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John Fogerty Is on a Roll at 68

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s frontman updates classic anthems for a new CD and tour

John Fogerty performs at El Rey Theatre on May 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California, John Fogerty Interview (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

May 2013: John Fogerty performs in L.A. — Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

It's a mid-October day and John Fogerty is rolling — not on the river, as he did in 1969's "Proud Mary," but on a tour bus traveling from Tulsa to Dallas.

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Now 68, the former lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Creedence Clearwater Revival is playing a string of one-night gigs that will keep him on the road into December.

It's a typically busy time for Fogerty, who has released 11 solo albums since CCR broke up in 1972. But he turned collaborative for his latest CD, Wrote a Song for Everyone, on which Fogerty revisits his best-known ballads with guests from rock, pop and country, including Bob Seger, the Foo Fighters and Alan Jackson.

In a recent conversation, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — who's sold more than 100 million records — touched on staying fit, writing his autobiography and earning the title "Father of the Flannel Shirt."

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Q: You're closing in on 70, yet you're out on stage every night with the energy of a 20-year-old. How do you maintain your stamina?

A: Well, I don't smoke. And I'm careful about what I eat, but I'm not a fanatic — I like steak, for example.

When you're older, the metabolism slows down, so you have to get into some sort of exercise program. I'm a runner. I run every day at home and a couple of days a week when I'm on the road. It beats sightseeing from a cab!

Q: You also look young. What's your secret?

A: I'm a very happy man! [Laughs] My beautiful wife, Julie, is the love of my life. We have three grown children, plus a 12-year-old daughter still at home. I love listening to Taylor Swift with her; seeing the world through her eyes keeps you timeless. When you're older and good things happen to you, you actually recognize them.

Q: Your new album pairs you with younger artists like Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Hudson and Kid Rock. Why did you take that approach?

A: Julie and I were watching TV with our kids when she suddenly said, "Why don't you get a bunch of the people you love and sing your songs?" It was such a refreshing idea! I got to make new music with many of the artists who are at the top of my list. I told them to pick one of my songs — that in itself revealed their personality. Then I said, "I don't just want to remake an old record. Let's envision this song in a new way." With Keith Urban, I said, "I've seen you play the banjo really well. That might lend a really cool flavor to this." And that's exactly what happened.

Next page: Fogerty's fondess for flannel. »

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