Former Creedence Clearwater Revival singer John Fogerty describes the band’s record deal as “unending horrible legal slavery” in a new interview.
Fogerty has recently wrestled back the rights to his back catalogue after being embroiled in a legal battle with Fantasy Records label owner Saul Zaentz for many decades following Creedence Clearwater Revival’s split in 1972.
Zaentz, who died in 2014, even sued Fogerty for writing the solo song The Old Man Down The Road’, which he claimed plagiarised Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Through The Jungle’. In a new interview with The Telegraph, Fogerty labelled it an “absolutely ridiculous” case.
“It has been a lifelong pursuit,” Fogerty said of regaining the rights to his own material. “It’s ironic that in the age when it finally happened for me to own the majority stake in all my own songs, it seems like all my peers are selling theirs,” he added, referencing artists such as Sting and Bruce Springsteen.
Creedence’s contract with Fantasy meant they received low royalty rates for their material, and they were also required to provide a number of songs each year for the label. “I was going to have to make something like 20 to 25 albums,” he revealed.
Fogerty also said their contract with Fantasy was “unending horrible legal slavery”. The musician went on to discuss why he felt betrayed by Zaentz during the legal battle, and admitted: “We thought Saul was our best friend.”
For many years, Fogerty refused to play material from Creedence Clearwater Revival because of the dispute with Fantasy. In 2004, Concord Records bought Fantasy and reinstated Fogerty’s royalties at a higher rate before he purchased the majority stake of his back catalogue earlier this year.
“I’m the dad [of these songs]. I created them,” Fogerty previously said in a statement. “They never should have been taken away in the first place. And that hijacking left such a massive hole in me… The happiest way to look at it is, yeah, it isn’t everything. It’s not a 100% win for me, but it’s sure better than it was. I’m really kind of still in shock. I haven’t allowed my brain to really, actually, start feeling it yet.”