Creedence Clearwater Revisited will perform at the
Shooting Star Casino on June 28
(Image by Jeff Dow)
By Sue Gruman Kraft
Creedence Clearwater Revisited, a group whose music appeals to multiple generations of fans, has been touring for 25 years, and is on its final season of touring. With just a few shows remaining, the group will be back in Mahnomen for a concert at the Shooting Star Casino on the evening of June 28.
Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, one of the founding members going back to the origins of the group’s music, and a legendary drummer, spoke in an interview to the Pioneer, stating that the members of the group now want to spend more time with family, and grandkids, but it has been an exciting adventure for them.
The hardest part for the members of the group has been the traveling, Clifford stated. They would play a show, take a shower, drive all night to the next location, and do it all again at the next location, Clifford explained. Long bus rides and difficult plane trips made it hard on the group. “We’ve made our mark, done our thing, and had a ball doing it,” Clifford stated. Now, they want to do something else, he said.
Performing on stage before their fans made it worth it. Clifford called it “Ninety minutes of making music with the guys.”
“It’s a labor of love, what we’ve always wanted to do. We come out playing our style of music,” Clifford said. And their enthusiasm comes out in their music, especially when it’s played live at the concerts.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited songs not only “conjure up memories” for the longtime fans, but they also make new fans and new memories in the younger generations.
“We never expected to have a Platinum Album,” Clifford said. “That happened.” Their album “Recollection,” is a collection of the tunes that are now enjoyed by four generations of fans, and make up part of the American Heritage of music.
Creedence Clearwater Revival founding members and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford have had quite a ride. Their beginnings go back to 1959, when the original members of Credence Clearwater Revival were just getting started, playing at school assemblies, at fraternity and sorority parties. Clifford once shared the story of how, before they were famous, they played six nights a week, five sets straight, in bars and venues near Sacramento, California.
The group has marked the fifty-year anniversary of the 1968 recording of “Susie Q,” which made Creedence famous. At that time, it was Stu Cook, Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, John and Tom Fogerty.
Other songs, like “I Put a Spell on You,” and “Proud Mary,” would add to the groups popularity.
The group performed mostly work written by John Fogerty, in addition to some great cover songs, but each member of the group was working on the songs in between shows,” Clifford said. “We all brought something to it,” Clifford noted. The group had 17 hits in less than four years.
In 1995, following their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Doug “Cosmo” Clifford and Stu Cook started Creedence Clearwater Revisited, to once again perform the hit songs live in concert. That was 24 years ago. The group has had world tours. They have fans in all parts of the globe.
Clifford combines his talent on the drums with Stu Cook’s bass to create the sound of Creedence. They found additional members to work with them on Credence Clearwater Revisited. Lead guitarist Kurt Griffey is famous himself with an incredible recording and touring history. Dan McGuinness “puts a spell on the crowd” with his lead vocal and rhythm guitar. Multi-instrumentalist Steve Gunner puts on an incredible live performance that adds so much to the music of Creedence.
Clifford stated “Gun provides live all the overdubs that were on the records – keyboard, acoustic guitar, percussion, harmonica and the high harmonies.”
When asked if he had a favorite song, Doug said he likes them all, but if he had to choose, it would probably be “Born on the Bayou.” The most difficult song he plays would be “Grapevine,” because he supports a lot of the guitar solos.
Clifford makes his home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the Summers, and in Scottsdale, Arizona, during the Winters. Clifford now has five grandchildren. He has missed a lot of family birthdays over the years while touring, he said. He is going to miss doing the shows, he said, but he will not miss the travel or being away from home. His future plans include continuing to work on music, he said.