Rock and Roll Girls

“‘Rock and Roll Girls’ was inspired by watching my twelve year-old daughter, Laurie, and her best friend hanging out. That’s what I’d call them – the Rock and Roll Girls. I was writing about teenagers, how they have their own world that they’re not telling Pop about. It was all fairly innocent. I’m quite sure people thought of that other vision of rock and roll girls, the ones you might find in a Motley Crue video, but for me it never was.”John Fogerty (1244)


“‘Searchlight’ came from a trip to Lake Havasu on the Arizona-California border. Driving down the highway, I saw a road sign: “Searchlight nine miles.” So I wrote that down in the book. It was also one of those first-thing-in-the-morning inspirations. I didn’t know what it meant. Still don’t. In ‘Searchlight’ there are lyrical and emotional references to one of my favorite songs, ‘Endless Sleep.’ But my song, it’s about being lost. The metaphor was me.”John Fogerty (1245)

Zanz Kant Danz

“Saul [Zaentz – the Fantasy Records label owner famous for suing Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty for self-plagiarism – Ed] was also suing me for $140 million over defamation of character, due to the last song on Centerfield: ‘Zanz Kant Danz,’ about a “little pig” named Zanz. The lyrics go, “Zanz can’t dance/But he’ll steal your money”. [The record was later renamed Vanz Kant Danz – Ed].”John Fogerty (1246)

Blue Moon Nights

“With ‘Blue Moon Nights’ I was thinking about Sun Records. When I’d explain the song, I’d say, “Imagine if some kid walked in off the street to see Sam Phillips, and he’s got a sackful of songs, and one of them goes like this.” There’s such affection coming from me about that music, and I just really wanted to get all that in the track – and it wasn’t by playing it eight million times. It’s more about thinking about it a lot ahead of time. To get yourself into that emotional and mental place.”John Fogerty (1247)

Joy Of My Life

“Sometimes I think it’s so personal, I even wonder if I should perform it live. That one has an obvious influence. Due to my interest in flying, I’d go to the Oshkosh aviation show. I’d gotten friendly with this young couple, and Elizabeth, the wife [in the young couple – Ed], would ask me, “How’s Julie?” My answer was always, “Well, she’s the joy of my life.” One day Elizabeth said, “You’re always saying, ‘She’s the joy of your life.’ You should write a song.” It’s just the story of my life with Julie [they married in 1991 – Ed]. It’s truly my first love song.”John Fogerty (1248)

Deja Vu (All Over Again)

“It was written about the Iraq war [but before it happened – Ed]. As usual, the rich white guys were not happy: here’s this place over in the Middle East loaded with oil, and here’s this bad guy, Saddam Hussein, who doesn’t do everything we tell him to do, so hey, we have to get rid of him. Which is what they always do – Noriega, the Shah of Iran…”John Fogerty (1249)

I Will Walk With You

“I wanted to write a song for my daughter Kelsy. I started it the day she was born. I had this idea: “I Will Walk With You,” meaning, “I’m going to with you every step of the way.” Kind of a daddy’s promise to take care of his baby. It’s a pretty serious thing to me.”John Fogerty (1250)

Broken Down Cowboy

“With ‘Broken Down Cowboy,’ I saw that guy instantly – kind of a rawboned, lanky guy sitting in a cantina at a little round table. He’s got shot glasses of tequila, a cigarette, a deck of cards, and he’s playing solitaire. He’s wearing a straw cowboy hat, what used to be a nice cowboy shirt, kind of frumpy jeans, boots. Has that weathered, weary look to his face, fifty or sixty years old. I could just see it. And eventually I realized it was me – the old me. I was writing the song and almost breaking down. I literally had tears in my eyes – “Fuck, this is good shit. This is me.” It wasn’t until about a month later that we were at a rehearsal place and I was teaching the song to the band. Julie comes walking in with her girlfriend. I didn’t know she was there at first. She just stopped dead in her tracks. I saw her and could hardly finish the song – I was bawling and trying to sing. Julie realized this was kind of for her, because it’s about me. And us.”John Fogerty (1251)

Mystic Highway

“If a little green man arrived from Mars and requested to hear just one John Fogerty song, this is the one I’d play for him. I had written the title in my little songbook maybe thirty years ago. It was alluring. It’s a concept that really resonates with me. Even way back then, I just saw a highway, a road, a thread through time and space. I can see a group of travelers, a small band of people, maybe a family, kind of shadowy, with their faces looking up towards the sky. They are traveling. Weary, but not broken, not defeated. They’ve been doing this for a long time. I clearly see a man there, a dad, a father figure – it’s me, not some other guy. He’s got a cowboy hat on. They are not in a big hurry. They are expected on this journey, on this ‘mystic highway.’ And eventually they’re going to get there, wherever it is they are supposed to get to, and it may be another twenty minutes, and it may be another years, or it may be another twenty thousand years. Who knows? This is their destiny. ‘Mystic Highway’ is certainly a deep and ongoing subject.”John Fogerty (1252)