Friday night (June 19) Creedence Clearwater Revisited brought a musical time machine to Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort. Talk about a joyful noise! In minutes CCR took me back to my junior high and high school days and my first band, The Sound Machine. It was me and my two band mates in a closed in patio working on Suzie Q. I have no idea when those memories last crossed my mind, but they were great to relive. The evening ended with me and Valerie at the after party visiting with the band, including original Creedence Clearwater Revival founding members Doug ‘Cosmo’ Clifford and Stu Cook. Hanging out with legends! Such a deal!
They wasted no time and started off rock solid with Born on The Bayou, Green River, and Stuck in Lodi. Stu and Doug chose wisely when they built this band. The band consists Johnny Tristao nailing the challenging vocals and playing great guitar, Kurt Griffey on blazing lead guitar, Steve Gunner plays keyboards, acoustic guitar, harmonica, percussion and sings, and of course the two original CCR founding members and members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Doug Clifford on Drums, and Stu Cook on bass guitar and vocals.
This was Doug’s first show back after missing some shows due to health issues, but you wouldn’t know it. At 70 years old he looks amazingly buff. Regardless of age, he looks great. He was sporting a black tank top that showed off his guns. Stu Cook wasn’t looking to bad himself for an old rock and roll star. If you think about it, being a rock and roll star in the late 60’s and 70’s should preclude you from surviving to be 70 plus years old, but these guys have beaten the odds in high fashion.
For almost two hours they powered through hit after hit of amazing songs…
The sound was fantastic. From the tone of the guitars to the sound of Johnny Tristao’s vocals, to the thunderous power of Cosmo’s drumming, it was all perfect. For almost two hours they powered through hit after hit of amazing songs that took me back to happy times as a young musician chasing the dream of being up there someday.
Although there were several standout song performances during the show, my personal favorite was I Heard It Through The Grapevine. They started it off with a full minute of a free-form psychedelic intro that lead into the guitar hook line, and then they were off! Everybody took great solos in this song. Even Doug, who batted cleanup with a 2 minute drum solo toward the end of this sixteen minute performance of the song made famous by Marvin Gaye (written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966).
There are those out there who might say, “It’s not really Creedence.” To them I say, BS. These are two of the four member of the original band. One of the others is not alive any more (and left the band early on due to his brothers heavy handed ruling tactics) , and the other (you know who) doesn’t play well with others. This is the core of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Listen, learn, and love.
Here’s the set list which I compiled through my incessant note taking and research of lyrics when I wasn’t sure of the title.
Born on The Bayou
Long as I see The Light
I Put A Spell on You
Down on The Corner
Lookin’ Out My Backdoor
I Heard It Through The Grapevine
The Midnight Special
Bad Moon Rising
Rolling on The River (Proud Mary)
Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Up Around The Bend
To see more pictures, click here.
…and the beat goes on.