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John Fogerty Memoir – Fortunate Son

John Fogerty’s memoir “ Fortunate Son”
By
Doug Hall

“The sound of it! Like a bolt to the brain.” …. A recollection of the first time he heard a song and it stuck – at 5 years old – still clear for the songwriter on his 70th birthday. And still clear to me or any other fan is the memory of the first time we heard that hungry bellow, “Cause Your Miiiine !!” or surging chant “Heey-AH To-night!!” or other “utterances” unique to this man’s voice. He is the maker of his own distinct anthology, a country rock-in’, mystical, deep-rooted Americana sound that takes us right there in “Proud Mary” “Green River” “Born on the Bayou” “Up Around the Bend” or “Bad Moon Rising.” We can thank the timelessness of John Fogerty, and hear his vocals shake us and the songwriting put us into the backwoods, running scared or foreboding a night or chasing a riverboat dream. With all these places he takes us, Fogerty becomes a true chronicler of his own creation – of the swampy, dark, reckoning and challenge of human fortitude and then reversing the tempo in the very next tune to an upbeat – foot-stompin’, country-flavored rock and blues cut, with intro guitar riffs and vocal twang and grammar (“Chooglin”, “Bye-You”, Boy-Nin”) – all a part of his indelible sound and signature.

a ccr black and white

Finally, in his own words, Fogerty has written a telling memoir, “Fortunate Son.” Taking us on this journey, we hear about the songsmith’s world, built with these ballads and lyrics so familiar to several generations going forward. As importantly, he lets us inside his studio and shares the creative process that led to so many remarkable albums with his band Creedence Clearwater Revival (notably 3 of which, Bayou Country, Green River and Willie and the Poor Boys, outsold the Beatles in 1969 with 5 hit singles). Later, after the tumultuous break-up of his band in 1972, and fighting un-ending legal battles for ownership of his own songs and frivolous lawsuits against the integrity of his compositions, he would then spiral down a very dark hole. Fighting a wall of writer’s block induced by anger and frustration with loss of ownership of his own material from CCR, Fogerty, by his own candid admission, would nearly self-destruct.

Only by following an intuition and pilgrimage, back to the sounds, smell and feel of the Mississippi south and its blues roots, did he eventually struggle with his own soul and find his creative vein again. Searching out the origins of black blues musicians he so respected, even visiting the gravesite of Robert Johnson, Fogerty found a new will. These struggles with his own internal demons and legal circumstances, and fight to maintain his high musical standards finally produced a Grammy award-winning album in 1998, Blue Moon Swamp, after 5 years of exhaustive studio work.

He also found love again in the midst of his near miss with recovery. Julie Fogerty became his confident, supporter, counselor and best friend – and they started a new family together. There are wonderful moments in this memoir, recounting their special bond and love for one another. Through a long process of pain and eventual success in his post CCR period, she helped him find his way back and enjoy a re-birth of his professional musical life.

a john fogerty & wife julie

These are the bookends of a career, that hold in between them an amazing story of a school band to chart topping success, and the fall afterwards of betrayal and debt, and final redemption of a kind that rings true to one of Fogerty’s own heartbreak and deliverance songs. The story is a road travelled, long with no easy exits or turnarounds. A foreboding American tale also about the recording industry, the musician and his art, all told with absolute frankness and detail revealing the true nature and backbone of a remarkable songwriter and performer.

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The best part of what we do is meeting inspiring people like writer Doug Hall. His contributions are a blessing and bright light to Fresh Independence.
Meet Doug…
My lifelong passion for writing and literature (which are wed to each other) continues to stay active, with art and cultural freelance writing assignments for on-line entertainment web sites. Home has been New England, Rocky Mountains, and London and lots of places travelled through books and points of view. (publishing in lazysundaymag.com and bubbobar.com )
“Creativity is a continual surprise.” 
― Ray Bradbury

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Carly Simon to release Memoir November 24th

Book

“This book is my way of going back through my childhood, my music, my romances, my marriage … and trying to make sense of it all,” Simon says in a statement. “I’ve been working on it for so long that it feels like my third child … but now it’s time to send that child out in the world. It’s one of the most frightening – and exciting – things I’ve ever done.”-Carly Simon

Boys in The Trees

The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture, but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing “Anticipation” and “We Have No Secrets” among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics, as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.

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Jewel Is Picking Up the Pieces

It was a pleasure speaking with Jewel whose beauty resonates from the inside out. Her recently penned memoir Never Broken is candid and so graciously offers up the idea that choosing, thinking and being happy is a reality for us all. Accompanying the book is her latest album Picking Up the Pieces that takes you on a journey that blends the thoughts and soul of a young girl with the Jewel of present day. – Fresh Independence

J E W E L

Tell us about your memoir Never Broken…

I’ve often been asked in my life how I went from an abusive background, to moving out at 15, to being homeless, to turning things around. So I set out to talk about those things and answer that question. I knew at 15 when I moved out that girls like me end up becoming a statistic. That statistically a girl like me ends up in an abusive relationship, or on drugs, or in a ditch or on a pole – one of those things. I wanted to beat those odds. I had read a lot of philosophy and I read a lot of nature vs. nurture and I wanted to see if I could re nurture myself if I did not like the nurturing that I had received in my home. So I started on a scientific discovery to see if I could learn happiness if it wasn’t taught in my household. I studied nature and read a lot and I learned a lot and I think the most surprising thing for me in the book to express and talk about, was how being diligent and  focused helped me a lot. But I didn’t avoid all the pain that I hoped to. I learned that you can’t avoid pain in life and the thing that kept me safe in life was not avoiding pain, but actually how I handled pain and how I transmuted pain and how it kept me resilient and undamaged from the amount of trauma that I went through in my life. There are very specific things that helped me and I talk about them in case they can  help someone else. I wanted to be honest and transparent in the writing so that people could understand and feel what it meant to heal from it, and that it is possible.

a jewel never broken

You story is a soul filled with character – do you feel you were born with tools already or was it something you had to learn…

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