Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

John Fogerty CCR Singer Guitarist Updates Classic Rock Anthems for New... Skip to content

It’s not too late to catch some of fall’s best movies at your local theater! Check out AARP’s fall film preview.


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)

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

May 2013: John Fogerty performs in L.A.

En español | 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.

Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter — and get movie reviews, great games and more delivered to you every month

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."

(Article continues beneath the video.)

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. »

Creedence Clearwater Revival CCR 1970 Doug Clifford Tom Fogerty Stu Cook John Fogerty in London, England, John Fogerty Interview (Chris Walter/WireImage/Getty Images)

Chris Walter/WireImage/Getty Images

1970: Creedence Clearwater Revival hits London. From left: Doug Clifford, Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and John Fogerty.

Q: The cover of Wrote a Song for Everyone draws on your fondness for flannel shirts. What do they symbolize for you?

A: They're very American, for starters. When I see someone else wearing a plaid shirt, I think of the "cowboy way." I think of guys like John Wayne who were not real talkative, so when they said something, it meant something. They represent a belief in honesty and telling the truth, even if it hurts — almost a Boy Scout way of living. The shirts are comfortable, and I feel warm and happy when I wear one. You walk in my closet, and it's pretty much just flannel shirts in different colors. [Laughs] I've got almost as many flannel shirts as I have guitars — and I must have a couple hundred of those.

Musicians John Fogerty and Keith Urban perform onstage, John Fogerty Interview (Chris Polk/ACMA/Getty Images)

Chris Polk/ACMA/Getty Images

April 2013: John Fogerty and Keith Urban take the stage in Vegas.

Q: "Bad Moon Rising," "Lodi," "Born on the Bayou" — do you ever get tired of playing these classics?

A: No, not at all. It's kind of a love affair. Those are my children. I can still remember the exact moment I created "Proud Mary" or any other song, because they've become part of my personality.

I was on stage the other night when I looked out and saw thousands of faces singing along to this one song; I had to stop and tell the audience, "Do you guys know how wonderful it is for me to see all of you singing?"

Q: You funded headstones for Charley Patton and Robert Johnson — famous Mississippi bluesmen whose graves had gone unmarked.

A: Yeah, that was a personal quest. Basically I was just trying to sort out the "family tree" of the blues. Charley Patton — somebody who's so important to the field I'm in — wasn't going to have a headstone unless somebody stepped up, so it was a no-brainer. It had to get done.

Q: You have a book in the works. How's that coming?

A: I've chosen a great cowriter, and I know that as soon as the tour's over Julie's going to remind me, "You've got to write that book!" [Laughs] That means a lot of talking, but at least it will be definitive: I'll have a chance to tell my story the way I see it.

Alanna Nash writes about music, entertainment and culture.

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.