John Fogerty Biography
John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known for his time with the swamp rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival. He was born in Berkeley, California.
John Fogerty began a solo career, originally under the name the Blue Ridge Rangers for his 1973 debut, on which he played all of the instruments and covered others' hits, such as "Jambalaya" (which was a Top 40 hit) and some gospel songs like "Have Thine Own Way, Lord" and "Working On A Building". John Fogerty was released in 1975. Sales were slim and legal problems delayed a follow-up, though it yielded two minor hit singles, "Rockin' All Over The World" (later covered much more successfully by Status Quo) and "Almost Saturday Night" (later a minor UK hit for Dave Edmunds.) The Georgia Satellites later combined the two songs as "Almost Saturday Night/Rockin' All Over The World". Creedence Clearwater Revival's former music publisher (affiliated with Fantasy Records) filed a suit against Fogerty, claiming that his new, solo compositions sounded too much like his former work as songwriter for Creedence.
Fogerty's solo career emerged in full force with 1985's Centerfield, which went to the top of the charts and included a Top Ten hit in "The Old Man Down The Road" and a title track frequently played on classic rock radio and at baseball games to this day. But that album was not without its legal snags either; two songs on the album, "Zanz Kant Danz" and "Mr Greed", were believed to be attacks on Fogerty's former boss at Fantasy Records, Saul Zaentz. "Zanz Kant Dance" was about a pig who can't dance but would "steal your money". When Zaentz responded with a lawsuit, Fogerty issued a revised version of "Zanz Kant Danz" (changing the lead character's name to Vanz). Another lawsuit claimed that "The Old Man Down The Road" shared the same chorus as "Run Through The Jungle" (a song from Fogerty's days with Creedence). Fogerty ultimately won his case when he proved that the two songs were wholly separate and distinct compositions. Bringing his guitar to the witness stand, he played excerpts from both songs, demonstrating that many songwriters (himself included) have distinctive styles that can make different compositions sound similar to less discerning ears.
Fogerty later sued Zaentz for the cost to defend himself against the copyright infringement lawsuit. In such copyright cases, prevailing defendants seeking recompense are generally bound to show that the original suit was frivolous or made in bad faith. However, Fogerty v. Zaentz became precedent when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned lower court rulings in 1993 and awarded attorneys' fees to Fogerty, without Fogerty having to show that Zaentz's original suit was frivolous.
The follow-up album was Eye of the Zombie in 1986, which was less successful. In 1993, his group Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Fogerty refused to perform with his former bandmates, thus claiming his revenge against them for having sided with Fantasy Records in his disputes with the company. He retired until returning with 1997's Blue Moon Swamp, which won the Grammy for Best Rock album in 1997.