John Fogerty: Five little-known facts about the Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman
October 1st, 2013
04:51 PM ET

John Fogerty: Five little-known facts about the Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman

John Fogerty stands in front of a glass case at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Inside the display are several of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers' guitars, a telegram from Johnny Cash and three of Fogerty’s signature plaid flannel shirts.

“It’s like walking into your closet and having an audience. It’s sort of strange,” the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman tells CNN. He says this, of course, while wearing a plaid flannel shirt.

Named after his current solo album, the “John Fogerty: Wrote a Song for Everyone” exhibit runs through January 2014. It unflinchingly chronicles the ups and downs of the singer-songwriter’s tumultuous four-decade career.

There are handwritten lyrics to Creedence’s 1969 classic, “Proud Mary,” and a guitar fashioned from a baseball bat for Fogerty’s 1985 solo album, “Centerfield.” Also on display: the original contract Creedence Clearwater Revival signed with Fantasy Records in 1964. That document would come back to haunt Fogerty when he embarked on his solo career.

“They sued me for sounding like myself,” Fogerty says, still incredulous after all these years.

For two decades, he wouldn’t play Creedence songs, during an era he calls his “dark period.” But at Thursday’s Grammy Museum event, he had no problem treating fans to a trio of CCR hits: “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” “Proud Mary” and “Fortunate Son.”

Even though his life and times have been well-documented by rock critics and historians, we discovered five little-known Fogerty facts:

How Fogerty got his start in music
Fogerty kicked off his career as the eight-year-old lead singer of an imaginary band called Johnny Corvette and the Corvettes. At the time, the singer/songwriter said he was more inspired by Bing Crosby than Frank Sinatra. "This is unfair, but I was a little kid – I didn’t like Frank Sinatra so much because he didn’t seem as nice as Bing.”

Fogerty is writing his autobiography – and he won’t be shy about voicing his opinion
“Of course, it’s going to be as thick as the phone book,” he warns. Fogerty will give fans the inside scoop about his personal life, his solo career and, hopefully, whether fans will ever see the surviving members of CCR reunite on stage.

Blood may be thicker than water, but ...
Fogerty's sons Tyler and Shane have a band called Hearty Har, and just because Fogerty is a supportive dad doesn't mean he bites his tongue. “He’s pretty hard on us,” 20-year-old Tyler Fogerty says with a laugh. “He’s always saying, ‘Aw, you gotta do this better.’ It’s cool because it’s good advice, but it can be intense.”

Why he sounds like he was “Born on the Bayou” instead of in the San Francisco Bay area
“I kind of think it might be reincarnation. For those of you who don’t have that bent, then I’m just wacky to you guys. Sometimes it just seems like there’s more stuff going on than we see.”

Age is just a number
“There’s gray hair under this,” the 68-year-old musician admits, pointing to his signature auburn hair.

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