Creedence Clearwater Revisited: A New Band with the Same Rockin’ Tunes

Creedence Clearwater Revisited: A New Band with the Same Rockin’ Tunes
Venues & Businesses
Walker's Bluff

Who: Creedence Clearwater Revisited featuring Stu Cook and Doug Clifford
What: classic rock
When: 2013-06-27
“When we fire up the band, it is like it is happening all over again,” said Stu Cook, bassi
Leah Williams Wright

Some things come naturally. Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly.

And bass players gotta play.

“When we fire up the band, it is like it is happening all over again,” said Stu Cook, bassist for the legendary rock ‘n’ roll band Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Cook’s opportunity to relive some of rock ‘n’ roll’s finest tunes comes with Creedence Clearwater Revisited, which plays Thursday, June 27 at Walker’s Bluff.

The band specializes in all things CCR-- no surprise, as the band consists of the original Creedence Clearwater Revival’s rhythm section.

In an exclusive phone interview, Cook tells Nightlife about reliving the past, honing a reputation for a tour-based group, and rockin’ out with the same best friend since junior high.

Creedence Clearwater Revisited came out of the ashes of that other CCR, but not until nearly twenty years later. Though the band hailed from the San Francisco Valley, John Fogerty’s songs incorporated rural, blue-collar, Southern-rock themes and images of the Mississippi River and bayou.

Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up in 1972. Cook and Revival drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, who met while attending junior high in El Cerrito, California, continued to play together for awhile, backing Revival rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty and then Don Harrison.

In the early 1990s, Clifford requested a reunion with Cook for promotional purposes. Cook admitted that they had no idea what to expect, and the notion of creating a whole new project out of this friendly favor was the last thing from his mind.

“We weren’t sure how well it would go, if it would even go well at all,” he said.

The second CCR, however, has rocked ever since. Though the band has released live albums, Cook said there are no plans to record new studio material.

“That’s all we’ve ever done,” Cook said. “We are a tour-only kind of band and we always have been. We don’t want to add anything to it, confuse people, or dilute what was there in any way. ”

The hired guns for this CCR are not newbies. Adding to Cook and Clifford’s dynamic rhythm section is lead singer and rhythm guitar player John Tristao, who rose to his own rock ‘n’ roll prominence as the lead singer for the band People. Their hit “I Love You” scored in the top ten. Kurt Griffey, who has recorded and toured with members of the Eagles, Foreigner, the Moody Blues, Wings, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, and Journey, plays lead guitar.

There is no love lost between Cook and Clifford and Revival frontman and guitarist John Fogerty. Cook said the unofficial beginning of Revisited happened after the Revival was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Fogerty refused to perform with Cook and Clifford, but organizers of the event did not relay the message until the show. So when Fogerty took the stage to perform with Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson, the remaining CCR members (Tom Fogerty died in 1990) and their families got up and walked out.

“It was a big scene,” Cook has recalled.

The tussle continued 1997, when Fogerty unsuccessfully tried to sue his former bandmates over the creation of Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

Cook has said that he has no interest in fighting over band drama from decades past. Creedence Clearwater Revisited now plays more than one-hundred shows a year. Making a second career out of this CCR go-round has enabled Cook to reconnect with fans, who are able to express their own stories of how the music touched their lives.

“It’s always nice when your fans appreciate you,” he said. “You can see that when they come up to you and tell you how much [one of your songs] meant to them. We are the original rhythm section, so we can recreate the same music and feel that we did all those years ago.”

Continued interest in the songs is a testament to how timeless the music really is. From “Proud Mary” and “Down on the Corner” to “Born on a Bayou” and “Fortunate Son,” something in the music is able to reconnect with fans of all ages, either for the first time or once again.

“They are good songs,” Cook said. “Those kind of songs can really stick with you, you know?”

Cook hasn’t spent all of his professional career behind a bass. An accomplished producer, he led the mixes on two legendary Roky Erickson and the Aliens albums in the 1980s. Cook, who played bass on two tracks, said he looks back on those sessions fondly and noted that there are talks of digitally remastering the projects for a rerelease sometime in the near future.

“That was one of those times where it really happened,” he said. “It’s one of the highlights in my producing career.”

After all these years and drama fit for a rockumentary, the original rhythm section is still together. And Cook credits that relationship for much of the success of both CCRs.

“We’ve always known we had something together,” Cook said. “And after all of these years, I guess we were right. We get each other musically, and we have fun together. And it shows.”

For more information, visit <>.

who: Creedence Clearwater Revisited featuring Stu Cook and Doug Clifford

what: classic rock

where: Walker’s Bluff

when: Thursday, June 27