From “Proud Mary,” to “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival has a raw, familiar sound that resonates with fans around the world. In 1995, original rockers Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford established Creedence Clearwater Revisited to keep the flame burning on this iconic music. Before the band hits the Stardust Event Center stage at Blue Chip Casino on July 14th, we spoke with the bassist, original band member, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Stu Cook.
LPCL: How did Creedence Clearwater Revisited get started?
It started in 1995 by Doug Clifford and myself, looking for something to do to get out of the house, and we were jamming a lot together and decided that we’d put together a band and see if anybody cared. 23 years later, here we are!
LPCL: Do you consider yourself a tribute band?
Well I guess we’re not a tribute band, to answer your question, but we don’t have all the original members...I would consider us just natural rock-n-roll evolution. You know, people come and people go. We’re about playing and keeping the music alive for the fans, so that’s what we’ve been doing for 23 years.
LPCL: Why has it been important to keep the flame burning for this music?
I think the fans are keeping the music alive, we’re just out there representing it as best as we can. We have three generations of fans, and I don’t think I had anything to do with that. Mostly the radio formats, classic rock radio, iTunes, commercials...You know, being used in television, being used in movies, of course there’s your big brother and big sisters record collection or CD collection. There’s a lot of factors involved in keeping the music in front of fans and keeping it relevant to a whole new audience. Needless to say, we’re all thrilled that that’s happened.
LPCL: What do you think it is specifically about the Creedence Clearwater music that makes it so iconic and important to people, even now, years after it started?
Well it’s simple, it’s direct, it’s written in a very clever way so as to not lock it into any particular place or time necessarily...We were sort of the soundtrack of the time.
LPCL: What about you - how did you get started in music?
My parents were both musicians and I was able to stumble around and learn some of the stuff on my own, but I did take formal lessons a couple of times but I was always encouraged to express my creativity with music.
LPCL: What are some of your favorite songs to perform?
I like “Down on the Corner,” I like “Up Around the Bend,” and I like “Suzie Q.”
LPCL: Could you tell us about one of the best audiences or performances you have ever had and why that was so special?
The most memorable place that we’ve ever played - everytime we go there to play it’s the same, so I have to tell you I’m not mistaken about this - it’s a place in Buenos Aires called Luna Park. We have a huge amount of fans in South America, Mexico, Central America, and we tour there regularly, but Luna Park is just off the planet. The audience is singing the songs and then when you finish playing a song they’re still singing so you can’t start the next one...It’s impossible to count off another song while one is playing; your brain just can’t do that, mine can’t! They’re so enthusiastic that the concert usually takes an extra half hour because of all the delays because of the enthusiasm...Every time we’ve played there, it’s virtually the same experience, I mean we’re never disappointed there, the fans in Argentina are amazing, not that they aren’t everywhere, but boy was that a memorable place.
LPCL: Finally, what are you looking forward to this year?
Well we just all want to stay healthy and have some safe summer touring. You know, our task is relatively simple. We just get on the stage and play the music and interact with the audience and everybody will have a great time together.
Composed of Stu Cook (bass), Doug “Cosmo” Clifford (drums), Dan McGuinness (vocals/rhythm guitar), Kurt Griffey (guitar), and Steve Gunner (keyboards/vocals/guitar/harmonica/percussion) , Creedence Clearwater Revisited will perform at the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino on Saturday, July 14th