Bruce on the artist
1993-01-12 - CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL, LOS ANGELES, CA
Bruce´s speech inducting Creedence Clearwater Revival into the Rock´n´Roll Hall of Fame:
"In 1970 suburban New Jersey was still filled with the kind of sixties spirit Easy Rider made us all so fond of. I'm referring to the scene where Dennis Hopper gets blown off his motorcycle by some red-neck with a shotgun! A weekend outing at the time was still filled with the drama of possibly getting your ass kicked by a total stranger, who disagreed with your fashion sense. Me and my band worked on Route 35 outside of Asbury Park, at a club called the Pandemonium. They'd recently lowered the drinking age to eighteen with the logic that if you were old enough to die you were old enough to drink! And so it was five 50 minute sets a night and rarely a night without a fight. The crowd was eclectic; rough kids just out of high school who hadn't been snatched up by the draft yet; Truck drivers heading home south to the Jersey pines who weren't gonna make it (not that night at least), and a mixture of college and working girls, women with bouffant hair-dos, and a small, but steady hippy contingent. Tough crowd to please all at once! We played behind a U-shaped bar that was just three feet and spitting distance from many of the patrons who came to just drink and stare and hassle the band. Into New Jersey came the music of John and Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook - Creedence Clearwater Revival; and for three minutes and seven seconds of Proud Mary a very strained brotherhood would actually fill the room. It was simply a great song that everybody liked and it literally saved our asses on many occasions! Creedence started off in the long jamming tradition of other San Francisco bands, realised it wasn't their road, quit cold, and went on to great things· Green River. Bad Moon Rising, Down On The Corner, Lodi. Fortunate Son, Who'll Stop The Rain, Born On The Bayou, it wasn't only great music, it was great dance music, it was great bar band music. I remember in the late seventies I'd be out in a club and I'd watch some band struggle through one of my songs ond then just sort of glide effortlessly through a Creedence Clearwater tune. It used to really piss me off!. Anyway I stand here tonight, still envious of that music's power and its simplicity. And they were hits, and hitsville was reality and poetry and a sense of the darkness of events and of history. Of an American tradition shot through with pride, fear. paranoia and they rocked hard. Now you can' t talk about Creedence without talking about John Fogerty. On the fashion front, all of Seattle should bow! John was the father of the flannel shirt! And as a songwriter only few did as much in three minutes. He was an old testament, shaggy haired prophet, a fatalist; funny too. As Clint Eastwood said "A man's got to know his limitations". But I can say I've never met anyone who took'em so seriously! He was severe, he was precise, he said what he had to say and got out of there. He was lyrically spare and beautiful. He created a world of childhood memory and of men and women with their backs to the wall. A landscape of swamps, bayous, endless rivers, gypsy women, back porches, hand dogs chasing ghosts, devils, bad moon's rising. straight out of the blues tradition. He turned it into a vision that was all his own and in Doug, Stu and Tom he had the band that could back it up. What makes a great rock band is a funny thing - its not always the obvious things. You can't ever really know what makes a great band tick. Its not about what the players are exactly like. All I know is he had Tom Fogerty's relentless rhythm guitar and Doug and Stu's great rhythm section and John's songwriting and singing. All I know is they played great together. I bumped into John one day on Mulholland Drive and we laughed about how far he was from the bayou and I was from the New Jersey turnpike! Creedence made music for all the waylaid Tom Sawyer's and Huck Finn's, for a world that would never again be able to take them up on their most simple and eloquent invitation which is "If you get lost, come on home to Green River". So let me end by saying that in their day Creedence never got the respect they deserved. Who would have thought that in sixty-nine, before the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, Strawberry Alarm Clock or Electric Prunes, Creedence would be inducted into a Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, if there was ever gonna be one. They committed the sin of being too popular when hipness was all. They played no frills American music for the people. In the late sixties and early seventies they weren't the hippest band in the world - just the best. And anyway so let me finish by saying "Congratulations men for a job well done" and to all the nay sayers "Ha, ha, ha they told you so!" So Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, Jeff Fogerty (accepting for his dad, John Fogerty) congratulations, glad to induct you into the Hall Of Fame. "