For a guy who has had a dozen or so Top 10 hits, played at Woodstock and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, John Fogerty is pretty self-deprecating about his talent.

“I’ve written a lot of mediocre songs. I feel like you have to do a lot of ordinary, bad and horrible stuff trying to get to the good stuff,” said Fogerty, 74. “I really have to work at this. The only difference between me and the next guy is that I keep working.”

Fogerty, who first shot to fame in the late 1960s with Creedence Clearwater Revival, will bring his “My 50 Year Trip” tour to Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row in Westbrook on Sunday. He’s touring with his two musical sons, Shane and Tyler, who are in their late 20s and basically grew up on the road with him.

The show will feature many Creedence hits, some of his solo work, and covers of songs Fogerty says’s he’s always wanted to do. At a Fogerty show in Germany in July, that set list include the Creedence tunes “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary.” It also included covers of “Everyday People” and “Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone, plus a version of “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon.

Fogerty said the latter had an impact on him when it was released in 1969, as an anti-Vietnam War song. Lennon wrote the song during a “bed-in” for peace at a Montreal hotel. The song was powerful then and maybe even more powerful now, Fogerty said, as the world struggles with violence and hate 50 years later.

John Fogerty with Creedence Clearwater Revival 1970. Photo by Baron Wolman

Fogerty began making music with the future members of Creedence in the late 1950s, when they were all in junior high school in California. By 1968, they had adopted the name Creedence Clearwater Revival, with Fogerty as lead singer and principal songwriter. They scored a hit that year with a cover of an old rockabilly song, “Susie Q.” The next year, 1969, saw the band’s breakthrough album, “Bayou Country,” featuring the Fogerty-written hits “Born on the Bayou” and “Proud Mary.” That summer, Creedence was one of the bands that played the Woodstock music festival in New York state, an event that changed popular culture and defined a generation.


Fogerty said he’s since been told that Creedence was the first band to sign onto play the festival. He said he feels “proud” to have been a part of such an historic event. That’s why he signed on to do the Woodstock 50 anniversary show, which had been scheduled for later this month. But the organization of the event was plagued with problems, including delays in ticket sales and issues getting financing and permits. Because of that, Fogerty decided in mid-July to pull out, as did rapper Jay-Z. Last week, organizers announced the event would be canceled.

“I had kind of jumped on board early and endorsed the idea. But it began to look and feel kind of desperate,” Fogerty said of Woodstock 50.

John Fogerty first gained fame with Creedence Clearwater Revival in the late 1960s. Photo courtesy of John Fogerty

But Fogerty will play a show on Aug. 18 in Bethel, New York, the town where the original Woodstock festival was held.

After Creedence broke up in the mid-1970s, Fogerty did solo music but didn’t have the same kind of success. He took a break from music for a few years before re-emerging with the album “Centerfield” in 1985, which yielded the radio hits “The Old Man Down the Road,” “Rock and Roll Girls” and “Centerfield.”

For his current tour, Fogerty has his two musical sons in the band: Tyler, who sings, and Shane, who plays guitar. Fogerty said he began taking his family on tour with him about 20 years ago, when his three youngest children ranged in age from about 6 to 13.

“After ‘Blue Moon Swamp’ (in 1997) I decided I’d tour, but I looked at my wife, Julie, and said, ‘You’re coming with me,’ ” Fogerty said. “I thought of the mischief I was involved in on tour when I was 23, and I didn’t want that. So she came, and brought the kids.”

Fogerty says he continues to write songs and will definitely record more. He’s had several of his albums mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in Portland. While many top recording artists have Ludwig master their recordings, most just send Ludwig the digital files and let him do his technical tweaking to the music. But Fogerty likes to be in the studio, listening and watching.

“I guess I’m old fashioned, I like to do one thing at a time,” said Fogerty. “I’m not a multi-tasker.”

John Fogerty will bring his “My 50 Year Trip” tour to Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row in Westbrook on Sunday. Photo courtesy of John Fogerty

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