By Mick Holien
I have waited several years to hear John Fogerty.
And earlier this week, the rocker who said he played with the Grateful Dead at Woodstock, sure didn’t disappoint and did everything to enhance the experience.
I shared the stage with Fogerty at Sturgis as his sound check followed that of the Mission Mountain Wood Band that I was introducing.
As I listened to an intro of the music on his song list it didn’t take long to realize I knew the words to just about every vocal and found myself singly softly along – that is before the storm came over the mountain sending us all scrambling including Gene Simmons and Kiss.
Shortly after basically being packed off the stage, down the stairs and to the nearby motor home, the door came flying open and one of the Kiss band joined us saying he wasn’t staying out in the torrent a minute longer.
Ah yes Fogerty who takes me back to Airway Heights, a town west of Spokane – On Highway 2 like Rob Quist would say even if it is in a neighboring state – and a place at I have deep history.
And yes that is for another “bowling” day.
I was told the Northern Quest venue just added bleachers to take capacity to 5,000 about 1,000 more than tickets sold for Fogerty.
The robust sound system was flawless as was the mix and the Casino provided handicap seating that was just back of the sold-out floor and I could argue might provide even a better experience than the floor.
Along with his brother Tom, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook, the 73-year-old Fogerty formed Credence Clearwater Revival with John Fogerty as the leads singer, lead guitar and main songwriter.
Talk about domination with songs like Green River and Down on the Bayou, the group had nine top-ten singles and eight gold albums by 1972 prompting inclusion in the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1993.
In ’59 while in Junior High he formed his first b and a couple of years later again with his brother formed the Golliwogs which signed a record deal.
I was chastised while on stage with shooting his picture. MMW2 Fiddle Player Christian Johnson told me Fogerty once signed a record deal that prevented him from receiving royalties earlier in his career and recognizably was extremely testy about autographs and photos.
Joined at one time by his two sons, he played an approximate 27-song two hour set and I am here to tell you there were a lot of bald guys and an equal amount of receding white and grey hair.
Once a rocker always a rocker and Fogerty was and is, that’s for sure.
And an interesting drive over Thompson Pass added to the night’s ambience.
Alabama takes over the venue Aug., 15, followed by Lone Star not far down the road.