Creedence Clearwater Revival – Up Around The Bend

Love the beginning riff in this song. This song was the B side to Run Through The Jungle.

It was written by lead singer and guitarist John Fogerty, this is a very upbeat Creedence Clearwater Revival, giving a hint that, as bad as things were in the early ’70s, there might be some hope for the future: Things would improve “Around The Bend.” Bass player Stu Cook described the song as “Kind of the opposite of ‘Run Through The Jungle.'”

This song required a bit of translation for British audiences. In England, if you go “around the bend” it means you go crazy. Then the band toured the UK, they had to explain to the British press that the song was not about dementia or mental problems.

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, and #3 in the UK in 1970.

 

From Songfacts

In his memoir Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, John Fogerty said that this song came to him when he was riding his motorcycle through the California hills.

Movies this song has appeared in include Michael (1996), Remember the Titans (2000) and Invincible (2006). It was also used in a 2008 episode of the TV show My Name Is Earl. 

Elton John covered this song shortly after it was released, and his version appears on several compilation albums. Hanoi Rocks recorded it for their 1984 Two Steps From The Move album.

In 2016, Wrangler used this in a commercial for their jeans, surprising after John Fogerty lashed out at the company when they used “Fortunate Son” in ads without his permission beginning in 2000. Fogerty doesn’t control the rights to the songs he wrote for CCR, so they can be used without his consent.

Up Around The Bend

There’s a place up ahead and I’m goin’
Just as fast as my feet can fly
Come away, come away if you’re goin’
Leave the sinkin’ ship behind

Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re goin’ up around the bend

Oh

Bring a song and a smile for the banjo
Better get while the gettin’s good
Hitch a ride to the end of the highway
Where the neon’s turn to wood

Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re goin’ up around the bend

Oh

You can ponder perpetual motion,
Fix your mind on a crystal day,
Always time for a good conversation,
There’s an ear for what you say

Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re goin’ up around the bend.

Yeah

Oh

Catch a ride to the end of the highway
And we’ll meet by the big red tree,
There’s a place up ahead and I’m goin’
Come along, come along with me

Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re goin’ up around the bend

Yeah

Do do do do
Do do do do
Do do do do
Do do do do yeah
Do do do do
Do do do do

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lodi

Every bar band who has ever played this song in hole in the wall bar… can relate to the lyrics. This song was the B-Side to Bad Moon Rising. CCR and The Beatles had the best double-sided singles of anyone in my opinion.

Lodi is a city in California located in the central valley, about 38 miles south of Sacramento and 87 miles away from Oakland. Fogerty and his earlier band (The Golliwogs) often performed in out of the way towns like Lodi.

Because of being the B side… Lodi peaked at #52 in the Billboard 100 while the A-side Bad Moon Rising peaked at #2 in 1969.

Drummer Doug Clifford on Lodi California: “There were nine people in there, they were all locals, they were all drunk and all they did all night was tell us to turn it down.”

From Songfacts

In Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, John Fogerty explained that the inspiration for “Lodi” came from trips with his father around central California, an area of the world where he “felt very warm and special.” This seed of an idea grew into a story about a traveling musician whose career “is in the rearview mirror.” Fogerty was only 23 when he wrote this song about an aging musician.

This song is a reflection on John Fogerty’s days with The Golliwogs, an early version of Creedence Clearwater Revival. They had to struggle for success, playing wherever they could with dilapidated equipment and an often indifferent audience. He did not want a return to the Bad Old Days.

Al Wilson recorded a cover of this song. His version was issued on Soul City Records in America and on Liberty Records in the United Kingdom. It was played extensively in the few underground “Northern Soul” clubs of England during the late 1960s and early ’70s, getting its first exposure at the famous Twisted Wheel Club Allnighters in Manchester, England. 

In a radio interview, John Fogerty said when he was young his parents took him and his brother to camp at Lodi lake (called Smith lake then) and they hated camping there. So later on they wrote a song about Lodi using their old hatred for the place. 

Tesla did an acoustic version of this song that was included on their 1990 live album, Five Man Acoustical Jam. Each band member got to pick a song to cover for the set, and Tesla drummer Troy Luccketta chose “Lodi” since he was born there.

Lodi

Just about a year ago
I set out on the road
Seekin’ my fame and fortune
Lookin’ for a pot of gold
Thing got bad and things got worse
I guess you know the tune
Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again

Rode in on the Greyhound
I’ll be walkin’ out if I go
I was just passin’ through
Must be seven months or more
Ran out of time and money
Looks like they took my friends
Oh Lord, I’m stuck in Lodi again

A man from the magazine
Said I was on my way
Somewhere I lost connections
Ran out of songs to play
I came into town, a one night stand
Looks like my plans fell through
Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again

If I only had a dollar
For every song I’ve sung
Every time I had to play
While people sat there drunk
You know, I’d catch the next train
Back to where I live
Oh Lord, stuck in a Lodi again
Oh Lord, I’m stuck in a Lodi again

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River

One of my favorite songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #19 in the UK, and #5 in Canada. If you want proof that life isn’t fair… Green River was kept from #1 because of the novelty bubblegum song “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies.

The song is an example of a perfect rock song. Great lick, lyrics, and wonderful guitar fills by John Fogerty.

The song was on the album Green River which peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart.

John Fogerty: “Green River is really about this place where I used to go as a kid on Putah Creek, near Winters, California. I went there with my family every year until I was ten. Lot of happy memories there. I learned how to swim there. There was a rope hanging from the tree. Certainly dragonflies, bullfrogs. There was a little cabin we would stay in owned by a descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody. That’s the reference in the song to Cody Jr. [“Up at Cody’s camp I spent my days…”

The actual specific reference, Green River, I got from a soda pop-syrup label. You used to be able to go into a soda fountain, and they had these bottles of flavored syrup. My flavor was called Green River. It was green, lime-flavored, and they would empty some out over some ice and pour some of that soda water on it, and you had yourself a Green River.”

Image result for green river fizzy drink 50s

 

From Songfacts

John Fogerty has said that Green River is his favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival album, in part because it sounds like the ’50s albums by the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash that came out of Sun Records in Memphis.

Asked about his songwriting by Mojo magazine, John Fogerty replied: “More common is me fooling around on the guitar coming up with a riff or a lick or even just a tone which sparks some kind of creativity. Your mind gets a vibe, like the lick for ‘Green River’ – that’s what it sounded like, a green river, haha. And that was a title I had carried around since I was about eight years old.”

Green River

Well, take me back down where cool water flow, yeh
Let me remember things I love
Stoppin’ at the log where catfish bite,
Walkin’ along the river road at night,
Barefoot girls dancin’ in the moonlight

I can hear the bull frog callin’ me
Wonder if my rope’s still hangin’ to the tree
Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water,
Shoe fly, dragon fly, get back t your mother
Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River

Up at Cody’s camp I spent my days, oh,
With flat car riders and cross-tie walkers
Old Cody, Junior took me over,
Said, you’re gonna find the world is smouldrin’
An’ if you get lost come on home to Green River
Well, come home

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son

Arguably the best song Creedence ever released. The single was Down On The Corner/Fortunate Son and the two combine peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. Fortunate Song also shows a #14 charting position by itself. Creedence and The Beatles released some of the best double A-Sided singles.

This is an anti-establishment song of defiance, both anti-Washington and against the Vietnam War. John Fogerty and Doug Clifford (drummer) both enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1966 (to avoid being drafted and shipped to Vietnam) and were discharged in 1968 after serving their military commitments.

 

John Fogerty: The thoughts behind this song – it was a lot of anger. So it was the Vietnam War going on… Now I was drafted and they’re making me fight, and no one has actually defined why. So this was all boiling inside of me and I sat down on the edge of my bed and out came “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son!” You know, it took about 20 minutes to write the song

“The song speaks more to the unfairness of class than war itself,” “It’s the old saying about rich men making war and poor men having to fight them.”

 

From Songfacts

This is one of three political songs on the Willy And The Poorboys album. The others were “It Came From the Sky” and “Don’t Look Now (It Ain’t You or Me).”

Richard Nixon was president of the US when group leader John Fogerty wrote this song. Fogerty was not a fan of Nixon and felt that people close to the president were receiving preferential treatment.

This song spoke out against the war in Vietnam, but was supportive of the soldiers fighting there. Like many CCR fans, most of the soldiers came from the working class, and were there because they didn’t have connections who could get them out. The song is sung from the perspective of one of these men, who ends up fighting because he is not a “Senator’s son.”

Creedence performed this on The Ed Sullivan Show, probably because the show’s producers didn’t realize it was a protest song. The show tried hard not to offend anyone and usually had bands perform their least controversial songs or alter the lyrics for the show (see “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and “Light My Fire”).

Fogerty recorded a bunch of vocal takes for “Down On The Corner” before singing this. As a result, his voice was strained, which he thinks is apparent on the song.

This is one of those songs that came together very quickly. Fogerty recalled to American Songwriter magazine in January 2013: “When I felt it was about ready to hatch, I went into my bedroom and just sat down to write. The whole thing happened in about 20 minutes. That just poured out.”

Like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.,” this is often misinterpreted as a patriotic anthem when it is the opposite.

Wrangler jeans used this in commercials in 2000, taking only the first two lines: “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag, Ooh, that red, white and blue,” implying the patriotic misinterpretation. The next lines are: “And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief” Ooh, they’re pointin’ the cannon at you,” but those lyrics would not sell jeans very well.

John Fogerty was furious, but there was nothing he could do about it, since he didn’t own the rights to the song. Wrangler’s director of advertising responded by saying the brand heard the song as “more an ode to the common man. The common man is who we have been directing Wrangler toward.”

The ads ran through 2002, when Fogerty voiced his displeasure in a Los Angeles Times article and the company pulled the spots. Fogerty later explained that it touched a nerve because the ad distorted the meaning of the song. “If there’s some other song that was probably just a simple rock ‘n’ roll song, maybe I wouldn’t feel so strongly, but ‘Fortunate Son’ has a real point to it,” he said.

In 2016, Wrangler again turned to CCR to soundtrack a spot, this time using “Up Around the Bend.”

Fogerty does not own the publishing rights to this song. He lost them, along with all the other songs he wrote for CCR, in his contract with Fantasy Records, which the band signed when they were struggling. Fantasy’s boss at the time, Saul Zaentz, controls the rights and can use the songs any way he wants, as long as it isn’t performed by any member of CCR. Fogerty hates that his song is constantly misused, but has no choice. He expressed this frustration on his solo track “Vanz Kant Danz.”

This has been covered by U2, Bruce Springsteen, Kid Rock, Dropkick Murphys, Sleater-Kinney, Corrosion Of Conformity, Minutemen, Uncle Tupelo, Bob Seger, Circle Jerks, Joe Lynn Turner, Bunny Foot Charm, Death Cab For Cutie, Undead, Raccoon, and 38 Special.

When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, John Fogerty was asked: “What inspired ‘Fortunate Son’?” His response: “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war. In 1969, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and like eighty percent of them were in favor of the war. But to some of us who were watching closely, we just knew we were headed for trouble.” 

Wyclef Jean’s slow, passionate cover of this was the theme song for the 2004 political thriller The Manchurian Candidate. Another popular political film from the summer of ’04 was the controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, of which John Fogerty remarked: “With the Michael Moore movie, certain conservative talk show hosts call him un-American. Him and anybody else who says anything about the war… To question your country’s policy, especially in a war that kills people, is definitely not un-American. It’s probably the most patriotic thing you can do.” >>

This is one of the first protest songs that makes the point that it’s the poor who are most likely to fight the wars. During the Iraq war, System Of A Down covered this topic with their song “B.Y.O.B..”

Former United States president George W. Bush is often considered a “Fortunate Son,” as he reaped the benefits that came with growing up in a powerful political family, which may have helped him avoid combat. This is covered in a book called Fortunate Son. 

On November 6, 2014, Fogerty performed this at the White House as part of the A Salute to the Troops concert that was broadcast the next day on PBS ahead of Veteran’s Day. Fogerty wasn’t sure how the song would be received at an event honoring military personnel, but it got a great reaction from the crowd, including many of the veterans and President Obama.

This was featured in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump as the title character, played by Tom Hanks, is en route to serve in Vietnam.

Fortunate Son

Some folks are born
Made to wave the flag
Oh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”
They point the cannon right at you

It ain’t me
It ain’t me.
I ain’t no senator’s son
It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

Some folks are born
Silver spoon in hand
Lord don’t they help themselves
But when the tax man comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale

It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no millionaire’s son
It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

Some folks inherit
Star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war
And when you ask them
“How much should we give?”
They only answer “More! More! More!”

It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no military son
It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one

It ain’t me
It ain’t me
I ain’t no Fortunate Son

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lookin’ Out My Back Door

When I first started to pay attention to the lyrics to this song…I would have bet Mr. Fogerty wrote it under the influence while looking out his back door. John said the song was written for his son Josh, who at the time was three years old. It was inspired by the Dr. Seuss book And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry StreetIn the book a kid is watching a parade go by with wondrous and magical animals and characters. Fogerty put the action “out my back door” to a place he could escape to.

The song was on the album Cosmo’s Factory… arguably Creedence’s best album. The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100 in 1970. Creedence had 16 songs in the top 100 in their short career but no number 1’s. Five songs peaked at #2. I never understood that but that is a post for another day. They were on a small label..Fantasy Records.

The album did peak at #1 in 1970.

There’s a giant doing cartwheels, a statue wearin’ high heels.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
A dinosaur Victrola list’ning to Buck Owens.

Great imagination John…

From Songfacts

Much like The Beatles “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” many people thought this was about drugs when it was really an innocent song inspired by a child. According to the drug theory, the “Flying Spoon” was a cocaine spoon, and the crazy animal images were an acid trip. This was even less plausible than the Beatles misinterpretation since Creedence Clearwater Revival was never into psychedelic drugs.

This is played in the film The Big Lebowski. 

The album cover shows Creedence Clearwater Revival’s rehearsal space, which is not their original digs: they started rehearsing in a shed in the backyard of their drummer Doug Clifford’s house. Clifford once said it was “better than working in a factory,” so their rehearsal rooms became known as “The Factory.” Clifford’s nickname was Cosmo, so this space was known as “Cosmo’s Factory.”

John Fogerty played a bit of dobro on this track. He’s seen holding the instrument on the cover of the 1969 album Green River, but “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” is the only time he played it on a Creedence song. In 1993, he bought a dobro at a vintage guitar show and set out to master the instrument, playing it for hours on end and using it on his 1997 solo album Blue Moon Swamp. He got some help along the way from Jerry Douglas, a preeminent dobro player who was part of Alison Krauss’ band Union Station.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door

Just got home from Illinois lock the front door oh boy!
Got to sit down take a rest on the porch.
Imagination sets in pretty soon I’m singin’

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

There’s a giant doing cartwheels, a statue wearin’ high heels.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
A dinosaur Victrola list’ning to Buck Owens.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?
Doo doo doo.
Wond’rous apparition provided by magician.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?
Doo doo doo.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I’ll buy no sorrows.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

Forward troubles Illinois, lock the front door oh boy!
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I’ll buy no sorrows.

Doo doo doo lookin’ out my back door.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bootleg

This was a song on their second album Bayou Country which peaked at #7 in 1969. Cool song and cool guitar lick by John Fogerty. The song is about things that are forbidden…only makes you want them more. Fogerty said: “Why is it that those things that are really bad for you – candy, ice cream, alcohol – taste so good? Why is it that the things that we can’t have we want even more?”

This song was not one of their big hits but a great song all the same. The band made a video for the song with them playing on a yacht and fans coming aboard.

From Songfacts

A bootleg is an example of an item made more appealing because it is illicit. In the ’60s, a bootleg was an illegal recording of a concert. These were often very low quality but still coveted, as they were rare and unauthorized.

Tom Fogerty played the acoustic guitar on this track.

Bootleg

Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.
Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.

Take you a glass of water
Make it against the law.
See how good the water tastes
When you can’t have any at all.

Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.
Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.

Findin’ a natural woman,
Like honey to a bee.

But you don’t buzz the flower.
When you know the honey’s free.

Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.
Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.

Suzy maybe give you some cherry pie,
But lord, that ain’t no fun.
Better you grab it when she ain’t lookin’
‘Cause you know you’d rather have it on the run.

Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.
Bootleg, bootleg,
Bootleg, howl.

Favorite Lines from Songs Part 2

I did Part 1 over a year ago and it was a fun post. I’ve been meaning to do this again. I remembered some of the lyrics suggested by my friends hanspostcard and allthingsthriller on the last post…I have added those to list. Thanks to both of you.

I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back, And started walkin toward a coffee colored Cadillac… Chuck Berry

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Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose, And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free Janis Joplin/Kris Kristofferson

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And I need you more than want you, And I want you for all time Jimmy Webb

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Doesn’t have a point of view / Knows not where he’s going to / Isn’t he a bit like you and me…The Beatles

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Met myself a coming county welfare line, I was feeling strung out, Hung out on the line…Creedence Clearwater Revival

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And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above…Bruce Springsteen

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He’d end up blowing all his wages for the week / All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek…Kinks

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Well it’s too late, tonight, To drag the past out into the light, We’re one, but we’re not the same, We get to carry each other, Carry each other…U2

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You can blow out a candle but you can’t blow out a firePeter Gabriel

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Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…The Beatles

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Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola, C-O-L-A Cola…Kinks

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It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart…Bob Dylan
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A drunkard’s dream if I ever did see oneThe Band

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And the sign said, The words of the prophets, are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls… Simon and Garfunkel

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I lit up from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds, Didn’t get to sleep that night
Till the morning came around…Grateful Dead

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When I said that I was lying, I might have been lyingElvis Costello
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Though nothing will keep us together/We can be heroes/Just for one day…David Bowie
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Lose your dreams and you. Will lose your mind…Rolling Stones

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It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win…Bruce Springsteen

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The motor cooled down, the heat went down, and that’s when I heard that highway sound…Chuck Berry

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We were the first band to vomit at the bar, and find the distance to the stage too far…The Who

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