Creedence Clearwater Revival was an important thread in the musical patchwork of late 60s, early 70s. With hits like “Born on the Bayou” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” their swamp-rock rhythm defined a generation. Though the group disbanded in 1972, original bassist and Texas resident Stuart Cook has kept the soul and sound of the band alive with Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Stu recently took time to speak with joltleft.com about the joy of performing.
Examiner: Where were you born and how did the area influence your decision to become a musician?
Stuart Cook: I was born in Oakland, CA, the Bay area. It was an amazing melting pot. During WWII, there was a strong war industry in the area. People brought their different types of music with them so there was a fusion of urban and rural sounds. Both ot my parents were musicians, so there was live music in the house all the time.
Examiner: What was your first real gig?
SC: I was in a group in jr. high school called the Blue Velvets. The Boy’s Club dance we performed at was my first real gig.
Examiner: How did Creedence Clearwater Revival come to be?
SC: It grew out of the our band the Blue Velvets, which became The Golliwogs, then CCR. Founding members were John Fogerty, Doug Clifford and myself. Tom Fogerty eventually joined us. We spent ten years making mistakes, clawing our way up…we wanted to get our records on the radio.
Examiner: And you certainly did that! What was the creative process of the group?
SC: John, who wrote most of the songs, would bring them into the studio and we’d just start jamming.
Examiner: Do you prefer the studio or live performances?
SC: I definitely prefer a live music environment…!
Examiner: What are some of your best memories of performing with CCR?
SC: Oh, definitely Woodstock, even though we weren’t included in the movie…and playing at Royal Albert Hall.
Examiner: So now you have Creedence Clearwater Revisited. How did that come about?
SC: Doug Clifford and I have always gotten along well. In 1994, we had some jam sessions in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Kept us out of trouble…! The sessions just kept evolving, so we decided to round up some other guys. Took us about three to four months to find them, then a half year before work picked up. We’ve been together about 17 years now and tour every year.
Examiner: Have any favorite venues?
SC: Well, we perform at all types of venues…fairs, casinos, rodeos, theaters….but I’d have to say one place we’ve played that was fantastic was Luna Park in Buenos Aires. The crowd was phenomenal. They were so loud, we had a difficult time playing the next song…!
Examiner: How’s the music industry changed over all the years you’ve been playing?
SC: Well, obviously the industry itself had changed, but what I’ve noticed is that we now have three generations of fans at our concerts. I’m often amazed at how well young people know our songs, every word!
Examiner: What do you have planned for the next few years?
SC: Besides performing, traveling. I love seeing great places and getting a taste of different cultures.
Examiner: How would you describe your style?
SC; Pick ‘n’ shovel…! I enjoying laying down the groove!