John Fogerty Twitters A History of the Green River Album While Playing It in New York
The concert is the second of two nights at the Beacon where he played Cosmos Factory in its entirety on Thursday and Green River on Friday. The following are his tweets with his thoughts on each of the cuts.
- GREEN RIVER - This is one of my favorite songs. When I was quite young my family use to travel to a little campsite by a little river in Northern California. Part of the lore was that the old man we saw occasionally was a direct descendant of Buffalo Bill Cody.. (son or grandson?.. he was like, ninety and this was 1949!). I loved it there and this place has informed what I feel is important ever since. At about the age of eight, I became fascinated with the label on a soda fountain drink and it came to represent the whole mystical dimension of youth, freedom, nature, exploration, and life “on the river”.
- COMMOTION - I love to play the train beat. It’s not so obvious in this song but that’s where it started. Even forty years ago, I was irritated by the fast pace and rapidly increasing information overload of modern life.
- TOMBSTONE SHADOW - Sometime early in 1969, I played a show in San Bernadino, California. Right across the street from the hotel there was a little shop advertising “Fortune Teller”. I went in and got my fortune read. This song is a note for note replay of that experience.
- WROTE A SONG FOR EVERYONE - The late sixties was, of course, a time of great turmoil in America and around the world. Politically and socially this new energy seemed to be affecting everything. As some of this conflict played out in our media you could watch famous people from the older generation having trouble communicating with the younger generation. I had in mind a so-called leader of millions who couldn’t even lead his own son.
- BAD MOON RISING - I think I knew I was going to write this song for a long time. There is an old black and white movie called “The Devil and Daniel Webster”. In this classic story a farmer is down on his luck and the Devil shows up and offers to make the man successful beyond his wildest dreams. There is only one catch… the man has to agree to give the Devil his soul. Of course, the farmer says yes. Soon after, there is a great storm, a hurricane really, that lasts all night while the farmer cowers in his barn. The next morning, he awakens to see devastation everywhere. All the crops of his neighbors are smashed completely into the ground and yet his crops are straight up to the sky. That scene made a big impression on me.
- LODI - This is another song title that I had carried around since my childhood, somehow knowing that I would someday write a song about it. I just liked the sound of it. Funny thing is though my family had traveled all around Northern California when I was young, I’m pretty sure that I had never been to Lodi.
- CROSS-TIE WALKER - Well, here it is then. I love trains. I love stories about trains. I love to watch trains. And especially, I love songs about trains! When I was quite young, we were stopped in our family car, at a Railroad Crossing. It was a long, long train. I think we were somewhere in Montana where my parents came from. My Dad made a point of telling me that the engine was one of those very old and rare engines that you probably won’t see much anymore. It was a steam engine from by-gone days and this romantic and mythic vision has inspired me throughout my life. Thanks, Dad.
- SINISTER PURPOSE - Ahhhh. A song about de Devil. I don’t believe I have ever played this live before.
- THE NIGHT TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME - First of all, let me just say I LOVE Ray Charles! Incredible singing, great songs, great playing, great band… you get the idea. There is an album by Ray somewhere, out there. It used to be called “In Person”. It was recorded almost accidentally with the simplest of equipment. It is, in my opinion, the greatest live album EVER recorded. Get it. Anyway, this song is one of the great songs on Ray’s record and a song I have been performing since high school.