tells oh so well during his two hours and ten minutes onstage. Fogerty is currently on a somewhat of a promotional tour of his impending autobiography, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, but more importantly, he is promoting one of his biggest years as a musician and one of Credence’s biggest years as a group: 1969.
A 15-minute video of the sights and sounds of 1969 opens the show with a narrative by Fogerty. During the video, Fogerty explains that he is most comfortable in his signature plaid shirt, was arrested during Vietnam War protests, appeared on Ed Sullivan’s show, and proud to be representing a generation. As the video fades, a vintage clip of CCR performing “Born on the Bayou” begins with Fogerty appearing shortly thereafter playing the song live. Fogerty pauses briefly to greet everyone and announce he’s at the Fox Theater to have a, “rockin’ good time!" Fogerty’s energy level does not reflect that of a typical 70-year old and somehow seems genetically rejuvenated by the music he plays. Before Fogerty plays CCR’s, “Who’ll Stop the Rain”, he explained about the band’s misadventures of playing Woodstock and following the Grateful Dead at 2:30 am.
Two road cases with guitar racks are moved to center stage and Fogerty demonstrates his guitar chops with various guitars including a Fender Telecaster, a John Lennon Rickenbacker, and a blue, plaid Gibson Les Paul leading into one of my personal favorites, “Midnight Special”. As if Fogerty’s musical talents are not enough, he is backed by a powerful band with son Shane on guitar, James LoMenzo on bass, Kenny Aronoff on drums, and Bob Malone on keyboards. Each musician showcased their talents throughout the night with solos on their respective instruments. Perched behind a baby grand piano, Fogerty displays his prowess on the ivory keys with snippets of "Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On" and “Rockin' Pneumonia” before settling on the CCR classic, “Long As I Can See the Light”. The Fox crowd sang along with “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and a brief image of St. Louis’s own, Pokey LaFarge lending his vocal talents to the song, flashed on the video board above the stage.
Winding down his hit-filled main set with a mix of CCR and solo songs such as, “Centerfield”, “Old Man Down the Road”, and “Fortunate Son”, Fogerty leaves the stage briefly before returning for an encore performance of “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary”. So there you have it, 26 pieces of classic rock, 26 pieces of music that defined a generation or two, and most of all, 26 pieces that I had the privilege of witnessing live and reporting for Music Taster’s Choice! Thanks to the great Fox Theater staff for accommodating MTC and thanks to Mr. Fogerty’s PR team for allowing us access to this show.
Contributed by Duane Clawson
John Fogerty @ The Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:30:00 PM Rating: