GMNS: Getting started, this Revisited deal… Why isn’t John Fogerty playing with you all?
Stu Cook: Well, you probably have to ask him, you know. We invited him some 17 years ago and he wasn’t interested. So we said cool, but we’re going to do it without you. We’ll ask him once.
GMNS: What’s it like playing all the Revival tunes without him?
SC: It’s fine. The music has always been separate from the personalities. So we don’t miss him at all. We’ve been doing this for 17 years, over 4 times as long as the original band performed the songs. The best part is the fans don’t care. They just want to hear the songs played with some enthusiasm. They like to hear them performed the way they were originally recorded, you know, right tempos, right arrangements. That’s what we’re about. Our reputation is built on being able to deliver without him. He had his chance and the ship sailed without him.
GMNS: What’s different about playing with the newer players? What’s special about Revisited?
SC: I don’t know if there’s anything special about Revisited. Every night we go out and try to play the songs better than the night before. It’s never been a question of getting tired, playing the same songs over and over. We know why the audience comes to see us and it’s our job as musicians—as entertainers—to never forget that we got to always be on our game. It’s a challenge. It’s an honor to be able to represent this music. We might have missed 3 shows in 16 years because of illness. Once because of bad airline connections. So, we take it seriously, but we want to have fun with it, you know? We’re not serious about ourselves. We’re in to have fun with it ‘cause its fun music, honestly. It’s rock-n-roll. There’s no rules. We keep it light. Like I said, it’s not about us, it’s about the music.
GMNS: I understand that you guy’s started on a much smaller scale, playing private parties and things of that nature—
SC: That’s not true.
GMNS: That’s not true? I thought that’s what the bio said.
SC: No, that was our intention. We never really started like that. We started out playing in front of many thousands of people, much to our surprise. We thought that we could kind of sneak in the back door. We didn’t really know how the project was going to be or if there would even be an audience for it. We thought, “Well, if we could play some private parties, maybe some corporate events, conventions, that we could sort of get our feet wet and things would grow from there. But it didn’t work out that way. We started playing real gigs from day one. And it’s only over the course of our career that we’ve been able to add the private stuff. The way things worked out has been fantastic. We’ve had a tremendous amount of opportunities come our way. We’ve been able to play overseas, a half-a-dozen times in Europe, over half-a-dozen times in South America, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, Mexico, Canada… We’ve played in some pretty far-flung places and have seen the world. This band is far more traveled than the original band.
GMNS: In your own words, how have you seen the reaction to Revisited over the years?
SC: Well, it’s more about the music—it’s all about the music. People just love Creedence’s music. The fact that it’s Revisited is a good enough idea with good enough people, good enough personell, and we have a good attitude about what we’re doing. The fact that we could represent this to Creedence fans and they have no problem accepting it as the real McCoy is a huge honor. There’s some skepticism. There has been, originally, but this is our 17th year of playing these songs for people. So we have a terrific reputation and our reception… I don’t think that Revival would be any better accepted. We could charge more for the tickets if it was the original band, but I don’t think there’s any more receptive fans than the ones we play for now.
GMNS: A lot of the people that are going to see you guys are people that, I think one of you said, weren’t even born when the music was released.
SC: Yeah. We have a lot of young people, when I say young I mean people 25 and under, which you wouldn’t expect, neccisarrily, for these people to know anything about the band. Every generation has it’s own style of music, it’s own popular artists, but we have three full generations of fans now. When we first started playing we recognized this and it was probably the most amazing thing of the first couple of shows. “Who are these young people? How did they find out about the music?” And there’s a variety of ways. Classic rock radio, of course, has been extremely influential in keeping bands from our era in front of the public. We’ve had a lot of songs in movies, some TV theme stuff, songs in TV series… but mostly, I think it’s been people turning their families, their kids and their brothers and sisters on to the music, you know, from the original music collection. It’s not just one way, but those are the three main ways where people can come across Creedence. And once they become aware of it, it’s easier than ever to find it now. You can buy it online, you can buy it everywhere. Hell, you can even steal it, sadly.
GMNS: But we don’t advise that, right?
SC: I’m not a big fan of it. I was raised differently.
GMNS: Okay. You recorded a cd, Recollection, and I read it was certified Platinum. Do you plan on recording anything else?
SC: You know, there’s a handful, maybe 10 or 11 other Creedence songs that we know that we’re thinking about recording, but if you’re referring to new material, no. The project is to celebrate and honor the original band. So that keeps it simple.
GMNS: Do you guys have any other plans for the future? As a band or otherwise?
SC: No. We’re a travelling band, headed to your town someday. We’ll play ‘em all eventually. We have a full calendar for 2011. And Doug and I have never sat down and discussed wrapping up this project, so as long as everybody’s healthy and happy about it, we’ll continue to try and get out there every year and play the songs.
GMNS: All right. Sounds like a good deal.
SC: Yeah. It’s an honor, it’s a labor of love and it’s fun.
GMNS: Well awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing the show.
SC: Where are we playing in your neighborhood?
GMNS: You’re playing at the Seminole Hard Rock.
SC: Oh yeah, we’ve been there. That’s a great venue. The arena is a scaled down version of one of the giant ones in Las Vegas. It’s a really nice room to play. I remember the last time we were there, it impressed me as being just about the right size to have a rock concert in.