Why Tom Fogerty Shouldn’t Be Forgotten

via Grunge / Youtube

Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) is a name etched in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll history. Their music, a unique blend of southern swamp rock, resonated with the masses despite hailing from the sunny state of California. The band, consisting of brothers John and Tom Fogerty, along with Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, had been making music together since 1959. In 1967, they settled on the name Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Their breakthrough came in 1968 with their self-titled debut album, and the pinnacle was their iconic performance at Woodstock in 1969. Albums like “Bayou Country” and “Green River” in 1969 cemented their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. CCR was a paradox – both progressive and nostalgic, reviving the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll while standing apart from the psychedelic San Francisco scene.

The Rift and the Demise of CCR

Despite their phenomenal success, CCR disbanded in 1972. A year before the split, Tom Fogerty had already departed. The brothers, John and Tom, found themselves at odds with their bandmates, largely due to disputes over artistic and financial control. Lawsuits ensued, casting a shadow over the CCR legacy.

The Tragedy of Tom Fogerty

However, the true tragedy of CCR lies in the untimely death of Tom Fogerty. In the 1980s, he relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, seeking relief from back problems through surgery. Tragically, an unscreened blood transfusion infected him with HIV.

Even amidst Tom’s health struggle, reconciliation between the brothers remained elusive. On September 6th, 1990, Tom Fogerty passed away at just 46. At his funeral, John delivered a touching eulogy, saying, “We wanted to grow up and be musicians. I guess we achieved half of that – becoming rock ‘n’ roll stars. We didn’t necessarily grow up.”

Years later, in his memoir, John expressed regret, saying, “I was sad that life had been taken from Tom. That sadness was mixed with other emotions. But I’ve forgiven Tom. I’m not angry anymore. I love my brother. Also, I sure loved the old family days. The way we were as kids. It’s resolved, and somehow Tom knows it’s alright, wherever he is.”

Remembering Tom Fogerty

John Fogerty’s words reveal his profound remorse for not reconciling with his brother. The music industry had driven a wedge between one of the most significant relationships in his life – that of brothers and bandmates. Tom Fogerty’s spirit, a vital part of CCR’s unique sound, has been sorely missed ever since.