HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: November 2011. We talked with Stu Cook, the bassist of the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival!! Talking a legendary musician like Stu Cook, isn’t an ordinary experience. He was the bass player in one of the greatest bands in music history: the incredible Creedence Clearwater Revival. He was also the producer to Roky Erickson in his recording come-back in early 80s. With Creedence’s drummer, Doug “Cosmo” Clifford play since 1995 in a very successful musical project, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, revisiting the great Creedence songs and touring all over the world! Read the very interesting things he told us:
For many years you are having a heavy touring schedule. Do you enjoy being on the road for so long periods?
Yes, we do. We’re enjoying playing very much, and in order to do so, we must travel. So, it’s a necessary evil, but because we get to play concerts all over the world, we must accept it.
Which was the main reason for forming Creedence Clearwater Revisited with Doug “Cosmo” Clifford in 1995?
I moved to the same little town where Cosmo was living and we started hanging out together, spending a lot of time together and we decided that we would like to have a music project , so we could play the great Creedence songs.
“Recollection” live album was certified platinum. Did you expect that response from your fans?
No, absolutely not. We had no idea that there was so much support to what we were doing at that period. It was a happy time to do the album and ofcourse we were thrilled with the wonderful acceptance and reception by the audience.
CRR was a very innovative band. What do you think made them so different from the other bands of their time and influenced so many musicians?
Well, we played a truly American mix of styles; our music was very rootsy: there was some country, some blues, some rockabilly, a little bit of rock’n’roll and we sort of put them all in a package, split it up and we came up with our own sound. Simple, but very unique.
How much effect had in your life and your career Tom Fogerty’s death? Have you accepted now his loss? He was a friend of yours.
That was true. He was a friend for many many years. His pass was a very sad time in all of my life. We still miss him today. His birthday was two days ago! November 9 was his birthday.
Do you have any clear memories from Woodstock? Had you realized then that this festival would be the most monumental in music history?
(Laughs) No, we certainly did not. Well, I can remember that everybody was in such good spirits that made it one the greatest musical events ever. We were able to co-operate, get along and share. The music brought us all together, to join each other and surviving the conditions.
How possible is to see soon in stores a DVD from Royal Albert Hall performance in 1970?
I don’t know. That may be soon, but it may not. You know, it’s 41 years now, so I don’t believe that there is any need for rushing it.
Why? We want to see it! We weren’t there, we weren’t born then.
It’s a little late already but it’s still everything in the need by everybody. I don’t think it will be released. So, there is always some waiting you have from everybody.
Do you remember jamming with Booker T and the MGs in 1970?
Yes, very well. They came to “Cosmo’s Factory” (ed: the rehearsing room of CCR) in Berkeley, California and we jammed for about 2 or 3 hours. They were very good friends of ours and they still are.
Was it a difficult experience to put Roky Erickson at studio in 1979 and recorded these great songs in “The Evil One” and “I Think of Demons”?
Yes, working with Roky was on the professional highpoints of my musical career. He’s a wonderful, talented artist and a very warm and humorous man and I think we made some good records together.
Yeah! I ‘m still proud about those records with Roky. Roky still thinks these are some of his best works. I talked with him recently and we discussed how much fan we had and how strong that music was.
Were you familiar with his music with 13th Floor Elevators?
Yes, of course. We were living in San Francisco Bay Area and Roky and the Elevetors, had come to play in ballrooms in San Francisco in the late ’60s.
You have played with many great musicians. Is there anyone you ‘d like to play with and hasn’t happened yet?
Uuuhhh . Well…(ed: He’s thinking)
Maybe with Robbie Robertson for example (The Band, Bob Dylan guitarist and permanent collaborator of Martin Scorsese)?
No, I don’t want to play with Robbie Robertson. He’s one the guys I don’t want to play with. I would like to play with players like Ringo Starr (The Beatles drummer). I got to play with Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.
You have played with them?
Yes, I have.
I was one of the bass players they auditioned by the Stones when Bill Wyman retired.
Wow. I didn’t know that!
Yes. I got to play with them about two hours in New York City one day.
How difficult was to find the other musicians for Creedence Clearwater Revisited, except you and Cosmo?
It was easy actually. We started looking for people in the end of 1994 and by early 1995 we had a very short list of people: Elliot Easton on guitar, Steve Gunner on keyboards and percussion, he’s multi-instrumentalist and we got down looking for a lead singer. We auditioned about 5 or 6 people and John Tristao was the man who had the magic and he’s still with us for about 17 years.
What music do you hear this period?
On my iPod which I travel with, I have all kinds of music. I have jazz music, classical music, classic rock, a lot of Ray Charles, Rickey Woodard, Tom Petty, Beatles, The Stones, a lot of the Stones and I put them on shuffle, so I never know which song is going to play next.
Do you think that rock ’n’ roll is dead and everything now is about managers, deals and percentages? Jim Morrison was right, then?
Yeah. I think the business truly has taken the wrong way (laughs). It’s very difficult to be an artist right now, a new artist especially. Even a legacy artist. We have a very hard time because the industry in no longer in synch with the consumer.
Do you have any contact with John Fogerty nowadays?
No. I haven’t spoken with John for many many years. The last time I saw John was in court one day. He was suing us: Cosmo and me over the Revisited name. I saw him in court in 1997 I think. I haven’t seen nor spoken to him since then.
Send a message to Greek fans. Is it possible to see you playing here?
Cosmo and I, would love to bring Revisited musical project to Greece. We know that we have many Greek fans, it would be a wonderful honour to bring the band and do some performances in your country. Maybe with this interview, will start some interest and who knows? We may be there next year.
A huge “THANK YOU” to Mr Stu Cook.
A million thanks to Mr Steve Polikalas and to Mrs Wendy Brynford-Jones for their valuable help.
Check out http://www.creedence-revisited.com