I have discovered the Fountain of Youth.
Ponce de Leon was screwed. He never had a chance. Ponce de Leon was living in the wrong century… before electricity, before amplifiers, before electric guitars.
Ponce De Leon never had Rock n’ Roll.
For Rock n’ Roll is the Fountain of Youth.
It may not have been a spring… but last night, on a cool, crisp Fall evening in LA, I discovered a joyful rejuvenation. Thanks to a lucky drawing from 100.3 The Sound, I was ushered behind the Nokia Theatre, into a VIP area… bounded with a bright green bracelet… and then at about 4:45 or so… moved into the empty auditorium. Thanks also to Vanguard Records and Ayappa!!!
There were about 20 of us, not including the crew, and for the next hour we were given a private concert by an American Rock n’ Roll icon… a legend… and one hell of a genuine and humble guy. Plaid shirt… baseball cap… jeans… Converse… An American billboard… Mr. John Fogerty ran through about ten songs… some complete… and some just bits and pieces, to make sure his amazing band was on the same musical page.
After each song, when he stopped, we applauded, whistled, screamed… and after every joyous outburst he bowed to us, and waved or nodded his head. Our mouths hung open, our hearts and mind were full… literally about to explode. Were we really here? How was this happening to some good, ‘ol music lovers? This was and will be one of the best experiences I have ever had… Potent… moving… and a tribute to the power of Rock n’ Roll.
When they were done he walked to the front of the stage and thanked us for coming… He thanked US. Are you kidding me?
If I would have left at that moment, I would have floated out of the building, thrilled… filled with euphoria. Luckily, we got to come back two hours later and see one of the BEST rock shows I have ever seen. The man played for almost 2 1/2 hours, non-stop… and this was the first show of the tour! Come back, come back.
The last time I “saw” John Fogerty was at the Sound City Players concert Jimmy Kimmel held on Hollywood Boulevard. Well… I did not really SEE him, as I was 1/2 a mile away, behind the risers, cameras and some really obnoxious, taller folks… but I heard him, and caught a glimpse by craning my neck to see the monitor behind us… or by jumping up…
Before that the last concert we were at together was not one of his shows, but a Wiggles concert at Universal Amphitheatre!!! Barry Williams (Greg from the Brady Bunch) was in front of us… and in front of him was John himself. They called him out from the stage… Frickin’ awesome! My daughter could not figure out why I was so excited… and more so at that, than at Captain Feathersword or Dorothy the Dinosaur! Other than that I had never seen John Fogerty in concert. I am a moron. Oh man, am I a moron.
The crowd was mixed… Yes, some who I would call older rockers… even some with canes… which makes me feel younger… Sorry…
But a youthful, attractive contingency was just as enthusiastic and good to see. Important to see… We need them to keep this music and these bands alive. Classic rock is vital and necessary. It just is. Albums used to mean something… say something… have a theme and a through line. For many artists they still do. It is not just about the single, but about the whole.
The band was loud… and I am getting to the point, sadly, where the ears ring a little louder… the ringing lingers a little longer… and perhaps I need an Advil and some ice after a night of rockin’ and dancin’. But I groove and I move and I am in heaven.
John Fogerty is 68 years old. He came on at about 8:15… and before the three-song encore, played straight through, non-stop, til 10:25! He moves across the stage with a joy, an infectious energy… and a boyish grin… that grin… as if this is his first band and his first show ever. You cannot help but get hooked in. Stunning… amazing… joyous.
Fountain of Youth.
If America is about muscle cars and sheer power, than this band is its true representative, and not just because of the ripping arms of Kenny Aronoff and the fact that his drum kit needs to be set off to the side. This band is a Corvette… a Cobra… John is the kick ass engine… His voice was mighty, perfect… his guitar playing was a clinic… on tearing and shredding and ripping… magnificent.
Hard to believe this Swamp Boogie Rock n’ Roll came out of the same scene that gave us the Hippie movement and the Grateful Dead. In fact, he told a great story about CCR playing Woodstock and following The Dead… at 2 AM!!!
Polar opposites. Both have a place in the pantheon and my heart… but so different.
We got some of the brilliant new record Wrote A Song For Everyone, all of Cosmo’s Factory… so incredible… and most of the hits you would want to hear… We’d need another night for ALL of them! Maybe two or three…
John Fogerty is a living, thriving, rocking testament to “what doesn’t kill you, rocks you stronger.” Confetti… fire pots… killer lights illuminated the stage and lit up the Nokia… but none more than John Fogerty, Kenny Aronoff, Bob Malone, Shane Fogerty, James Lomenzo and Devon Pangle.
Fountain of Youth… Fountain of Youth!
JOHN FOGERTY – NOKIA THEATRE – 10/10/13 (I thought he did three songs for the encore, but…)
- Travelin’ Band (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- The Old Man Down the Road
- Born on the Bayou (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Keep On Chooglin’ (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Green River (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Lodi (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Down on the Corner (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Midnight Special (Lead Belly cover)
- Have You Ever Seen the Rain? (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Hey Tonight (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Almost Saturday Night
- Rock and Roll Girls
- Hot Rod Heart
- Mystic Highway
- Train of Fools
- Ramble Tamble (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley cover)
- Ooby Dooby (Roy Orbison cover)
- Lookin’ Out My Back Door (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Run Through the Jungle (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Up Around the Bend (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- My Baby Left Me (Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup cover)
- Who’ll Stop the Rain? (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Smokey Robinson & The Miracles cover)
- Long as I Can See the Light (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
- Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison cover)
- Fortunate Son (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
30. Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
31. Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)