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June 28, 2002

ERIC ALTERMAN DESERVES A SOUND FISKING FOR THIS ABSURD STATEMENT:

As for CCR, well, who the hell was their drummer? I never saw them, but were they any better than Fogerty solo? I canít imagine it. The man is magic-except for that one crappy album with the voodoo stuff on the cover.

The drummer was Doug "Cosmo" Clifford, for whom the album Cosmo's Factory is named. He's a hell of a drummer, who has recently done good work with Southern Pacific. The bass player, Stu Cook, is also superb as almost any random CCR track will prove (but listen to "Pagan Baby" or "Born to Move" if you doubt me). Clifford and Cook could lay down a line you could hang your wash on. And John's brother Tom Fogerty ranks among the world's top rhythm guitarists, and did some good solo work, too before his health went.

I'm as big a John Fogerty fan as anybody alive, and his solo stuff is excellent (especially by comparison with, say, Mick Jagger's solo stuff -- ugh). I saw his first reappearance in public at Mud Island in 1986, and have seen him several times since. He's great. But the whole was more than the sum of the parts with Creedence Clearwater Revival.

UPDATE: Reader H. Koenig writes: "Those two (Clifford and Cook) have a band called "Creedence Clearwater Revisted" which has been recently advertised as playing at at least one Indian Casino here in the Pacific Northwest."

Anybody heard 'em play?

ANOTHER UPDATE: And, of course, the answer is "yes!" Multiple yeses, in fact. Reader Brian Jones (no, not that Brian Jones: he's dead) writes:

I not only saw them play, I got to introduce them, at the 30th anniversary of Woodstock...not that mess up at Griffis AFB, but at Yasgur's Farm with several of the other original performers.

While I can't vouch for how this half-CCR performs on other nights -- I've seen too many cringeworthy oldies shows -- the two original members were delighted to be back on that stage, and it showed in their performances and rubbed off on the other band members.

Still, the previous year's show was better.

Meanwhile reader Bruce Kratofil writes:

I just happened to hear CCR version 2.0 last week (June 20). We were staying on Hilton Head, and they gave a concert at the tennis stadium a short walk from our rental - effectively a free concert, since you could walk right outside the tennis court and both listen and watch.

They went out and hired a John Fogerty sound-alike lead singer (whose name escapes me) and they also added a rhythm guitarist from the Cars. On the instrumental parts, such as the end of "Grapevine", you really couldn't tell the difference. On the vocals, the trick was not to pay too close attention to them, and it sounded close enough.

I never heard the original ones except via vinyl -- and now CD.

Me neither, though my mom played their records so many times they wore out when I was a kid. Which is parenting at its finest.