John Fogerty – Vanz Kant Danz

This song is referring to Saul Zaentz, Fogerty’s former boss at Fantasy Records. Both took turns suing each other as Zaentz sued Fogerty for plagiarizing himself on The Old Man Down the Road and also for defamation for the song Vanz Kant Danz, which was originally titled Zanz Kant Danz, but was altered as part of the settlement. Fogerty counter-sued for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and in a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, he won…sometimes there IS justice in the world.

Saul Zaentz took CCR’s money and built an empire with it.  He owned the worldwide film, stage, and merchandise rights to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He financed the Lord of the Rings animation in 1978 and many other films.

The contract CCR signed with Zaentz was one sided. Zaentz promised the band he would renegotiate when the band had a hit…he refused of course when that day happened. Fogerty has said that he brought in the ultimate crooked band manager Allen Klein to break the contract. Klein who could famously manipulate contracts told Fogerty that the contract was iron clad.

The video for this was the first ever filmed entirely in “Claymation.” It was produced at Will Vinton Studio, named for the inventor of the clay animation technique. The video didn’t garner a lot of attention at the time because the song wasn’t a hit…it did get some airplay on MTV at the time.

From Songfacts

The song is about an unnamed street dancer and his sidekick, a pig trained to pick people’s pockets as they watch the dancer do his stuff. The pig, originally named Zanz as a dig at Saul Zaentz, “Can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money – watch him or he’ll rob you blind.” When Zaentz threatened Fogerty with yet another lawsuit, Fogerty changed the pig’s name to Vanz.

Another song from the Centerfield album, “Mr. Greed,” is also thought to be a musical salvo by Fogerty in his long-running feud with Zaentz, which lasted until 2004 when Fantasy Records was bought out by Concord Records, who restored Fogerty’s rights to his CCR material.

Vanz Kant Danz

Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind

Out in the street the crowd is gatherin’
Pushed down by the heat of the building, they’re wantin’ to dance
Makin’ their way up the street, a boy with a pig and a radio
Little Billy can work on the crowd, put ’em into a trance
For the little pig Vanz

Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind

You’re watchin’ ’em dance, not a care in the world
So Billy and Vanz get busy, they’re makin’ their move
The little pig knows what to do
He’s silent and quick, just like Oliver Twist
Before it’s over, your pocket is clean
A four-legged thief paid a visit on you

Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind

Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind

Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind
Vanz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money
Watch him or he’ll rob you blind

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

26 thoughts on “John Fogerty – Vanz Kant Danz”

    1. I agree. When I bought the album the two songs that I wore out first were the non hits. I Saw it on TV and Big Train From Memphis.

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  1. Good song – I’d actually forgotten how it went, though I had the album once and have written about the song! Great video too, that I don’t think I’d seen before. It’s too bad Fogerty held such a grudge – it really wasted time he could have been doing better things – but it’s easy to see why he felt so perpetually p-o’d with a guy like Zaentz involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zaentz was the main cause of the friction… they probably would have regrouped if not for him.
      But… compared to Stan Polley he was generous…. Well I take that back… he did end up swindling them out of a lot of money. He supposedly deposited 10 million for them in an off shore account. In 76 when John went to get it… it was gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oftentimes, the music business is really screwed up – what a crazy background story! As you know, I love John Fogerty and CCR. I think it’s fair to sayJohn has written better tunes than “Vanz Kant Danz”, though it’s obviously important to keep the context in mind. The clip is pretty cool, though.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Really an unbelievable story. What a crook!

        BTW, my apologies for my sparse engagement over the past few days. Between job and family, this has been a completely nutty week. I’m hoping to catch up on blog reading over the weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No probem Christian…I KNOW what you mean man…I’ve been doing the same thing for 2 months…mine if finally slowing down.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes it is….and life happens. Right now we are installing a floor in our living room and that is taking me away

        Like

  3. I didn’t know the Lord of the Rings connection. I remember reading stories of Fogerty working really hard on writing and missing out on family life during CCR – it’s sad he didn’t see much money for all his work.

    Like

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