Let the Blue Boy play. That’s a line from a concert I listened to last night. After a hell-acious week I found myself sitting on my porch with my iPhone, and a six pack feeling beat up. Mental and physical exhaustion had piled up on me, and I couldn’t see writing anything that night or for many nights in the foreseeable future. I began to check YouTube, listening to playlists I had saved when an interview with John Fogarty popped up.
I’d never heard John say anything negative in my life, but he was recounting the breakup of Creedence, and there were some feelings there. To make a long story short the other members of the group were a flock of no talent tick turds. John was all the talent, all the show, all the genius. CCR was there simply because that was the way it was done in those days and you had to have a group. The Beatles had set the norm and for years that’s what people expected to see. The Elvis model of big name singer and faceless back groups had been done away with and replaced by rock groups, who were all equally talented, and of course they were all friends, even if they’d met in a bus station.
Of course this was a lie. When John got enough of this and walked away, Fantasy Records raked him over the coals until he was well done. Many years later he came out again and they tried to sue him for sounding like himself. Finally it was mostly resolved and John was able to produce again. He produced some material and surprise, surprise! There was NO Creedence, it was always just John Fogarty, and he’s been Rocking All Over the World ever since,
Under the interview were suggested videos, one being a concert he gave twenty years ago called Premonition, so I clicked it. I’ve seen it before and thought the music may lighten my mood. You can’t listen to John Fogarty without feeling something. The energy, the emotion, the simplicity of the words all combine to produce a feeling that even if it’s not something you grew up with it strikes a chord in you that causes you to remember things you never knew, and pulls something out of you that you never knew was there. Willie does the same, but you gotta be drunk for it to work. With John, iced tea will do.
The audience stayed on its feet for the entire show. John joked with them, and with his band, and the smiles toward John from the backup band were genuine. I was blown away by the energy coming out of this old man, but it seemed like the more he played the stronger he got, and then he gave me a gift. I felt rested, stronger, all the week’s pressure had left and it was just John, me, and a beer.
John had replaced all he bad in me with the joy he felt entertaining those people so long ago. He had put all the bad away, and so did I. Your happiness is not from without, but within, and the drama around you can only affect you if you let it in. I listened to the entire concert, and by the time I retired I was already rested. Today everyone around me got up, still fighting them tired old demons, myself, I just let the Blue Boy play.
Bill the Butcher