Creedence Clearwater Revival Could’ve Been Bigger Than The Beatles, Billy Corgan Explains

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan talked about the remarkable success story of rock legend John Fogerty. Corgan, known for his admiration of fellow musicians, could hardly contain his excitement as he shared the inspiring tale of Fogerty’s journey and the recent developments regarding his career.

At one point, Creedence Clearwater Revival was even bigger than the Beatles, according to Corgan and he looked up to the band Fogerty fronted from 1968 to 1972. After leaving the band, Fogerty pursued a solo career but faced a massive hurdle: he no longer owned the rights to CCR’s songs and couldn’t perform them live. However, after more than half a century, Fogerty finally regained ownership of his catalog, allowing him to once again sing his own tunes that he created with the band.

This nostalgia-infused triumph struck a chord with fans like Corgan, who found the experience incredibly emotional. For him, Fogerty’s story is exactly an American success story. So moved by the turn of events, Corgan reached out to John and his wife Julie via email, expressing his amazement at the heartwarming outcome. The two musicians began exchanging messages, with Corgan likening the story to a classic Jimmy Stewart movie, where the hero ultimately wins back everything he lost.

Corgan said:

“Another incredible American success story. At one point, Creedence Clearwater Revival was bigger than the Beatles. And then, famously, through bad contracts, John Fogerty lost all of his songs. My understanding is, in the ’70s when he would play live, he wouldn’t play the songs because he didn’t own them anymore.

And just recently, he got his catalog back after 50-something years. I emailed him and his wife, Julie, just to say, ‘Man, this is so amazing,’ and got a nice response back. You want to talk about one of those, like, Jimmy Stewart movies? Guy makes good, loses it all, and at the end of the day, gets it all back.”

While John Fogerty and his fans are happy for him to get back all his songs that are over 50-years-old, others like Billy Corgan are also emotional about it. The battle was won on January 13 this year and the fans found out when Fogerty announced on Twitter that he now owned the catalog’s rights after a fifty year war.