By Michael-Shawn Dugar
Creedence Clearwater Revisited is bringing Pullman a blast from the past - the 1960s to be exact.
The once superstar rock group is back in action for another tour, and Friday night the show comes to Beasley Coliseum. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford - two of the founding members of Creedence Clearwater Revival - have added three musicians to their iconic rhythm section to bring back the music that swept the nation decades ago.
The original band, formed in 1967 with brothers John and Tom Fogerty, had a brief-yet-volatile history, creating dozens of hit records before imploding in acrimony in 1972. Tom Fogerty quit in 1970 and John Fogerty, the band's chief songwriter, eventually parted ways with Cook and Clifford to embark on a solo career.
Twenty-three years later, in 1995, Clifford and Cook reconnected in Nevada and decided to reform the band, this time under the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
"I love Stu, he's my best friend and I've known him for 56 years," Clifford said. "We've been through life and death situations. Going through puberty and having our first drink of alcohol, just all these things that you do when growing up while trying to make your dreams come, then to have your dreams come true and still be living the dream when you're up in age is another gift."
Still, the two had a musical void to fill. The plan was to just quietly go about their business of doing private shows, though things changed after shaking the rust off with a few public shows that garnered positive responses.
"After that we knew had something good on our hands," Clifford said.
Now the two are back to touring the world together along with lead singer and rhythm guitarist John Tristao, lead guitarist Kurt Griffey and multi-instrumentalist Steve Gunner. This time around, however, there are no private jets and limousines - it's 15-passenger vans and commercial flights, in addition to the occasional tour bus ride.
Regardless of how CCR arrives at its shows, the music - as well as the response to it - is the same as it was years ago, Clifford said. People still run up, take pictures and record video when they stroll through an airport, and the crowds still scream for the music they love.
"Bottom line, they love Creedence," he said.
The difference now is the age of their current audience. Clifford said the younger generation makes up a majority of their audiences, despite the songs being older than the listeners themselves. He believes it was the band's emphasis on creating timeless, succinct music in the beginning that has its members reaping the benefits with the younger generation years later.
"By keeping the music simple and not following fads, we didn't pigeonhole ourselves into a corner," Clifford said. "You hear bands from the '60s and you go, 'That's a band from the '60s.' Because we cherished the genre rather than a fad that was just there for the moment, that and good songs and execution of those songs is the reason we have attracted all of these generations."
Clifford still writes new music, though it's more of a hobby than his profession. He writes with other artists and occasionally he'll have the fortune of his work being used in a film. But the 69-year-old musician has other interests these days, such as his five grandchildren.
His back-in-my-day moments sometimes consist of recalling how people consumed new music while getting lucky in the back of their Chevys in comparison to the numerous ways people stumble upon records today. Now Clifford is just hoping that concertgoers of all ages are humming their music after watching CCR perform.
"That's what it's all about - music is all about having fun, a good time and reflecting, depending on your age, and maybe looking forward to new experiences if you're a younger age," Clifford said. "The beat goes on, as they say."
Keepin' on Chooglin'
Reconstituted '60s rock giant Creedence Clearwater Revisited makes a stop in Pullman as part of its world tour
WHAT: Creedence Clearwater Revisited performing live
WHERE: Beasley Coliseum, Washington State University, Pullman
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
COST: Tickets can purchased at beasley.wsu.edu for $55.50-60.50