John Forgerty shares lessons he’s learned from 50-year battle for his song rights

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John Fogerty kicked off his Celebration Tour last week, marking his first tour since regaining the worldwide rights to his Creedence Clearwater Revival songs. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer fought for 55 years to get those rights back, and he’s learned some big lessons along the way.

So, what would he say to young artists who are so eager to get a deal that they’d be willing to sign any contract?

“Don’t do it,” he tells ABC Audio. “I know you think you’re going to write another great song tomorrow and it doesn’t matter, but it’s really an abomination that somehow at the moment, you’re writing this masterpiece of yours down on paper, it’s now whisked away from you and it gets to be owned by someone else. That’s just a tragedy.”

Of course, it’s easy for young artists to get discouraged if nothing’s happening in their career, but Fogerty urges them not to be too eager.  

“I would sure tell a young person, look, if you have the talent, it’s going to come through no matter when you decide to let it shine,” he says. “And doing it with a gun to your head is really a poor outcome for you because you don’t want to end up doing what I had to do (which was) fight for my rights for, you know, 50 years or longer.”

He notes, “There’s so many more positive things that you should be doing with music.” 

Fogerty’s Celebration Tour picks up again on May 6 in Pomona, California. A complete list of tour dates can be found JohnFogerty.com.

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