By Sam Cabral
John Fogerty ain’t no fortunate one, but after this week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer may be feeling like one.
Following a 50-year legal battle, the founding member of Creedence Clearwater Revival now owns the global publishing rights to the iconic rock band’s songs.
It came after Mr Fogerty, 77, bought a majority stake in the rights to the band’s catalogue from Concord Records, which has owned the rights since 2004.
“As of January this year, I own my own songs again,” he wrote on Twitter.
“This is something I thought would never be a possibility. After 50 years, I am finally reunited with my songs.”
Mr Fogerty owns the rights to his solo material, but his new majority interest gives him control – for the first time – over 65 Creedence Clearwater Revival copyrights, including hits like Bad Moon Rising, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Proud Mary and Fortunate Son.
The rocker founded the group in 1968, alongside his older brother Tom, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook, and was its lead singer, lead guitarist and principal songwriter.
The California-born quartet notched nine top-10 singles and five top-10 albums on the Billboard charts, reportedly even besting the Beatles in album sales in the year 1969.
They disbanded in 1972 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
But decades of its frontman’s life have been dominated by the protracted dispute that began after late music mogul Saul Zaentz signed a teenage Mr Fogerty and his group to his Fantasy Records label in the mid-1960s.
Fantasy owned the group’s distribution and publishing rights. Mr Fogerty, who traded insults and lawsuits with Zaentz, also claims he lost money because the label misled him with bad investments and absorbed his earnings from royalties.
The label was sold to Concord in 2004, which quickly reinstated – and increased – the royalties Mr Fogerty had not received in some 25 years.
The company’s recently announced deal with the musician comes at an undisclosed sum. It will see Concord retain the CCR master recordings already in its catalogue and continue to administer Mr Fogerty’s share of the catalogue for an unspecified amount of time.
“I’m the dad [of these songs]. I created them,” the rocker told Billboard on Thursday. “They never should have been taken away in the first place.”
It’s an ugly place all too often where art meets commerce….the “moral” seems to be keep control of your creations, and for most “don’t quit your day job” while being happily creative.