|Creedence Clearwater Revisited set to play at Cliff Castle July 3|
|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Friday, 18 June 2010 10:00|
Stu Cook hasn’t forgotten how to rock. As the bass player for the “swamp rock” powerhouse Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cook was part of a group that gained a remarkable following, pumping out a string of hits in the 1960s and ’70s. “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Proud Mary,” “Suzie Q,” “Fortunate Son” are just a few; the list goes on.
Eventually the band members went their separate ways, and lead singer John Fogerty went on to pursue a solo career. It was years later in the 1990s when Cook and fellow CCR band member and drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford were sitting around jamming one day, playing some of the old songs that made them famous.
“We realized, ‘Hey, we still rock,’” Cook said. The two decided to start a new band dedicated to keeping the live performance of these classic tracks alive, and in 1995, Creedence Clearwater Revisited was born. The band at first only planned to play at private events, but that was short-lived once the group realized the desire people had to hear these songs live. Today the band tours harder than ever, often making more than 100 gigs around the world each year, bringing the music to both older fans and a new generation that wasn’t even born when these tunes first hit the airwaves.
“We’ve got three generations of fans,” Cook said. “The songs are great, the recordings are great, there’s nothing wrong with the Creedence brand at all. Every night we just go out there and have fun.”
Cook and Clifford took some care to fill out the band’s roster. It wasn’t the easiest task in the world. The band’s sound is quite distinctive, and Cook said they had to imagine what it would take to stay true to the music.
That was especially true when it came to finding a singer to try and bring something to the vocals that Fogerty made instantly recognizable. “These songs are difficult to sing,” Cook said. “They’re right on the edge of bleeding.”
They found the man for the job in lead singer and guitar player John Tristao.
“When we heard John, we both knew we had found what we needed,” Cook said.
They rounded out the roster with lead guitarist Tal Morris and multi-instrumentalist Steve Gunner.
The band fell right back into the groove when it came to hitting the road extensively. In many ways, Cook said, touring today is much easier than back in the days of Creedence Clearwater Revival.
“Playing the music is like riding a bicycle,” Cook said. “Traveling from place to place is easier today because there’s so much good equipment available to rent most places we go. We used to have to lug all that equipment around; now we’ve practically pioneered the model of getting the equipment we need while we’re out there.”
This summer, the band will be bringing its sound to the stage at Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde on Saturday, July 3.
The schedule shows that if the band hasn’t been to every casino and similar venue in the United States yet, its members are making their best effort.
“They’re building them faster than we can play them,” laughed Cook. “It’s a good thing for people who want to come see us play. Otherwise, people in Camp Verde wouldn’t get the chance to see this kind of thing unless they drove to a large city.”
This year has been an especially good one for the band, Cook said.
“Musically, we’re just playing better than ever,” Cook said. Creedence Clearwater Revisited is all about the art of the live performance, Cook said.
The band released an album a few years ago, and Cook said another one will eventually be in the works, and it will be recorded live.
The band focuses primarily on performing the hits everyone knows and loves, Cook said; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“People will come up and ask, ‘Aren’t you tired of playing ‘Proud Mary’?” Cook said. “No, we’re not. We want people to come to our show and have a fantastic time.”
That’s not to say the band is ignoring the lesser known tracks in the CCR catalog, Cook said.
“We’d like to keep the music alive,” Cook said. “But we focus on the hits people recognize and we’re hesitant to move away from that.”
“The band shows no signs of slowing down,” Cook said.
“We plan to keep doing this for as long as we can,” Cook said. “All we need is our health and an audience.”
For information about tickets, call 567-7999.