Unlike many big name joint tours, the upcoming John Fogerty and ZZ Top outing came about free of managers or any bottom line financial incentives. Fogerty and Billy Gibbons talked to Rolling Stone about the spring run, dubbed the “Blues & Bayous Tour.” Fogerty explained how the dates came about in a purely musical sense: “I’ve been wanting to kind of hook up with Billy or ZZ for a long time. I think we’ve traded emails. I ran into him down somewhere and I was playing and Billy was playing the next night. I had him come into my show and we did ‘Sharp Dressed Man.’ It was a lot of fun. He sent me a couple of emails. I think he even gave me a CD or two that he labeled ‘Big Ol’ Blues.’ There was a whole bunch of great old songs on there. We’ve been trying for a while and it finally has fallen into place, which I’m delighted about.”
Billy Gibbons talked about what intrigued him most about Fogerty’s songs with Creedence Clearwater Revival back in the day: “It was a fascinating juxtaposition of a band from northern California that played blues from the bayou and struck a chord that resonated throughout the rest of the country. I think it would be fair to say that the recordings that popped up in that auspicious time continue to resonate.
There is something magical about what that sound contained and, of course, it would be fair to say that John Fogerty’s singing style is a gift from the heavens.” Regarding the fact that Creedence’s run was only really spanned about four years, he said, “Isn’t that amazing? I can only compare it, perhaps, with the short run of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, 18 months. There are very few examples of such timeless expressions that can lay claim to so-called ‘short-lived,’ but can claim a lifelong run.”
Fogerty talked about the prospects of the he and ZZ Top trading licks every night during the shows: “Hopefully we’re going to have a little cross-pollination. That’s the plan. Something like that needs a tad bit of, if not rehearsal, at least a tad bit of discussion to make it seem worthwhile to the audience, anyway. Selfishly, this is just a bucket list thing for me. I’m really looking forward to jamming and becoming intimately aware of their music and all the little things that happen during their set.”
When pressed as to what songs fans can hope to see performed by him and ZZ Top, Fogerty said, “I imagine that ‘Keep On Chooglin” would be quite the rave-up, or ‘Born On The Bayou.’ Anything, really. It’s all kind of fair game, I suppose. I don’t think we’d be cheating the audience if we spoil ‘Proud Mary’ by having a Billy solo in the middle — I’m kidding about the spoil part — but I think the audience would tolerate that because they know they are coming to a show where both of us are there. This is a new set of rules.”
John Fogerty told us that the guitar is still the be-all and end-all for him regarding rock n’ roll: “That’s mostly how it works for me, and that is also what I like to do. I like playing guitar, and it’s fun trying to come up with a unique lick, y’know? Or, I like playing other people’s licks. I mean, I just love playing. I still sit down and play ‘Honky Tonk’ and get a great big smile on my face.”
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