The Singer Bruce Springsteen Called ‘Shaggy-Haired Prophet’

John Fogerty was one of the founding members of Creedence Clearwater Revival, besides his brother Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford. Throughout its presence in the music scene, Creedence had built a reputation with their chart-topping hits in the band’s early days. They also made a name in the press with the disagreements among the band members and their infamous lawsuit.

Fogerty was the band’s songwriter during his tenure, and CCR owes much of its success to this contribution. However, as the time passed, the internal conflicts and John’s disappointment with the remaining band members caused him to leave the band and pursue a solo career. The problems that the musician had with Creedence did not end there, and the lawsuit that followed his departure further alienated Fogerty from the remaining band members.

After John’s decision to quit and the lawsuit, the band members also had some disagreements in front of the public. For instance, when CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, John Fogerty refused to perform with Creedence. During the event, Bruce Springsteen was also present to give a speech, and his words praising former CCR member John drew attention.

What Was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Lawsuit About?

During his days with the band, John Fogerty wrote all of the top songs of CCR, including ‘Sweet Hitch-Hiker,’ ‘Proud Mary,’ and ‘Run Through the Jungle.’ After Creedence disbanded, John continued his music career with solo performances for a while. However, his career was interrupted by two lawsuits filed by the record label that they worked together during his Credence days.

The first lawsuit was about the tracks ‘Zanz Kant Danz’ and ‘Mr. Greed’ on Fogerty’s solo album, which allegedly targeted Saul Zaentz, the owner of  CCR’s former record label, Fantasy Records. In the other lawsuit filed by Fantasy Records, Inc., Fogerty was accused of self-plagiarising as Zaentz claimed that ‘Old Man Down the Road’ was ‘Run Through the Jungle’ with different words. The case continued for many years, and the public witnessed John’s resentment towards his bandmates on several occasions.

Why Bruce Springsteen Referred To John Fogerty As A ‘Shaggy-Haired Prophet’

In 1993, Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. John’s former bandmates invited him to perform together during the traditional end-of-ceremony show. However, Fogerty refused the invitation of the drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook. During the sessions, in place of the remaining CCR members, Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson performed with Fogerty.

Later, Springsteen gave an induction speech for CCR, in which he pointed to John Fogerty. He praised Fogerty, but in a somewhat interesting way. In his speech, Springsteen described Fogerty as the ‘Old Testament’ and ‘shaggy-haired prophet,’ noting that John Fogerty was incredible at songwriting. Bruce also referred to Fogerty’s rejection of his bandmates’ invitation indirectly, saying he did what he had to do.

Springsteen seemed to support John in his speech:

“As a songwriter, only a few did as much in three minutes as John Fogerty. He was an Old Testament, shaggy-haired prophet, a fatalist. Funny, too. He was severe, he was precise, he said what he had to say, and he got out of there.”

The lawsuit that frustrated John Fogerty and led him to reject his bandmates’ invitation in 1993 was settled in Fogerty’s favor, and he did not have to share damages. However, the story didn’t end there, and the conflicts and lawsuits between the bandmates continued for a while.