For John Fogerty, 1969 was just yesterday, and his fans at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach were in complete agreement. The intervening 46 years melted away as Fogerty delivered a concert no one will forget.
When you hear a greatest hits concert by The Eagles, Elton John or Tony Bennett, you realize that you are hearing not just music but the soundtrack of your life. Fogerty rose to the same atmospheric level with this concert.
“We are here to celebrate 1969,” he told the capacity audience. “If you don’t remember it don’t worry, you’re like most folks from those days.”
In his most extended monologue, Fogerty reminisced about “three days of Peace, Love and Music” known as Woodstock. Looking back it was the most important event in rock music history, and he was there as part of the group Creedence Clearwater Revival.
A promoter asked him to bring the band to Woodstock. “I probably said far-out man.” But what Fogerty did not realize was that they would follow The Grateful Dead. Instead of playing to half a million people in primetime Saturday night, The Grateful Dead did not end their gig till 230 in the morning.
“I got on stage to see a lot of people just like me except they’re naked. “ And many were sound asleep. He called into the vast audience and a guy “in the back flicked his lighter and said ‘Don’t worry John, we’re with you’. I played the rest of my concert for that guy.”
Fogerty’s unpretentious attitude both then and now is a welcome antidote to the preening nonsense of most modern singers. His autobiography is due for release on Oct. 6, 2015.
In the first portion of the concert he performed such megahits as Travelin Band, Susie Q, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Lodi, Lookin’ Out My Back Door and The Midnight Special.
For most performers that would be it, but his biggest hits of all kept on coming to the very end: Green River, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Centerfield, Fortunate Son, Bad Moon Rising and the grand finale Proud Mary.
It was truly a Concert for the Ages.
Photo by C Cunningham