Why John Fogerty Will Never Rejoin Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival's distinctive "swamp rock" sound thrived from 1967 to 1971 (though they stayed together long enough to release a record in 1972, it's generally not regarded as part of the thriving). John Fogerty, CCR's lead singer and songwriter, was credited with being the driving force behind the band's incredible success, writing and singing some of their most timeless hits such as "Born on the Bayou," "Bad Moon Rising," and "Lookin' Out My Back Door."

Unfortunately, creative differences, egos, and a record deal gone bad would lead to years of lawsuits and bitter feuds between the members. In an interview with The Guardian, Fogerty said of Creedence's record label, Fantasy Records: "We had signed a contract thinking we were all in it equally. I thought we would share to a great degree in the company's success. But then it didn't happen. Fantasy own the songs and they're supposed to pay me as the songwriter, but I've had to fight to get royalties from 1980 and every year after that. Basically, to get paid I had to sue them, that was their stance."

Fogerty: 'You guys went and joined with my worst enemy'

John Fogerty's own big brother, guitarist Tom, one of the four members of CCR, quit after the release of Pendulum, the band's sixth studio album, came out in December of 1970, and the two never reconciled. Per The Guardian, "In some trick of mental agility, he ended up befriending [Fantasy Records label owner] Saul Zaentz against me. By the end of his life Tom was saying 'Saul is my best friend.' He even wrote me nasty letters saying things like 'Saul and I will win.' It was very unresolved and very sad." Tom Fogerty died of AIDS-related respiratory failure in 1990 after contracting the HIV from a blood transfusion (via Chron).

John Fogerty, CCR bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford have not resolved their differences, either. In his memoir titled Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, excerpted in Rolling Stone, Fogerty said, "I wanted to be very clear about my intentions and their expectations. I told them, 'Considering what you have done, I will not play with you. You guys went and joined with my worst enemy [Saul Zaentz].'"

Treasure those Creedence Clearwater Revival records, because they're all we'll ever have

Fogerty added that CCR was asked to play at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993, but he said no way. "I said, 'I'm not playing as a band with Creedence. I don't play with those guys. We will never play as a band again,'" he explained.

In a later interview with Goldmine magazine, Fogerty said, "At the time, you have to understand, we had an agreement when we were in the band that nothing would ever happen concerning Creedence, unless we all four agreed; it took unanimous consent. It was honorable... You can't do it unless everyone says it is okay to do it; that is how I approached it. It didn't look like that was ever going to happen... George Harrison had an interesting statement about reunions. The same statement works for me: There can be no reunion as long as Tom [Fogerty] is dead."

Maybe it's time to stop asking, because that sounds pretty definitive.