"After 50 years I am finally reunited with my own songs": John Fogerty gets a majority stake in the publishing rights to Creedence Clearwater Revival catalogue

John Fogerty
(Image credit: Steve Jennings/Getty Images))

While other rock icons ares selling the rights to their music, John Fogerty is doing the opposite. After signing away his publishing rights to Creedence Clearwater Revival's song catalogue back in 1980 to escape his ill-fated deal with the Fantasy label, Fogerty finally has a majority stake in them again. 

"As of this January, I own my own songs again," he said in a statement sharing the news with fans. "This is something I thought would never be a possibility. After 50 years, I am finally reunited with my songs."

Creedence's signing to Saul Zaentz's Fantasy Records in 1967 may be one of the most disastrous deals ever made for a rock band. It would see Fogerty caught up in legal battles for years with terms he deemed as unfair – including the bizarre situation of the label attempting to sue songwriter for self-plagiarising his own music in the '80s (Fogerty won).


Creedence Clearwater Revival in London, 1970 (L-R): Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook, Doug Clifford, John Fogerty (Image credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

After Creedence broke up 1972, Fogerty was still bound under contract with Zaentz. He signed away publishing rights and royalties to the CCR catalogue in 1980 in his effort to get out of his contract with Fantasy.

Meanwhile Fogerty's bandmates sided with Zaentz, including his elder brother and rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty who passed away in 1990. Now after decades of acrimony, the Bad Moon Rising songwriter finally being reunited with the rights to his songs.

I am looking forward to touring and celebrating this year!


Back in 1995, Concord Records bought Fantasy and the Creedence catalogue from Zaentz, eventually giving Fogerty a higher royalty rate. Now the musician has bought a majority share of his publishing rights from Concord. 

Zaentz passed away in early 2014 and while the likelihood of Fogerty being reunited with his former CCR bandmates, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford, is remote at best, the singer will now have control over the way his songs are used going forward.

"I also have a say in where and how my songs are used," Fogerty added. "Up until this year, that is something I have never been able to do. I am looking forward to touring and celebrating this year! 

"I want to thank Concord for helping to make all of this happen. And, I am excited for new ideas and a renewed interest in my music … like a revival." 

The story of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Bad Moon Rising: "A long time ago I adopted one of rock’s major tenets and stuck with it: be simple and speak powerfully”

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.