Thread: Green River
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Old 19.03.2002, 19:36
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Review by J. Fogerty

Until the songs on Blue Moon Swamp, I've always considered "Green River" a high-water mark in my musical life, only because it felt so good. Here was the music closest to my musical center. Even though we had bigger albums, that album was my favorite. Green River was where I lived; from the sound of the record, what the record's about, the riffs, the setting which spills out onto the rest of the album, to the cover. It's my most comfortable place. Green River was another title I held onto from the time I was eight years-old. In my neighborhood, if you went to the soda fountain the pharmacy you could order different fizz drinks like, for instance, cherry cola. One of the drinks was a Green River, a bottle of syrup that fit into the dispenser upside down. The label read Green River, not unlike Sun Records, with a green river disappearing into a vanishing point. There were banks on either side with a sun that shone over the river, a sort of cartoon rendering. The drink was a green, lime drink on ice with fizz water, a soggy green snow cone. That's what I would order and it made me the happiest. I'd been saving "Green River" all my life, a good example of the imagery of Creedence. What people take for granted as the imagery of Creedence comes out of John Fogerty's head. Creedence exists because it existed in John Fogerty's mind. "Green River" is about my childhood, my story, as are the other songs in the Creedence catalogue. "Green River" was about a place in Northern California, near Winters. There's a creek called Putuh Creek. In Spanish, "puta" roughly means "bad woman" or "prostitute." They made Lake Berryessa by damming up the creek. Below the dam was a place we called Cody's Camp, right on the Putuh Creek. When my parents took me there during the early 50s, I was only four or five years old. We rented the same cabin, a kitchen and one bedroom, a tiny little structure right on the edge of the creek. There was an old guy who claimed to be a direct descendent of Buffalo Bill Cody. That's where the Cody comes from, allegedly, he was related. The day after we recorded "Green River" at Wally Heider Studios, another young engineer in the building heard the song. He was so moved, he called me at home. "Pick up a flat rock and skip it across the Green River." He was a total stranger, but totally into the words, the first person to acknowledge that something special, lyrically, was happening in my music.
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