Are you a fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival? They were one of the great bands of the 1960s and 1970s who’s legacy has largely been overlooked. The band consisted of many talented performers including rhythm guitarist and vocalist Tom Fogerty.
Tom Fogerty died unexpectedly in 1990. At the time, it was widely accepted that this was due to tuberculosis. But later on, we would find out that this wasn’t the case.
His untimely death is now considered one of music history’s greatest tragedies. The fact that Creedence Clearwater Revival rose and fell, is also a tragedy. Join Facts Verse to learn more about tom fogerty cause of death.
So how did Tom Fogerty pass away and what happened to Creedence Clearwater Revival?
While The New York Times published an obituary which stated that tuberculosis was the cause of Tom Fogerty’s death it was later found that he had respiratory failure. This respiratory failure was due to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. While we know all about this vicious disease today, it was still relatively mysterious in 1990.
It was in the 1980s when AIDS broke out and anyone who got HIV and later AIDS was stigmatized by society. Famous entertainers were no exception to this. While HIV/AIDS is often attributed to promiscuous sex, Tom Fogerty got the virus through a blood transfusion from a back surgery.
That was the tragedy of his death. Through no fault of his own, he would succumb to the horrors of the AIDS virus.
During the 1980s he underwent a back surgery that required a blood transfusion as part of the process. The blood hadn’t been screened for HIV and Tom Fogerty had to live with AIDS for a few years before his death.
Upon reflection, his tragic death will let us pay more attention to dealing with the AIDS crisis. We can also look back at his career and marvel at his incredible musical talent.
But what about Creedence Clearwater Revival? They’re one of the biggest bands in their time and their legacy seems to have largely forgotten. What ever happened to them? Join Facts Verse to learn more about tom fogerty cause of death.
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For much of the 1960s, Tom Fogerty and his brother John were in a band with Doug Clifford and Stu Cook. The band tried out different names including “The Golliwogs,” and “The Blue Velvets,” before eventually settling down as “Creedence Clearwater Revival.”
The band’s unusual name came from three sources. “Creedence” came from one of Tom’s friends. “Clearwater” came from a beer commercial. “Revival” inspired by “a statement of intent.”
Thus, Creedence Clearwater Revival was born. While the name seemed like a mouthful, it’s unique name would match its unique style of music. Tom and John focused on creating songs to develop the band’s signature musical style.
They inspired by Southern Rock music and the styles of roots rock, blues rock, and country rock. They’d sing about bayous and the Mississippi River which would make many listeners think that they were Southerners!
Their focus was on telling stories with their songs. Like much of the music of the 1960s and 1970s, they dedicated to maintaining a uniqueness to their band – in complete contrast to contemporary popular American music.
Their talents would take them to many popular music concerts and festivals including Woodstock. They also performed at the Denver Pop Festival with Jimi Hendrix and the Atlanta Pop Festival with Led Zeppelin and Joe Cocker.
For much of the band’s history, Tom was the front man. In 1968, they found success and catapulted to the music scene with the release of their self-titled debut album. Their earliest hits included “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” and “Bad Moon Rising.”
In 1969, their song “Fortunate Son,” hit the airwaves and became one of the most popular songs of the year. It told the story of how rich men and politicians could start wars while the poor fought in these wars.
The song became an anti-war anthem for many Vietnam War protestors. To this day, it remains a great song to protest wars. In 2013, the Library of Congress selected “Fortunate Son,” to preserved for “historical and cultural significance.”
And “Fortunate Son,” was just the beginning. They were now one of America’s most popular rock bands. Though they from California, they heavily inspired by Southern Rock and had a unique musical style that made them stand out from their contemporaries.
They continued to produce a string of hits – many of which would reach toward the top of the music charts. While they never reached #1 in the US, they did in other countries including the UK. Regardless of what the charts and critics said, audiences loved Creedence Clearwater Revival. Join Facts Verse to learn more about tom fogerty cause of death.
But behind the scenes, things weren’t quite as rosy.
While Tom Fogerty had been the front man, John began to lead the vocals as the band grew in popularity. Egos clashed and there were creative differences within the band. While this is to expected with any collaborative team, it stood in the way of the band playing together.
Tom Fogerty left the band in 1971 while they were still hugely popular. The remaining members continued the band as a trio before calling it quits in 1972.
For the rest of his career, Tom Fogerty performed as a solo artist. He had many great successes, but none ever matched up to the success he had with Creedence Clearwater Revival. The same went for the other band members.
Even after breaking up, there was sadly some enmity among the band members. Tom Fogerty was embroiled in many lawsuits with Fantasy Records which owned the rights to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s records. He wanted to make sure he would earn the royalties from their songs.
But it seemed that Tom wanted to put his work with Creedence Clearwater Revival behind him. He would seldom sing any of the band’s songs when he performed in later years. There was also little contact between Tom and the other band members. Join Facts Verse to learn more about tom fogerty cause of death.
There were some exceptions, however. On Tom’s third solo album, Zephyr National there was a song called “Mystic Isle Avalon,” featured his former bandmates. However, John Fogerty, still at odds with his brother, recorded his portion of the song separately.
The band performed together at Tom Fogerty’s wedding in 1980 and would later also perform at a school reunion. Nevertheless, it seemed as if the animosity between Tom and John wasn’t going to end.
In the 1980s, Tom Fogerty had to undergo back surgery. Part of this surgery involved having a blood transfusion. While this likely didn’t worry Tom at the time, this would lead to difficulties for the rest of his life and lead to his untimely death.
Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV was not a well-known virus at the time. Patients who contracted HIV might’ve eventually acquired AIDS which was a deadly virus that destroyed their immune system.
The AIDS crisis soared in the 1980s and this mysterious illness was gradually becoming more public. Eventually, Tom Fogerty learned that he had acquired HIV/AIDS from the blood transfusion during his back surgery. This concerned him and his family, as he knew that HIV/AIDS could take its toll on his wellbeing.
It was at this time that Tom and John decided to reconcile their relationship. John spent time with Tom during the final years of his life. They put their differences aside and remembered their time together with Creedence Clearwater Revival.
On September 6, 1990 Tom Fogerty passed away. He was 48 years old. While he had a tragic death and Creedence Clearwater Revival also had a short life, their contribution to American music was unparalleled.
Looking back, one cannot imagine that a band of 4 California guys could produce songs inspired by Southern Rock. Whether it was a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You,” or their classic hit “Fortunate Son,” their songs struck a chord with American audiences.
To this day, they have many fans throughout the world. In 1993, three years after Tom Fogerty passed away, Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. The surviving band members all attended the induction ceremony.
Unfortunately, when it was time to perform their music, John Fogerty wanted Bruce Springsteen and other musicians to perform the music. This angered Doug Clifford and Stu Cook who left the ceremony.
Another aspect of the band’s tragic story included the squabbles between John, Doug, and Stu. John wanted to take center-stage in decision-making, and this didn’t always work well with the other band mates.
Nevertheless, they managed to make up in later years. It seemed that no matter what issues this band went through they managed to pull things together. While they’d seldom perform together in the future, they all cherished their time as band mates.
Creedence Clearwater Revival had a short life, but their music has stood the test of time.
One can only hope that younger generations will also discover this great band and appreciate their music…
So, what do you think about Tom Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival? Do you think the band will get the appreciation they deserve? Or do you think that future generations might never learn to appreciate their incredible talents?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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