Capping one of many longest and nastiest authorized battles in music enterprise historical past, John Fogerty has gained worldwide management of the publishing rights to his Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, greater than 50 years after the songs had been first launched.
Fogerty has acquired a majority curiosity within the international publishing rights to his tune catalog with the group, which incorporates “Proud Mary,” “Lucky Son,” “Unhealthy Moon Rising,” “Up Across the Bend,” “Have You Ever Seen Rain ” and others from Harmony for an undisclosed quantity, a rep for the corporate confirmed to Selection; the information was first reported by Billboard.
The Rock and Roll Corridor of Famer’s disputes weren’t with Harmony, which acquired the rights to the catalog in 2004, however with music and movie mogul Saul Zaentz, who signed Fogerty, now 77, and Creedence to his Fantasy Information within the mid-Nineteen Sixties below a draconian contract that he defended aggressively and litigiously for many years. The bitter authorized battle between Fogerty and Zaentz performed out within the courts and the press and even in Fogerty’s thinly vieled 1985 tune and music video, “Vanz Kant Danz” (which unsurprisingly led to a $144 million, in the end unsuccessful lawsuit from Zaentz, who claimed the tune copied Fogerty’s personal hit “Run By way of the Jungle”).
It consumed many years of the artist’s life and sidelined his music profession for a few years, though upon its acquisition, Harmony shortly improved the phrases of the deal. The corporate reinstated the artist royalties Fogerty had relinquished to Zaentz in 1980 to get out of his Fantasy deal, which he’d signed as a youngster and, unwisely looking back, renegotiated with Zaentz in 1970 whereas performing not solely because the group’s singer, songwriter and lead guitarist but in addition its supervisor. Zaentz went on to a profitable profession as a movie producer that was largely funded by his Creedence income, successful Oscars for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Amadeus” and “The English Affected person.” Fogerty tried to accumulate his publishing by him from Zaentz in 1989 and the 2 agreed upon a quantity, however on the final minute, Fogerty says Zaentz doubled the worth and the deal tanked. Zaentz died in 2014.
Creedence’s late-’60s/ early-’70s heyday was large — they reportedly bought extra data than the Beatles in 1969 — however freakishly temporary: They scored an unbelievable seven Prime 5 singles and 5 Prime 10 albums (two of them No. 1s) in simply over two years, however then pale simply as shortly because the group splintered and at last break up in 1972.
Harmony retains the CCR grasp recordings already in its catalog and can proceed to manage Fogerty’s share of the publishing catalog for an unspecified restricted time. (Fogerty owns the rights to the publishing and grasp recordings of his solo materials from him.)
“The happiest method to take a look at it’s, yeah, it is not the whole lot,” Fogerty mentioned. “It isn’t a 100% win for me, but it surely’s certain higher than it was. I am actually form of nonetheless in shock. I have never allowed my mind to actually, truly, begin feeling it but.”
Whereas some publishing rights would have reverted to Fogerty in a number of years anyway — below US copyright legislation’s 56-year rule — Fogerty and his spouse/supervisor Julie determined to accumulate as most of the rights as they may. They introduced in supermanager Irving Azoff, who had managed Fogerty round 20 years in the past, to assist strike the deal.
Julie Fogerty mentioned Azoff referred to as Harmony chief Scott Pascucci and mentioned, “’Scott, you have made a lot cash on Fogerty. Do you wish to be identified within the music enterprise as Saul Zaentz or [legendary Warner Bros. Records head] Mo Ostin?’ And I believe he heard that.”
Harmony not too long ago launched what’s presumably the final main work within the Creedence vault, a reside recording of the band’s legendary 1970 live performance at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Corridor, accompanied by a documentary movie narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, who in fact performed the Creedence-obsessed “Dude” character within the Coen brothers’ 1998 movie “The Massive Lebowski.” That movie is only one instance of the lasting legacy of Creedence’s songs, which the Fogertys plan to increase.
“I am able to really feel actually good about music,” he mentioned.