John Fogerty and Inspiration

December 6, 2007

John Fogerty is one of the founders and unmistakable lead voice of Creedence Clearwater Revival, one of the great bands of the sixties. I must admit a fondness for that band and much of the music Fogerty has produced since- sometimes called “swamp rock”- bluesy rock and roll with a southern, Louisiana feel. I haven’t heard enough of his new album, Revival, to review it responsibly but what I have heard so far is consistent with his previous work I have liked, perhaps this time with a little bit of a pop feel on a few of the cuts.

In a recent issue of Newsweek (December 3, 2007) Fogerty wrote an article in which he talks about his new album and the years of pain he endured as a result of the rancorous breakup of the old band, complete with difficult and lengthy lawsuits. I am writing about it here because I was moved by his candid honesty about his pain and his recovery that he describes as resulting from the magical meeting with Julie who was to become his wife and, it appears, his guide and muse.

At one point in his narrative he describes a moment when, during his struggle to write that resulted from the law suits, a “little gremlin would pop up on my shoulder in the form of a lawyer saying ‘Don’t do that.’” He continues, “One day I said to the gremlin, ‘Get out of my life. I own this. I sound like this. I’m embracing this.’ I was finally able to put that to rest and become comfortable with my own sound.” 

I would call this process “ordinary interactive imagination”. This is essentially the same imagery process described elsewhere on this blog and on my professional web site. But it is also something that many people do without training, spontaneously, and to good effect. He had a dialogue with an aspect of his own mind that he visualized as tasking the form of a gremlin and by addressing it, caused a change to occur. Brilliant!

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