It’s a happy ending for the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer after a very long, messy legal battle.
LOS ANGELES — After a five-decade legal battle, singer-songwriter John Fogerty has regained worldwide control of publishing rights to his songs with Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The catalog includes iconic CCR hits like “Proud Mary,” “Down on the Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Bad Moon Rising” and more.
Fogerty acquired a majority share in the rights from music publishing company Concord for an undisclosed amount, Billboard reported.
“As of this January, I own my own songs again. This is something I thought would never be a possibility,” Fogerty tweeted on Thursday. “After 50 years, I am finally reunited with my songs. I also have a say in where and how my songs are used. Up until this year, that is something I have never been able to do.”
Fogerty’s fight for publishing rights has been one of the most drawn-out, messiest legal battles in the music industry. The copyrights to Fogerty’s songs were long held by Saul Zaentz, the owner of Fantasy Records who signed Creedence Clearwater Revival in the 1960s. Zaentz aggressively defended their strict contract in court for years, even unsuccessfully suing Fogerty for $144 million, claiming Fogerty’s solo song “The Old Man Down the Road” was a rip-off of Fogerty’s CCR song “Run Through the Jungle.” Fogerty for years avoided playing CCR songs live so Zaentz would not profit from his performances.
Concord reportedly righted some of Zaentz’s wrongs after acquiring the catalog with the purchase of Fantasy Records, but Fogerty never stopped longing to own his own music despite the repeated setbacks.
Fogerty’s purchase of his own catalog’s publishing rights bucks current trends in the music industry: Legends like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have both sold rights to their songs for hundreds of millions of dollars.
CCR had a brief but prolific career, producing five top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 between 1969 and 1970. The band broke up 1972.
“I’m the dad [of these songs]. I created them,” Fogerty told Billboard. “They never should have been taken away in the first place. And that hijacking left such a massive hole in me.”
Concord will retain the master recordings already in its catalog.
“It’s not a 100% win for me, but it’s sure better than it was,” Fogerty said.