What Happened To Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Tom Fogerty

The three young boys, John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook, crossed paths when they attended Portola Junior High School in El Cerrito, California. Their original band was the Blue Velvets, where John’s brother Tom also joined them during the recording sessions. After several changes in the band’s name, they came up with the Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1968 and began working on their first studio album.

The newly formed band didn’t wait long and released their self-titled debut studio record in July 1968, which marked the beginning of the Fogerty brothers’ career, Cook and Clifford. The band was officially under the spotlight, and although they were praised for their music that combined various genres like roots rock, country rock, blues rock, and Southern rock, they earned more recognition and admiration for their later work. Like other band members, the rhythm guitarist, Tom Fogerty, was also one of the crucial elements contributing to CCR’s international success.

Tom Fogerty’s Career With Creedence Clearwater Revival And His Death

The second album ‘Bayou Country‘ brought the breakthrough Creedence Clearwater Revival needed. The record achieved commercial success and critical acclaim, leading to high-grossing tours, concerts, and four more exceptionally well-received albums that consolidated their place in the industry. Even though everything seemed glamorous from the outside perspective, the members were nearing their breaking point.

CCR’s frontman and primary songwriter, John Fogerty, had situated himself as the decision-maker within the band regarding its musical style. John started to write all the songs and received praise from fans and critics. Tom was unable to use his voice, and even though he wanted to perform and write songs, John didn’t make room for his brother to get a slice of the cake. This caused a lot of friction between the brothers, which culminated when Tom quit the band in 1971. After the failure of ‘Mardi Gras,’ which the band recorded as a trio, they broke up in October 1972.

While CRR was dealing with the poor reception of their album, Tom Fogerty signed a solo deal with Fantasy Records. He found several partners and worked with Merl Saunders, Bill Vitt, and John Kahn. His self-titled first record peaked at number 78, but his follow-up album, ‘Excalibur, ‘ failed in the charts. The original CRR members came together one last time for ‘Joyful Resurrection‘ from Tom’s third solo record ‘Zephyr National,’ but the fans were not there anymore, and it wasn’t tempting enough to rebuild what had been the best years of their lives.

Although commercial success was significant for Tom, the musician came to a point where he started having problems with his health, which put success on the back burner. He had to undergo back surgery, but an unscreened blood transfusion caused him to contract AIDS, and then tuberculosis ensued. The tragic incident caused the musician to lose his life in 1990.

The disputes between the brothers continued, and they couldn’t mend their relationship before Tom tragically passed away. When Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Tom Fogerty’s widow brought his ashes in an urn, and John refused to be up on stage with his former bandmates.