The Inspiration Behind CCR's Biggest Hits

John Fogerty and ZZ Top are playing MGK's Heavy Hitter. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com with $10.29 lawn tickets while supplies last.  We called this show MGK's Heavy Hitter because both acts have so many huge hit songs between them. Here's the story/inspiration behind some of John Fogerty's biggest CCR hits. 

 

Bad Moon Risin

John Fogerty told Rolling Stone magazine that 'Bad Moon Risin' was inspired by the movie 'The Devil And Daniel Webster'.  The hurricane that destroys most of the town made him think of the words  "I feel the hurricane blowin', I hope you're quite prepared to die."  He intended the song to be about "apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us."

Born on a Bayou

"'Born on the Bayou" was about a boy's imaginary childhood in a hot, swampy area of the southern US.  Fogerty never lived in The South, he grew up in California, but he was able to tap into the 'swampy vibes' while staring at the walls of his apartment.

Fortunate Son

John Fogerty served in the US armed forces but this song spoke out against the Vietnam War.  While it was against the war it was in support of the men fighting the war.  John had first hand knowledge that many of the soldiers fighting in this war were from working class backgrounds.  There weren't many sons of rich families fighting in the war.  Many of those who were fighting didn't have the connection to get themselves out of serving.  The song is written from the perspective of someone that definitely isn't a "Senator's son."

Have You Ever Seen The Rain

This song is about Tom Fogerty leaving CCR.  He left the band while they were at their most popular.  Later in life, the meaning of the song changed for John Fogerty.  Initially it was about the sadness felt when his brother left the band. Later in life the song reminded John Fogerty of his daughter and seeing rainbows.

 

Lookin Out My Backdoor

John Fogerty wrote this song for his son, Josh.  He thought it would be fun to write a song with lyrics that his son would find fun and silly.  The parade described in the song was inspired by a Dr. Seuss book.

Proud Mary

We he first started writing this song, John Fogerty imagined a story about a maid who was working for a wealthy family.  Stu Cook brought the idea of working on a riverboat to the song.

John liked the way the riverboat vision that Stu had meshed with the vision that he initially had for the song.  The thought of the riverboart paddlewheels moving inspired the first few chords of the song.  John was thinking of the boat's wheels when writing those chords.

The chords and lyrics for the song came together to on the same day that John Fogerty received his discharge papers from the Army.  He was so happy he ran across his lawn, into his house and starting playhing.  He sang out 'Left a good job in the city' and more lines began coming out of him until he had more lyrics, chord changes and eventually a fully formed song.

 

Up Around The Bend

This song was meant to give people hope. As tough as things were in the 70's, John and the band wanted to give people hope.  Bassist Stu Cook described the song as "Kind of the opposite of 'Run Through The Jungle.'  Interestingly enough, this tune confused British audience.  The term "around the bend" means going crazy or insane in England.  The band explained this to British audiences and British press.