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Interview: Creedence Clearwater Revisited

Creedence Clearwater Revival is a band that has made music that has lasted for decades. They are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, literally. Since front man John Fogerty departed the band in ‘72, the passion for playing is what sparked the remaining members to form and tour by the name of Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook have been together since the beginning and are now joined by Kurt Griffey, Steve Gunner, and Dan McGuinness. 

Catch Creedence Clearwater Revisited at Lawrenceburg Event Center on Friday, September 22nd!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior citizen or a senior in high school, you have certainly heard their music. You can ask someone if they’ve heard of them and they might say, “I don’t know.” You can then play about 10 or more songs and almost from the first riff they respond, “Oh yeah, I know this song”. Having such a catalog of hits makes a live show a blast as the songs people love keep coming and coming.

My first introduction, that I can remember, was back in the 7th grade when I came across their Green River album. I knew who they were before that, but never heard more than their hits. That album, as we speak, is still in my favorites list and is played often. Just today I listened to the Green River album from start to finish. Even having not heard the songs in a while, I still know all the words and rhythms to the songs.

I had the honor of catching up with Doug Clifford, speaking to him about the band, and getting his take on their success. It was a great opportunity speaking to him, as I have listened to their music for most of my life now.

CincyMusic: Thinking back on your bands success what achievement would you yourself say you’re most proud of?

Doug Clifford: The body of music we gave our fans. Nothing makes me happier than being at a grocery store and hearing our music through the speakers. It still gets me. We started as a small band, doing covers, and never could have imagined where it has taken us.

CM: Which CCR song do you enjoy playing live the most?

DC: I’d have to say “Born on a Bayou.” The progression of the drums make this my favorite. The tempo changes, the buildup of tempo.

CM: I was just listening to “Commotion”, which is my favorite CCR song. I can tell by listening to this song how you’ve influenced other bands. I hear Nirvana in this song in particular.

DC: I’ve never thought about that. Huh, it is one of our heaviest songs and doesn’t get played that often in live shows. That’s interesting! No one has ever mentioned that before.

CM: On this particular tour has anything happened that has set it aside in any way from prior tours?

DC: This year we got to tour Lambeau Field in Wisconsin. Being fans of the Packers and being able to actually be on the field and feel the grass was amazing. It is something that I will never forget.

CM: Is there anything that you wanted to achieve in your musical career that you haven’t yet?

DC: I would really like to make a soundtrack album for a film and win a Grammy.

CM: When you play that last song at a show, what do you want people to walk away with most?

DC: Energy. We play all the hits when we do a show and when people leave we want them to have no regrets. We want them leaving feeling good and excited.  We know our music reaches vast age gaps and seeing kids singing along is great.

CM: What keeps CCR going from 1961-2017?

DC: It’s simple really. The fans. I always say I play for free and get paid to travel. We love being on the stage, seeing the crowds, hearing them, feeling their energy. It’s as close to a legal high as you can get.

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