Doug “Cosmo” Clifford thought he and Stu Cook could bring back the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival quietly.
The two musicians were the original rhythm section for Creedence. The rolling bass in “Have you ever Seen the Rain?” That was Cook. The pounding drumbeat in “Fortunate Son?” Clifford.
As a full band, CCR wasn’t around that long, just five years between their breakout hit, “Suzy Q” in 1967 and their bitter split in 1972. In about the mid-90s, Clifford and Cook began jamming together at their homes in the Lake Tahoe area.
“We were just a bass and drum, and that’s pretty boring. We knew we needed a band,” Clifford said. “We were hearing everyday that people would love to hear the old songs live.”
The two returned to the stage with a few hired guns thinking that they would play three or four shows a month “just to keep our foot in the game and have a little fun,” Clifford said. “That didn’t happen.”
“People went crazy,” he said. “It’s really been a fan-driven project. Everything we do is what the fans want.”
They tour as Creedence Clearwater Revisited, as John Fogerty holds legal rights to the name Creedence Clearwater Revival. For the last 20 years, they’ve traveled throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia and released a live double-CD that went platinum in 2008.
Even without the Fogerty brothers, Creedence Revisited pulls off the classics convincingly. Bald, tattooed and muscle-y, Revisited’s frontman John Tristao sings with a similar abrasive twang as John Fogerty. Tristao formerly played with People, a band known for its top-10 hit “I Love You” in the late 60s. A Seattle resident, he also acted in the TV show “Twin Peaks.”
Cook and Clifford tapped Kurt Griffey to take on lead guitar in Tom Fogerty’s place. Griffey toured and recorded with musicians from the Eagles, Foreigner, Wings and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
John Fogerty still tours and plays the old CCR favorites — most recently with Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. He released a new album in May. Despite rumors, the original band never reunited for a tour and there are no plans to do so in the near future, Clifford said.
And don’t expect any new albums from the band either. If Revival didn’t record it, Revisited won’t play it, Clifford said.
“New music usually doesn’t fair too well,” he said. “We’d rather take our time off and stay at home rather than being in a studio somewhere making a record no one will listen to.”
It’s the live experience Clifford and Cook live for — the cheering crowds and the thundering sound system — which Clifford he enjoys a lot more at age 68 than he did at 25.
“Back in the day, I thought I knew it all but I didn’t know much,” he said. “It’s still the same adrenaline rush playing in front of the crowd. That’s what keeps you out there.”
Rachel Hansen: 664-7139
If you go
What: Creedence Clearwater Revisited
When: 7 p.m. Sept. 7
Where: Deep Water Amphitheater, Manson