John Fogerty is up in arms over the title for his 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival classic “Proud Mary” being used for a new mob thriller starring Taraji P. Henson. Fogerty spoke about his thoughts on the legendary song’s title being co-opted by Hollywood, telling The Las Vegas Review-Journal, “First of all, when you see that someone is making a film called Proud Mary, of course it was a total surprise to me. No one ever tells me about things like this, including the record company. But my wife, Julie, and I were walking to a movie complex around Christmastime and there was a movie poster and it said, ‘Killin’ for the man every night and day.’ I went, ‘Hey, they’ve changed my lyric!’ And they did it in such an awful way.”
Fogerty went on to say, “We couldn’t get anybody to respond to us. They just decided they were going to bowl us over, you know? Finally, I decided that my fans would want to know how I feel about this, or if I was involved in any way or have anything to do with it. Which I don’t. I want you to understand that I don’t really begrudge the actors in the movie or those folks. I imagine that, like all artists, they are putting their heart and soul into something when they have the chance. This is more about bigwigs who decide on marketing and stuff. It just sort of sends you in the wrong direction.”
The film company that produced Proud Mary, Screen Gems, released a statement to ABC News regarding Fogerty’s issues with the film’s title: “We would love Mr. Fogerty to come see the film. He would see that his complaint that the film has nothing to do with the song’s message as ‘a metaphor about leaving painful, stressful things behind for a more tranquil and meaningful life’ is inaccurate. That is precisely what our Mary is looking to do, and (Proud Mary star) Taraji (P. Henson) nails it perfectly.”
John Fogerty explained to us that unlike many of his peers in the late-’60s who simply followed their muse wherever it led them, he needed to constantly keep his eye — and his talents — on the prize: “Way, way, back 40-something years ago, when I was having so much success with Creedence, as a songwriter, I used to tell people, ‘For every song you hear, I write 10 other songs that are lousy, and I’m pushing myself to get that one out of ten that’s really great.’ At the time I called it ‘staying on the bulls-eye,’ meaning, don’t get off on a tangent, suddenly: ‘Hey John, let’s have sitar!’ (laughs) — which was a popular thing. I just wanted to stay on the bulls-eye and have a great big career.”
John Fogerty will play on January 17th, 19th, and 20th in Las Vegas at Encore Theater At Wynn Las Vegas.
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