John Fogerty’s Opinion Of CCR’s Woodstock Set “Wasn’t Remarkable”
CCR for their Woodstock set - Cal Vid / Youtube
After a long five decade absence from any official release, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s full Woodstock set from August 11, 1969 was finally released. Their performance didn’t appear in the original movie and soundtrack, because apparently, John Fogerty didn’t think their set wasn’t good enough. Be it the late-night schedule, following the biggest names, or a mediocre set list, we’re lucky to finally have a glimpse of the full performance now.
In an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Fogerty said “I don’t think any of us realized that our set was being recorded. I don’t think anybody actually knew that. Some months after the actual festival of Woodstock, I got a reel-to-reel tape in the mail and it was ‘Bad Moon Rising.’ … ‘Bad Moon Rising’ was okay, [but] like that commercial on TV, Is just okay gonna be okay? Well, I thought, ‘Never mind.'”
CCR was supposed to follow The Grateful Dead, who were also delayed as schedules continued to be pushed back. CCR managed to go on stage after midnight.“Creedence famously had issues because we were on so late and the audience was asleep, mostly caused by hippie dysfunction and the fact that we followed the Grateful Dead, who were obviously in character so it really impacted our set, if a million people, or close to it, were asleep. We actually played a really hot set, in spite of the fact that the audience was in such disarray in the middle of the night. But I wasn’t offered ‘Keep on Chooglin’,’ or ‘The Night Time Is the Right Time’ or ‘Suzie Q,'” Fogerty shared.
The band was in a streak that year, known for their three album releases back to back. Fogerty says the reason why they weren’t in the movie or soundtrack was, “Creedence was white-hot, the hottest thing on Earth at the moment. And I just thought, ‘Why do I want to be in a movie showing everybody’s dysfunction and the audience asleep?’ I demurred, as they say. So, we weren’t on the soundtrack and we weren’t in the movie. I never second-guessed that decision.”
He said the band has moved on after that, and even allowed the producers to include some of their performances for the 25th anniversary commemoration, for a director’s cut. The new release, Live At Woodstock, was fine with Fogerty, saying, “I imagine that’s pretty good, because I know we played really well. I haven’t listened to it.”