The Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of
Compact Disc, 1996 - John Fogerty Performance
From Rolling Stone Magazine - Sept. 5, 1996
"It was a bold ideal and a glorious success: a single evening of music
paying fit tribute to nearly half a century of rock & roll. Performed before a stadium
crowd in Cleveland on Sept. 2, 1995, the seven-hour Concert for the Rock Hall of Fame
-celebrating the hall's opening- united several generations of musicians to honor rock's
long, unruly history.
"The show defined rock & roll broadly, both in terms of the artists
represented and the types of material they performed. Funksters mingled with AOR
mainstays; R&B chestnuts followed bruising punk-rock-anthems; classic-rock-gods hung
upstarts. In short, it was rock & roll family picnic, to borrow Iggy Pop's wry
characterization of the hall itself. And given how dysfunctional that family can sometimes
be, the event came off with remarkable smoothness and flair.
"Now comes this double CD to commemorate the first anniversary of that
event, and it's a splendid souvenir. The 28-song set, like the Hall of Fame
itself,,captures both the majesty and sweat of essential rock & roll at its tumultuous
finest. There's a surprise or two, of course, but for the most part, the predictably great
acts, obviously inspired by the occasion, are as spectacular as you'd hope they'd be.
"Backed by the incomparable Booker T. and the MG's, the house band for
much of the evening, John Fogerty torches "Born on the Bayou" and
"Fortunate Son". Not to be overshadowed, Booker T. steps out to ignite
his signature instrumental "Green Onions," with guitarist Steve Cropper
unleashing an electrifying lead. Booker T.'s performance gets to the heart of what this
concert was about: taking music you know intimately and making it fiercely new.
"Build a museum, set it on fire: These discs compellingly embody the
tension at the heart of rock & roll, a music that has always lunged for the essence of
the moment while creating a legacy that will not die.
ANTONY DE CURTISS"
The Concert for the Hall of Fame CD Booklet
The CD set has a 24 pages booklet titled "a LONG NIGHT'S journey
into ROCK: one fan's notes from the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" by David
Wild, Senior Editor, Rolling Stone dated December 16, 1995. This is what it says on
"Great rock and roll -like all great art- is timeless. John Fogerty -inducted into
the Hall in 1993 along with the other members of Creedence Clearwater Revival- proved
this when he hit the stage with fellow Sixties giants Booker T & The MG's ("the
best band in the world" Fogerty told the crowd) for stunning, potent renditions of
two of his most lasting Creedence compositions, "Born On The Bayou" and
"Fortunate Son." A man who performs live all too rarely, Fogerty is here advised
to find himself a travelin' band and hit the road quick." [David Wild, 1995]
The house band with whom Fogerty performed was Booker T & The MG's:
Booker T Jones on keyboards, Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, Steve Cropper on
guitar, and since original Booker T's drummer died, Jim Keltner on drums. This band was
also joined during the evening by music director G.E. Smith on guitar, Lenny Pickett on
Saxophone and the Memphis Horns and Andrew Love on tenor sax.
The CD: "The Concert For The Rock &
Roll Hall Of Fame"- Various Artists
Columbia Records - C2K 67477 - (p)1996
Born on the Bayou - Sample Audio WAV file, 280Kb.
Copyright John Fogerty - Jondora Music (BMI)
Columbia Records C2K 67477
Twenty years of nearly unbroken seclusion does wonders for a late sixties Rock
Superstar. He can even make a nice version of himself like twenty years before. Of course
the first John Fogerty solo live recording ever - albeit too short, just two songs -
commercially available in full stereo, no gimmicks spared, is in itself a major event.
Which of necessity leaves us with mixed feelings. Here's a man that -in Peter Fonda's
words - shows enormous integrity for his work but - to many others - has evidenced little
concern for his fans over the years, reenacting his former persona on a most ceremonial
stage. At a time when rock singers must drastically reduce their vocal range in the high
notes, John Fogerty has no qualms about hitting them and hitting them hard, like he were
running from a past rapidly catching on him. Which might perfectly be the case. Surely he
wasn't fleeing drummer Jim Keltner, who had the affront and the temerity to assume two
all-time Rock classics as if he had never heard them before. Undoubtedly he neither felt
chased out by Donald "Duck" Dunn's slightly ill-placed funkiest bass playing
behind him. And Booker T's splendid organ job - no substitute for Tom's rhythm guitar, but
you cannot have it both ways, though - was no threat to hide from at all.
As it were, the urgency in the vocals couldn't mask the sad reality of a lesson learned
and performed by rote, of the chords becoming a chore, of the lyrics having stopped
rushing straight from the guts like in the old times, of this being another tiresome
drill. A flawless rendition on its own, it looks nevertheless like a pale cover of the
unbelievable John Fogerty Veterans Concert some eight years before.