The legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty was an important part of the band with Stu Cook, Doug Clifford and his brother John Fogerty.
The musician was born in Berkeley, California and he began his career in high school bands. He and his younger brother, John, had separate groups. Tom’s band, Spider Webb and the Insects (which featured Jeremy Levine of the Seeds), signed a recording contract with Del-Fi Records but broke up in 1959 before releasing any records.
From the late 1960s and early 1970s he was on Creedence, that had a musical style encompassed roots rock, swamp rock, and blues rock. They played in a Southern rock style, despite their San Francisco Bay Area origin, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River, and other popular elements of Southern United States iconography, as well as political and socially conscious lyrics about topics including the Vietnam War. The band also performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Upstate New York.
The group disbanded acrimoniously in late 1972 after four years of chart-topping success. Tom Fogerty had officially left the previous year, and John was at odds with the remaining members over matters of business and artistic control, all of which resulted in subsequent lawsuits among the former bandmates.
Fogerty’s ongoing disagreements with Fantasy Records owner Saul Zaentz created further protracted court battles, and John Fogerty refused to perform with the two other surviving members at CCR’s 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
At some point in the 1980s, after moving to Scottsdale, Arizona, he underwent surgery for his back. An unscreened blood transfusion caused him to be infected with HIV. It led to his death, officially of tuberculosis, on September 6, 1990. Tom and John barely reconciled before Tom’s death, and in the eulogy that he delivered at Tom’s funeral, John said, “We wanted to grow up and be musicians. I guess we achieved half of that, becoming rock ‘n roll stars. We didn’t necessarily grow up.”
After his death, a music compilation titled The Very Best of Tom Fogerty was released.
He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
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