Creedence Clearwater Revisited is, at its heart, a late ’60s nostalgia act, a tribute to the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Think of it as a live version of the band’s “Chronicle” album – or “all Creedence, all night,” as Stu Cook likes to say.
Cook, of course, was a founding member of the original CCR, who along with singer-guitarist John Fogerty, his brother Tom Fogerty and drummer Doug Clifford created a sound that defined much of rock music of that era. The band had three albums (and four singles) in the top 10 on the rock charts in one year alone and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Fame in 1993.
Cook and Clifford started this “revisited” version of the band in 1995, at a time they were just a couple of guys sitting up in the mountains drinking beer and smoking weed and there was no way for fans to hear the songs in concert.
So, this isn’t some band of outsiders looking to cash in on the tunes. This is CCR’s original rhythm section, playing the original tunes to an eager fan base that had grown over the last 25 years.
“They just want to hear the music,” Cook says, in advance of band’s performance 7 p.m. Thursday at The Big Fresno Fair. Tickets are $18-$33 and on sale now.
The final tour
The fair performance is part of the band’s Final Revival tour, which runs into 2020 and includes dates in New Zealand and Brazil.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited is hugely popular in South America. Like, fans-chasing-them-through-the streets popular.
The band has been winding down for awhile. It started playing fewer shows, trying to cut down on the bad parts of being on the road – the hotel rooms and terrible food and long travel days, Cook says.
“We got an extra five years out of our bodies,” he says.
The ending has been bittersweet, Cook says. After all, he started playing with Clifford while the two were in high school. They’ve been playing these songs for 50-plus years.
“It’s our lives,” he says.
“Whatever else I am, there’s always this overriding umbrella of CCR.”
Live at Woodstock
And the tour comes at a time CCR is seeing another surge of notoriety, thanks to the release of “Live at Woodstock,” which came out in August to coincide with the festival’s 50th anniversary.
CCR isn’t remembered for playing the festival (in the way of Jimmy Hendrix or the Who), even though the band had the headlining spot on Saturday night.
“We weren’t in the movie,” Cook says. The band followed the Grateful Dead, who played long and forced CCR to take the stage after midnight. Not ideal conditions, as has been noted by Fogerty.
Still, the band put on a good set, Cook says. This is CCR at its peak, playing through an hour’s worth of hits including “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary.”
“We hit hard. We played well. We were hungry,” Cook says.
Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee