CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVISITED
Interview By: ~ Mo
If you are a fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival...you recognize the names Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford. Here, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rhythm section talks to Full Metal Rock about Creedence Clearwater Revisited - a band that has been touring for 16 years. CCRevisited's 2-disc LIVE CD "Recollection" went Platinum!
FMR: Stu and Cosmo ~ thank you for taking time to talk with Full Metal Rock!
Stu: Thank you for asking.
FMR: The two of you put together Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995 - what made you decide to bring this legendary music back to the fans?
Stu: We missed playing, and realized there were many Creedence fans who never saw the original band perform.
Cosmo: We wanted to play live music again, and the fans wanted to hear it.
FMR: Do you miss any of the old days playing in bay area bars? Any fond memories from those days you would like to share? Do you recall your favorite "chicken wire" bar?
Stu: I miss nothing about the days of struggle. Mousie's in Davis, CA was probably our most frequent haunt.
Cosmo: Don't miss those old days because we were broke and times were tough - the whole idea was to make it so could get out of the hole we were in and make records and have a career.
FMR: What does Golliwog (an early band for Stu and Cosmo) mean to you?
Stu: The positive was we were making records. The negative was we had to wear lame uniforms.
Cosmo: A step in the right direction with a regional hit.
FMR: Stu - you started out playing the piano in bands preceding the CCR days, then switched to guitar. When did you first start playing music?
Stu: I started in playing trumpet in grammar school, switched to piano in the Blue Velvets, and bass guitar in 1965.
FMR: Cosmo - when did you first starting playing drums?
Cosmo: I started playing drums when I was 13. Gene Krupa was the reason I chose to play drums - other influences were Al Jackson Jr. and Earl Palmer and many more.
FMR: Cosmo - for those that don't know...tell us how you got the nickname "Cosmo"?
Cosmo: In college I was called Clifford C Clifford - I don't remember the origin of that name. I was into Ecology and taught a lot of my friends about it. I was at a party and someone yelled out "hey Clifford C Clifford, what does the C stand for"? Before I could answer, one of the first hippies on campus yelled back "it stands for Cosmo because he's so cosmic - he is a man of nature" and it stuck like glue.
FMR: I'll bet it's great to know that young folks are discovering CCR music for the first time.
Stu: Creedence music is multi-generational. It is terrific that we have so many young fans. They bring a lot of energy to our concerts.
Cosmo: I am thrilled that we have so many young fans. The toughest test in a pop medium is the test of time and it is quite humbling to see so many young fans at our shows.
FMR: You are currently on a World Tour.
Stu: Yes we are, including North America, Asia, Australia and South America this year.
FMR: After all these years, what is the most rewarding aspect of touring.
Stu: Being able to crank it up every night. Playing music is more fun now than ever before.
Cosmo: There is nothing like playing live music.
FMR: Do you ever tire of being on the road?
Stu: Yes, but it's what we do. We bring the music to our fans wherever they are.
Cosmo: I don't like the traveling every day and it is tough being away from my family.
FMR: The break-up of Creedence Clearwater Revival is historic. What is your current relationship with John Fogerty? Any idea how he feels about what you guys have been doing for the last 16 years?
Stu: I do not have a current relationship with Fogerty, and am not concerned with how he feels about the Revisited project. It is a great band, and Creedence fans all over the world have supported us for 16 years.
Cosmo: We have no contact with him and I don't really care what he thinks about it.
FMR: The two of you were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with CCR in 1993. The events surrounding the induction ceremony must have been bittersweet.
Stu: Well, it was a bittersweet evening. The thrill of being inducted was stained by Fogerty's selfishness. The good news is somewhere in the train wreck the seeds of the Revisited project were sown.
Cosmo: What happened was horrible and should have never happened - but in retrospect I think the seeds of CCRevisited were planed, so Stu and I won in the end.
FMR: Give us the line-up of the great musicians in the band - and a brief background on each of the guys.
Stu & Cosmo: Johnny "the Bulldog" Tristao is the lead singer/rhythm guitarist. Johnny has filled some big shoes since day one. He is awesome, powerful and a great front man. Tal Morris is our lead guitar player - a Bay Area born player, he can play the parts and jam it out. Tal plays the stock CCR riffs but takes the jams to new places. Steve Gunner is our multi-instumentalist, handling the keys, acoustic guitar, percussion and the high harmonies. Steve adds the polish of the original recordings.
FMR: The double-live CD "Recollection" was certified platinum by RIAA in 2008 - congratulations!
Stu: Thanks. The CD is the direct result of the fans request. Recorded in Canada, it's a further testament to the strength of the band and the great songs.
Cosmo: The Recollection CD's Platinum status was a real thrill for us - we could not be happier.
FMR: Tell me about an interesting fan experience.
Stu: Well, nothing particular comes to mind, but we are constantly amazed at how the fans are the same everywhere we play - Chiang Mai to Chicago, Rio to Riverside, etc. They know how to party.
FMR: Any news or other comments you would like to share with our readers about Creedence Clearwater Revisited?
Stu: Too much is never enough, and anything worth doing is probably worth overdoing.
FMR: Thank you both for talking with Full Metal Rock! I am looking forward to seeing your show at the LA County Fair in September! It would be an honor to meet you!
Stu: Thanks! Hope to see you there.
Cosmo: Thanks for having us - we appreciate it!