Stu Cook Reveals John Fogerty’s ‘Dictatorship’ In Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival bassist Stu Cook recently spoke up about the band’s encores and how frontman John Fogerty made all the decisions regarding them. During an interview with Artists On Record, Cook revealed his thoughts, claiming that the band earned an encore. He shared:

“One day John just said, ‘We’re not playing, we’re not doing an encore, encores are phony.’ Doug [Clifford] went, ‘What the f*ck?’ and that’s the closest that anybody in the bands ever came to blow, I mean, a lot of bands constantly fight, right? We never did; maybe we should have at least once or twice. Then this might have been the time.”

Later, Cook revealed his initial thoughts about the encore and what he thinks of it now:

“Anyway, John just arbitrarily said, ‘We’re not doing encores,’ and at the time, it didn’t seem like a hill worth dying on. But now that John’s doing encores, it just seems like it might have been a mistake not to have given the audience what they so obviously wanted, but you know, that’s life.”

When asked if the frontman or his brother Tom Fogerty were considered ‘nuts’ for their decision, the bassist responded:

“It was uncomfortable. I was like, ‘Yeah, John’s a band leader, and we’re his band.'”

The drummer Doug Clifford also spoke his mind about encores. In an interview last year, when asked how he felt about not doing encores, the drummer expressed his disappointment and replied:

“It was a stupid thing to do. That was anywhere we played, not just [The Royal Albert Hall] show. When you get a 15-minute standing ovation in England and to not go back out, I was sitting backstage in disbelief. I never understood why. Maybe somewhere we played somebody played an encore that was not earned, but we always played our very best and it took the heart out of the band.”

It appears that the frontman did not deny making the encores decisions himself. In another interview, Fogerty was asked about the same show the drummer was interviewed for, and he explained in detail why he decided not to do encores with the band. He said:

“The way that came about was there had been a series of shows several months before this one where we would go off and then come back on to do an encore, and people would come on stage […] Several times we watched Doug’s drums being torn apart. It became mayhem, in other words.”

He added:

“By then, by the end of ’69, we had started hearing, “Well, the Beatles didn’t do encores,” and “the Stones are now not doing encores” and there were several other bands. So in Creedence, I made the decision…so we were well into the mode of not doing an encore.”

Since the band’s breakup in 1972, the frontman pursued a solo career while Doug Clifford and Stu Cook continue performing under the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

See the interview below.