July 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm #1279
I was watching John Fogerty talk about his process of making his new album, “Wrote a Song…” to USA TODAY. The ending is where the interview hits paydirt ~~~ it’s the stuff all fans have been thinking of for the past 45 years or so…..whenever we hear John’s songs, we wonder how in the heck did he ever do it?
It is all greatness.
Great / great / great songwriting. But the process is a thing of mystery.
How does John conjure up all those great songs of his?
Does he mix up a brew of organic ingredients to shake in a glass and drink?
Does he have to be near a flowing body of water to write songs?
Is he a better songwriter when people argue with him, or when he finds peace?
Does he have to be wearing his signature flannel shirts when he writes?
Does he write in the daytime or the nighttime?
There are at least a million questions…
USA TODAY put it to John that alot of people that he’s worked with commented that he might be a bit on the difficult, demanding and perfectionist side.
John responds, “I have a small window of where I think something is good or great.
And there’s a lot bigger window where stuff is not so great.
I really would like to be good or even great.”
So how are we to interpret his statement?
I think that John is the sort of songwriter that works on a tune morning, noon and night.
This doesn’t mean he’s always in the studio, tweaking notes, cords or vocals.
He can process his “gift” wherever he may be; the mall, his backyard, in his room laying down in bed.
I think he’s got to have some measure of quiet and solitude when songmaking.
He knows what he wants – and he’s doesn’t hesitate to hack off what doesn’t work for him.
I wish that John would try to explain the process of HOW he writes his fantastic songs a little bit more!!! I want to hear him lay it all down on the line – not that anyone can equal what he does.
(And have another person scribe it all down for us curious fans.)
HOW does the melody find John?
He claims that alot of times, he’s not in his songwriting mode, but a melody will drift down upon him in some mysterious, unexplainable way.
He has to find his usual way of preserving the tune right away – (I’ve heard John does not read or write music in the conventional way that musicians communicate.)
So – he has to hum the tune and record it – or play it on piano or guitar to preserve it until he has a chance to hammer out an entire song.
He has claimed that there were times when he failed to record a melody that came down upon his head,
and then it gets forgotten forever. But these are lessons learned by the master.
All of this song genesis is such an abstract! WHO can possibly understand it in any meaningful, translatable way? I’m sure there’s millions of people who wish they could write a song in a complete way, but isn’t it funny that not a whole lot of people can do this?
My theory is that a person has to be born with this talent; (some would call it a God-given gift.)
What comes so natural to John is this ability to write songs that the whole world cannot live without.
He is very modest about how good he is too.
It’s a reflection of his upbringing, this is true.
I loved My Morning Jacket’s rendition of “Long As I Can See the Light.” The beginning was a bit anxiety-provoking for me as well, (I was nervous) but as you listen to the song, it unfolds to quite the incredible product!!! The guitar work just knocks you off your feet!!! The vocals are fresh and hit a different level of soul than the Creedence version.
I listened to the Morning Jacket version, then put on the Creedence version. WOW. BOTH are just so very excellent!!!!
For me, the Creedence version wins top prize, but then again my synapses have been burned deep. Scientists say we get entirely new neurons every 7 years as the body regenerates itself, but no scientist can explain memory, or personal preference.
Please go to the HOME section of the JOHN FOGERTY WEBSITE and have a listen to John’s interview with USA TODAY. It’s very short – but I think you’ll really enjoy it – especially if you’re wanting to write music…in the same caliber as John Fogerty. GOOD LUCK TO YA, but if I were a songwriter, that would be my pinnacle of self-actualization. (Good thing I’m not a songwriter!) HA HA!
Fogerty’s brilliance is his simplicity, but
he isn’t simple.
Peace & Blessings to all. X O X O X OJuly 29, 2013 at 1:40 am #1281
steve from england.Member
Its always interesting to hear how john fogerty writes these great songs and yes it is a gift….I have always been interested in the material he has “thrown away” over the years ,john has been hard on himself as to what is acceptable for release…..the new album is an interesting concept, I just hope john fogerty still has the passion to write more great tunes….he hasn`t let me down yet.
steve from England.
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