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Albums, Songs and Concerts Here we discuss our impression of CCR albums, songs and concerts, as well as the songs meaning

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Old 19.03.2002, 19:50
Michael
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Review by J. Fogerty

The riff came before the words. I had that riff while we were soundchecking at the Avalon Ballroom in 1968. "Suzi Q" was just a demo tape being played on KMPX. We had heard Janis's demo of "Hesitation Blues" with Jorma playing guitar and someone typing in the background. We thought, "Wow, we ought to make a demo tape, too." So they started playing the demo version of "Suzi Q," which is the same version that appears on the album. Anyway, we were getting ready to play the Avalon Ballroom. Our first album was just about ready, but I was already on to the next batch of songs, and I had this riff for a song. It was 6:30 or 7:00 at night, they're getting ready to open the doors any minute, but we're on the stage soundchecking because we were the punk, opening band. So I screamed at Stu, play these notes on the bass. Doug, play this beat. Tom, strum the back beat. Everybody, stay in E as I was hammering this riff, screaming nonsensical vowels. (I write a lot of songs that way.) The feeling was great. Meanwhile the stage manager hollers, "You guys have to stop." But I needed to work the song out. "You have to stop. You're wasting everybody's time. Besides, you're not going anywhere anyway!" With that remark, he'd thrown down the gauntlet. I gave him the evil eye, then looked at him and said, "Give me a year, I'll show you who's going somewhere." Then we went backstage and gathered our pride. About four years later, I ran into the same guy when he was doing an interview with us. He remembered that night. I was the only guy with enough chutzpah to predict the future ten times over. Yes indeed, it as a hell of a year. By the end of May in 1968, I was staying up late in my room, finally finishing the song. The feel was definitely Southern with a "swampy" vibrato guitar, an adjective I invented because my music was about swamps. "Born on the Bayou" was vaguely like "Porterville," about a mythical childhood and a heat-filled time, the Fourth of July. I put it in the swamp where, of course, I had never lived. It was late as I was writing. I was trying to be a pure writer, no guitar in hand, visualizing and looking at the bare walls of my apartment. Tiny apartments have wonderful bare walls, especially when you can't afford to put anything on them. "Chasing down a hoodoo." Hoodoo is a magical, mystical, spiritual, non-defined apparition, like a ghost or a shadow, not necessarily evil, but certainly other-worldly. I was getting some of that imagery from Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. There was also the ill-fated album I recorded called Hoodoo. It never came out. I don't even have a copy of it. I'm sure it's worse than even I remember it.
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