John Fogerty – I Saw It On TV

When I bought the Centerfield album in 1985 this is one of the first songs that I listened to. This song broke Fogerty’s writer’s block he had for years…and he wrote the album after this. The song chronicles history from the 50s to the 70s. While fishing he started to think about the things he’s seen on T.V. as a young boy: the Eisenhower inauguration, the Yankees, the Mickey Mouse Club, Elvis Presley, The Beatles on Ed Sullivan Show etc. The story continued on through the sixties, Vietnam, and then Watergate.

I Saw It On TV was not a hit but a very good album track. The song concludes with the riff of the intro of “Who’ll Stop the Rain”.

Robert Hilburn from The Los Angeles Times,

“The album’s most affecting tune, however, may be “I Saw It on T.V,” a look at the way television has programmed so many shared emotions into the post-’50’s generation. In the song, Fogerty traces the liberating effect of Presley’s arrival, the idealism of the Kennedy years, the loss of innocence after his assassination, the celebration of the Beatles, the tragedy of Vietnam and the corruption of Watergate.”

 

I Saw It On TV

They sent us home to watch the show comin’ on the little screen
A man named Ike was in the white house, big black limousine
There were many shows to follow, from ‘Hooter’ to Doodyville
Though I saw them all, I can’t recall which cartoon was real

The coon-skin caps, Yankee bats, the Hound Dog man’s big start
The A-Bomb fears, Annette had ears, I lusted in my heart
A young man from Boston set sail the new frontier
And we watched the Dream dead-end in Dallas
They buried innocence that year

I know it’s true, oh so true
‘Cause I saw it on TV

We gathered round to hear the sound comin’ on the little screen
The grief had passed, the old men laughed, and all the girls screamed
‘Cause four guys from England took us all by the hand
It was time to laugh, time to sing, time to join the band

But all too soon, we hit the moon, and covered up the sky
They built their bombs, and aimed their guns, and still I don’t know why
The dominoes tumbled and big business roared
Every night at six, they showed the pictures and counted up the score

I know it’s true, oh so true
‘Cause I saw it on TV

The old man rocks among his dreams, a prisoner of the porch
“The light” he says
“At the end of the tunnel was nothin’, but a burglar’s torch”
And them that was caught in the cover are all rich and free
But they chained my mind to an endless tomb
When they took my only son from me

I know it’s true, oh so true
‘Cause I saw it on TV
I know it’s true, oh so true
‘Cause I saw it on TV

John Fogerty – Rockin’ All Over The World

In 1975 John Fogerty was battling his old record label Fantasy and his ex-bandmates in Creedence. He released his second solo album, John Fogerty, it was released by Asylum Records in the United States and Fantasy Records internationally. The album peaked at #78 in 1975.

It contained two songs are among my favorite of Fogerty’s solo material… this one and Almost Saturday Night. Rockin’ All Over The World peaked at #27 in the Billboard 100 in 1975.

Status Quo did a cover of this song and it peaked at #3 in the UK Charts. John isn’t concerned that many people think it was written by Status Quo. He said: “It’s wonderful to have a cover that’s much better known than the original. Even at the time, when I was still lost in the woods, the fact that there was a song I’d written that was doing quite well made me feel much better.”

 

 

From Songfacts

Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the top American acts from 1968 until their split in 1972. Their leader, John Fogerty, released an album under the name The Blue Ridge Rangers in 1973 that got away from the CCR sound, with covers of classic country songs. For his next album, released in 1975 under his own name, he wanted to re-establish himself as a rocker, which he did on this song, which is the first single.

The 2:50 “Rockin’ All Over The World” finds Fogerty singing about life as musician bringing rock to the masses, which is something he knew well. The song did well, but the album stalled at #78. The following year, Fogerty said in an interview with Phonograph Record, “When I finished it, there was something wrong that I just couldn’t put my finger on. It sounded dated in a way, like it should have come out in 1971.”

Bruce Springsteen added this song to his setlist when he toured the UK in 1981, typically playing it as part of his encore. The song would show up again on tours in 1985 and 1993, then occasionally at concerts in the ’00s and ’10s.

Typical of Fogerty’s solo work, he played all the instruments on this track and did all the vocals himself.

The British group Status Quo took this to #3 in the UK with their 1977 cover. Their guitarist Rick Parfitt got the idea to cover the song; he first heard it after a night in the studio when copious amounts of alcohol were consumed. Driving home, he stopped to pick up what he thought was a hitchhiker, but was really a mailbox. Realizing he was quite impaired, he turned on the radio and “Rockin’ All Over The World” came on, which he later suggested to the band.

“When we all heard it, it just sounded piddly to us,” Quo frontman Francis Rossi told us. “But once we’d done the track and then Rick got that kind of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ piece on the end, it started to build into something.”

Status Quo made this the title track of their 1977 album, and embarked that year on the “Rockin’ All Over The World” tour. This tour, however, skipped America. After making stops in the US the previous four years, the group gave up on the States, where their only significant hit was the 1968 track “Pictures Of Matchstick Men.”

This was the first song performed at Live Aid. Status Quo was the opening act at the London stage, and played it first in their set, which also included “Caroline” and “Don’t Waste My Time.”

Status Quo re-recorded the song in 1988, to support Sport Aid, as “Running All Over The World” with slightly amended lyrics. The new version reached #17 in the British Singles Chart.

The song has been reworked by the supporters of several football teams. Southend United fans, for instance, began singing “Shrimping All Over the World” after the 2004 Football League Trophy final and it is now their anthem. Also supporters of the Northern Ireland national football team often sing the song, particularly on away trips, changing the lyrics to “Drinkin’ All Over the World.”

Status Quo have a devoted rock following who love this song, even thought it’s one of their poppier efforts. As Francis Rossi tells it, even in 2013 when they played the Sweden Rock festival, metal bands were clearly enjoying this song. “It went out as a single and it was just monstrous,” he said. “I don’t really understand why.”

By the time Quo were ready to film the video, bassist Alan Lancaster had moved to Australia to get married. When the band asked him to fly back for the promo, he refused. Quo’s solution was to replace him with a life-sized puppet with a guitar, its strings operated by the band’s manager from the studio ceiling. “I didn’t mind the puppet,” Lancaster told Q magazine April 2013, “But that was the first time we’d done something without all four of us.”

John Fogerty recorded his original during a dark period when he was boycotting his old Creedence Clearwater songs.

Rockin’ All Over The World

Oooh! Ah!
Well, a-here-ee-yup, a-here-ee-yup, a-here we go,
Four in the mornin’, justa hittin’ the road,
Here we go-oh! Rockin’ all over the world! Yeah.
Well, a-geedeeup, a-geedeeup, a-get away,
We’re goin’ crazy, and we’re goin’ today, here we go-oh!
Rockin’ all over the world!

[Chorus:]
Well I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it,
I la-la-like it, la-la-la, here we go-oh! Rockin’ all over the world!
Yeah! Yeah!
Well, I’m gonna tell your Mama what your Daddy do,
He come out of the night with your dancin’ shoes,
Here we go-oh! Rockin’ all over the world! Yeah.

[Chorus x5]

Creedence Clearwater Revival

This band was rock, country, blues, pop and a little of everything. Their music is played on practically every jukebox and by every self-respecting bar band. The songs are not intricate masterpieces like Bohemian Rhapsody or A Day In The Life but masterpieces all the same.

Bands go their whole career without writing one song that is NOT a love song…this band wrote about everything else but love. Many of their songs have become standards today.  They had songs about rivers, swamps, backdoors, jungles, and riverboats.

The band…or should I say John Fogerty wrote one song after another and kept hitting the charts. At the time it must have felt like the well would never run dry. Their songs were simple but so effective. John has a distinctive sound with not only his guitar but his voice. His voice was an instrument itself that drove his songs.

They were together in the public eye from 1968 to 1972. Creedence was one of the biggest bands in the world during those years. Songs kept coming like Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Green River, Looking Out My Back Door, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Lodi, Traveling Band and etc… They were a singles band and they were an album band. Albums such as Cosmo’s Factory, Green River, Willy and The Poor Boys are classic albums.

Many people thought they were from the south…maybe Louisiana but they were from El Cerrito, California. Hard to believe they were from the same area as the Grateful Dead and the San Francisco music scene of the late sixties. Creedence was not a jam band like many of their peers, they played songs to the letter. They were called rock, country rock and swamp rock.

The band had 9 top ten hits and 16 songs that charted.

They were originally signed to Fantasy Records by Saul Zaentz to a bad record deal that kept John enslaved to the company long after the band broke up. Saul held the rights to John’s songs. Saul had promised the band, to begin with, that he would renegotiate the contract when the band got more successful…he never did.

The band included guitar player, lead singer and writer John Fogerty, drummer Doug Clifford, bassist Stu Cook and Tom Fogerty (John’s brother) on rhythm guitar. Eventually, Tom, Stu, and Doug started to feel like John’s backup band and wanted more control. Tom quit and Creedence became a trio and took off on a tour and made an album.

The band broke up in 1972. It was a sad thing because who knows how many more songs Creedence could have created. Instead of music, the band bickered back and forth and still will file lawsuits from time to time against each other.

I’ve tried to read a few books about them but it’s hard to get through the name calling and the lawsuits that flew back and forth. They all were friends earlier but Stu, Tom, and Doug would usually take Saul Zaentz’s side against John. The brothers rarely talked to each other before Tom died in 1990.

Creedence at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970

 

Creedence Clearwater Revival Discography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creedence_Clearwater_Revival_discography

 

Neil Young and John Fogerty Lawsuits

In the eighties, two lawsuits popped up pertaining to these two artists.

Neil Young was basically sued for NOT sounding like himself by David Geffen and John Fogerty was sued for sounding too MUCH like himself by Saul Zaentz and Fantasy Records.

In the early eighties, David Geffen signed Neil Young to a huge contract to Geffen Records. Neil who will do his own thing no matter what or when…released an album called “Trans” his foray into electronic music. Geffen wanted another “Harvest” with another Heart of Gold or Old Man…instead he got “Computer Age” and “We R in Control” with Neil singing through a Vocoder. After that Neil was asked to do more rock and roll by a Geffen record company executive…the record company was thinking more of the lines of the harder rock Rust Never Sleeps…so Neil gave them rock and roll all right… “Everybody’s Rockin” an album full of early fifties Doo-wop and rockabilly sounding songs. The record company was not amused…he then released an album full of country music… In his contract, Neil had full artistic freedom.

Geffen had claimed the new albums were  “unrepresentative” of Neil’s music.

Geffen sued him for 3.3 million dollars but the case was settled and Geffen had to apologize to Neil.

In 1985 John Fogerty finally broke his silence with the album Centerfield. He had not released anything since 1975. He was involved with legal hassles and could not make music. Centerfield was a good album that signaled to the world John was back. He then was sued by Fantasy Records owner Saul Zaentz who signed the great Creedence Clearwater Revival to a terrible contract with Fantasy Records that kept John…the main songwriter and singer under contract forever. On top of that John gave up his copyrights to his CCR songs to Saul and Fantasy just to get out of that contract. The first single off of the Centerfield album “Old Man Down the Road” shot up the charts. Saul sued claiming it sounded too much like an old Creedence song that John wrote and sang called “Run Through the Jungle”. So he was being sued for plagiarizing himself. John would take his guitar to court to demonstrate how he wrote the two songs.

John won the case in 1988 and a lot of other musicians breathed a sigh of relief because other artists could have been sued for sounding like their younger selves if John would have lost. John countersued Fantasy Records for legal fees and it went to the Supreme Court in 1994…. they ruled in favor of Fogerty.