By Christopher Scapelliti
The on-again/off-again fight over who gets to use the name Creedence Clearwater Revival resumed this week when Creedence founder John Fogerty was sued by his former bandmates.
The lawsuit alleges that Fogerty breached a 2001 settlement when he criticized his former bandmates for performing under the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited. The plaintiffs—drummer Douglas Clifford, bassist Stuart Cook and the wife of late rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, John's brother—note that Fogerty agreed to allow the band to use the name and that he draws payment in return for use of the name.
Furthermore, they allege that Fogerty himself has violated trademarks by referring to Creedence Clearwater Revival in advertisements for his concerts where he performs the group's albums.
They are seeking unspecified damages and have requested a jury trial.
The dust-up dates back to 1996, when Fogerty was granted an injunction against the group using the name Creedence Clearwater Revisited. That injunction was overturned the following year. The matter was eventually settled in 2001, with Fogerty receiving payment in return for allowing the band to use the name.
That, apparently, was enough to make his former bandmates launch the new lawsuit. In addition, they say Fogerty has been threatening them with another legal action over unpaid royalties from concerts dating back to 2011.
Fogerty, for his part, does not appear to be backing down. In a written statement released December 9, the guitarist wrote:
"I was driving my daughter to school yesterday and I was surprised to learn I was being sued by my former band mates who call themselves Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
"The people who come to my shows know they will hear me sing and play the songs I wrote and recorded over the past four decades of my career. Every night we play live, I’m thrilled to see all of those fans singing along to the songs that have touched them. I am at a wonderful place in my life. I am playing the music that I love and wrote, with full joy and having my son Shane joining along side of me—it doesn't get much better than that.
"No lawyers, lawsuits, or angry ex-band members will stop me ever again from singing my songs. I am going to continue to tour and play all my songs every single night I am out on the road.
"Rockin' all over the world!
Stay tuned for more in what is perhaps rock and roll's longest ongoing feud.