This was in the 1980s, more than a decade after the band broke up, but thanks to parents, movie soundtracks and continued radio play, the passage of time has not diminished the legacy of CCR’s music. That is the very reason that two of the band’s original members, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, formed a new CCR – Creedence Clearwater Revisited – in 1995.
“When we started the project in the mid-’90s we didn’t know what we were getting into,” Cook said in a phone interview with the Sparks Tribune. “But it has definitely turned into a lot of fun.”
The purpose of Creedence Revisited, Cook said, was to give fans of all generations a chance to hear the songs live long after the band’s 1972 demise. Northern Nevada fans will have their chance to experience Creedence Clearwater Revisited on April 18 at the Silver Legacy.
“All Creedence, all night,” is what Cook said concert-goers can expect of the show. “The purpose of the project was to create an environment for us to have fun with the music of Creedence and bring it to the audience which, at the time, hadn’t heard it since 1972, if ever.”
Joining Cook and Clifford are Steve Gunner on keyboards, acoustic guitar, harmonica, percussion and vocals; Tal Morris on guitar; and John Tristao on guitar and lead vocals. Tristao’s throaty singing style is reminiscent of Fogerty’s, which should be comforting to purists who want to hear the songs performed as faithfully to the originals as possible.
Watching video online at www.creedence-revisited.com gives a good idea of the energy at the band’s shows. Just as Cook said, the music is true to the CCR sound.
“Shows are all CCR music but that was really the point of the project when (Clifford) and I started this,” Cook said. “We wanted to play what would be the most fun and what we were part of the success of. There’s no point in diluting it because it’s what (audience members) expect when they buy a ticket. ... It would be kind of a bait and switch if we played other songs. It’s the most honorable way respect the music and celebrate the music.”
“Celebrate” is a good word to use to describe the mood of the audience as seen in clips on the band’s Web site. Those audience members, now probably in their 50s, have no doubt been listening to CCR music since the late 1960s. To get an idea of what they probably looked like, look at Cook himself. He has traded in the t-shirt and bright red pants he wore on the cover of 1970’s “Cosmo’s Factory” for a sharp, mature black suit. Nature has traded his long hair for a mostly bald head. What remains the same is his enthusiasm for plucking out the bass lines of countless hits.
Interestingly, despite such well-known tracks as “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary” and “Born on the Bayou,” CCR never had a No. 1 song in the United States.
Though Cook’s excitement at playing hasn’t waned, he said the Revisited band is cutting back a little on its touring. Several years ago, Cook said, Revisited was doing 100 shows a year at venues large and small. Now, he said they are down to about 75 shows a year, which is still a large number but is made easier by traveling in what Cook described as some very comfortable tour buses. Band members also work hard to keep themselves physically ready for the demands of the road.
“It is still fun,” Cook said of playing music. “It’s more fun now than ever to play these songs, but it does require some energy. We try not to stay up too late, and if we do we sleep late. Many of us have a pretty strict exercise regimen on the road. Most of the places we go have fitness centers. We try to live as much like at home as possible. The tour bus makes that possible. It’s not like going off camping or anything.”
Creedence Clearwater Revisited plays Friday at 9 p.m. in the Silver Legacy’s Grande Exposition Hall. Ticket prices are $60, $50 and $40. Go to www.silverlegacyreno.com for more information or to buy tickets.