A Fan Since Day One

by  Graham Niven, River Rising Web U.S.A. Manager


I've been a Creedence Clearwater Revival fan since day one. In 1970 I was an honorary member of their fan club. In August of 1970, I saw the band at a concert in Jacksonville Florida. Booker T & The MG's and Wilbur Harrison were the intro acts. In July 1971 I saw CCR again in concert in Charlotte NC, this time as a trio. Bo Diddley and his square guitar was the show opener then.

I'm ten years younger than John, Doug, and Stu, and the Creedence sound touched this very impressionable guitar/keyboard player profoundly. Which is not a bad way at all to be influenced. They sorta passed their early musical influences through a gap in time to me. In those days, our own little high school rock band and me in particular were at times given a hard time for not playing "beach music" (it's a Southern thang) or heavy metal. I was told many times that the only reason I liked Creedence was because the guitar parts were easy. Let me tell you, those same people nowadays may be able to do an Eddie Van Halen lick note for note, but they cannot play "Fortunate Son". And they ask me how to do it right.

John used a "D-Tuned" lead guitar on "Fortunate Son" and many other tunes. Basically that is just tuning all six strings down to match the top string, which is tuned down from "E" to "D". You tune down a whole step from standard "E" tuning. Duane Eddy used this method a lot in his classic recording style. John used a Gibson ES-175D fat hollowbody jazz guitar on some of the early "D" tuned CCR songs. This guitar was stolen from his car while parked at Fantasy Records one day. John replaced the ES-175D with a Gibson Les Paul Custom, which is much more user friendly. You can't play the intro licks of "Fortunate Son" and play it like John unless the lead guitar is tuned down to "D".

Other CCR/J. Fogerty "D" tuned lead guitar songs are "Proud Mary", "Bad Moon Rising", "Cross Tie Walker", "Ramble Tamble", "Heard It Through The Grapevine", "Change In The Weather", and "Lodi".

Guess I did pretty good pickin' my early musical heroes. Glad to have been infused with some music I missed through CCR. There surely is no music as timeless as what they produced in a very short period of time.



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