Hailing this 368-page book on the front dust-jacket flap as the “definitive biography” of CCR – but lacking author interviews with John Fogerty – immediately raises an eyebrow. Still, relying on past published interviews and Fogerty’s recent memoir, plus original interviews with Doug Clifford and Stu Cook and several older Creedence history books, author John Lingan weaves a good story of a band famed for tightly arranged tunes but messy interpersonal relationships.
Lingan tells the tale in his own voice with few quotes, which smooths over the disparity of sources yet sometimes gives the book an almost novelistic feel – maybe not the ideal choice to ring true as definitive. And the thin B&W photo insert is a big disappointment, to say the least.
Much of the book focuses on the band’s place in rock and roll (really big and important, next to the Beatles and Stones) and the era (in tune with the political zeitgeist). There’s less about the music, creation, and arrangement of songs, and little on how Fogerty’s idiosyncratic guitar and amp choices gave the songs such a unique voice. But the book is an enjoyable and colorful (if relatively breezy) read for CCR fans.
This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.