Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 15 July 2011 00:00
Stu Cook, bassist and founding member of the world-renowned rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, will take to NYCB Theater at Westbury on July 17 with a slightly different look on stage.
Cook, along with childhood friend and fellow band member Doug Clifford, formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995 and they’ve continued to deliver the timeless and signature “southern” rock vibe across the U.S. and beyond its borders.
“We’ve played Westbury several times. I prefer a proscenium stage to a revolving one. It’s a bit disconcerting to look up and see the audience moving past you, but I try not to let it interfere with my concentration,” said Cook, who cited Ray Charles for opening a door to his musical future.
“My first instrument was trumpet. My dad was a good horn player. I switched to piano after a few years and gave that up for girls and baseball.
“The birth of rock ‘n’ roll brought me to the guitar. Seeing Ray Charles in concert when I was 12 changed my world. After a few more years I became the bass player. We had too many guitarists in the band,” Cook explained.
For an otherwise momentous occasion, Cook called CCR’s induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 was “one of the worst days of my life,” but opened another door, one through which Revisited would later walk.
Former lead vocalist John Fogerty, in Cook’s words, “Hogged the band’s introduction, refusing to play with the surviving members. Doug and I, along with our entire families, walked out of the ceremony when Fogerty took to the stage to play the CCR hits.
“That evening planted the seeds for the Revisited project. I guess you could say Revisited is a daily reminder of him to his mistake that evening,” said Cook.
While Fogerty and the remaining band members cut ties, Cook remains close with Clifford. Both were childhood friends in California before playing music together.
“When [Doug and I] joined with John to form the Blue Velvets, it was the beginning of a life-long musical relationship. We’ve had so many experiences together that at times it seems like we might be one person.
“Over the years we’ve learned to preserve our relationship by really understanding what it means to be a friend – you take the other person as they come,” said Cook.
And while life on the road for a “travelin’ band” may bring about a bad moon or two, Cook, who currently resides in Texas, can lean on his hobbies – golf, biking, reading, photography and SCUBA diving – along with some old friends to keep him in good spirits.
“It’s hard work, but we’ve learned to put the importance of the friendship above the issues that inevitably arise over such a long time period.”