A Drunken Poet's Dream

Fortunate Son

Ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman rocks joy and rolls vengeance

A Drunken Poet's Dream

Three plot points guide John Fogerty's memoir: a bone-deep love of music, a blinding ardor for his wife, Julie, and sheer hatred for Fantasy Records head Saul Zaentz and his ex-bandmates. The former Creedence Clearwater Revival leader credits his spouse as his savior, her name appearing more often than anyone else's, and she even writes part of the final third. Meanwhile, the 70-year-old Berkeley native refers to Zaentz as his worst enemy and spares zero acrimony toward CCR's ex-rhythm section Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, reserving particular loathing for the former. Given his detailing of Zaentz's business practices and bandmates' support of same, his continued rage becomes understandable. Fortunately, every time Fogerty relives creation of one of his classics, he expresses the same wide-eyed devotion reserved to his musical idols. That love – pure, unfiltered, undeniable – pulls Fortunate Son out of the vengeful rabbit hole down which it often sprints.

Fortunate Son

by John Fogerty
Little, Brown, 416 pp., $30

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