John's Older Brother Tom Fogerty

John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty

John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty

John's Older Brother Tom Fogerty

November 9, 1941 – September 6, 1990

 

Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty could certainly write hits: 
  • Green River
  • Fortunate Son
  • Born on the Bayou
  • Proud Mary
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain
  • Bad Moon Rising
  • Lookin’ Out My Back door
  • Down on the Corner
  • Have You Ever Seen the Rain
  • Up Around the Bend

...and many many more. At a time when so-called underground FM radio station bands were making concept albums, CCR stuck with the older format churning out albums full songs that typically stayed within AM radio's strictures of under 4 minutes and more often under three minutes.

John's success overshadowed the artistic hopes of the other band members like his older brother.

Background

Tom Fogerty was born in Berkeley, California.  He formed a band, Spider Webb and the Insects, that Del-Fi Records signed in 1959.  Spider Webb only recorded one song for the label, “Lyda Jane,” but it was never released and the group broke up shortly thereafter.

Tom joined John's band, the Blue Velvets, in 1960. The Blue Velvets had limited local success in the San Francisco Bay area.

The four signed with Fantasy Records in 1964. There they were briefly the Visions, the Golliwogs,  and finally, in late 1967, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Stardom

That elusive success suddenly exploded upon them: between July 1968 and December 1970, Creedence released six albums and top 10 hit after hit. The band was more a back up for John than a collaboration. Tom, the original front singer and whose own compositions were hardly included in the band's albums, led to his leaving the band in 1971. 

He signed a solo deal with Fantasy in 1972 and released the first of his six solo albums, Tom Fogerty, in 1972.  His other albums were:
  • Excalibur (1972)
  • Zephyr National (1974)
  • Myopia (1974)
  • Deal It Out (1981)
  • Sidekicks (with Randy Oda) (released posthumously in 1992)
  • The Very Best of Tom Fogerty (1999)
None had any of the commercial success that CCR had. CCR itself broken up by 1972. Most say due to John's continued insistence that all band-related issues be his to decide. 

Tom moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in the ‘80s. He underwent back surgery, but an unscreened blood transfusion infected him with the AIDS virus. It led to his death, officially of tuberculosis, on Sept. 6, 1990.

John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty

In a July 18, 2014 interview in Uncut, band bassist Stu Cook said, “Tom had put up with a lot of shit from John. I think Tom was expecting John to say, ‘OK, now we’ve achieved our goals, why don’t you start singing a few of the songs?’ Tom had a great voice, kinda like Ritchie Valens. Tom would have done a damn good job on ‘La Bamba’. But John didn’t want him to sing it, in case we had a hit with it. He didn’t want Tom to succeed.”

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. One of the most infamous inductions of any band in the Hall's history. According to The History of Tom Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival from the Ultimate Classic Rock site:  When Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...Tom Fogerty’s widow brought his ashes in an urn. John, however, refused to share the stage with his former bandmates.

The feud between the remaining three band mates (though obviously "mates" is not the word to use) continues.

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