Creedence Clearwater Revival, the '60s-era California group with a bluesy sound, meteoric rise and string of classic Top 40 hits, hired L.A. PR powerhouse Rogers and Cowan to rocky results shortly before breaking up in 1972.
The group’s former manager, Jake Rohrer, has penned a colorful memoir of the influential band’s heyday which is being serialized online.
In the latest (acerbic) installment, Part 5, Rohrer laments that CCR was nearing the end of its most successful year and decided to hire R&C, setting the stage for a rough PR run:
“As we approached the end of their most successful year, the band tried on a bit of Hollywood, retaining the powerhouse public relations firm, Rogers & Cowan, to make them into something other than what they were. It was among several questionable moves the band adopted at the time to help establish CCR at the top of the heap, somehow ignoring the fact that they had already arrived there on their own.”
A large press junket organized by R&C was a particular disaster for the group.
“…what we came to refer to as 'Night of the Generals,' a gala press junket conceived by Rogers & Cowan, where we flew in all the prestigious rock journalists from all over the country. We put them up at Berkeley’s Claremont Hotel, wined and dined them at the ‘Factory,’ CCR headquar¬ters in Berkeley. We would show them a hell of a good time along with a mini-concert-performance and the new CCR release, ‘Pendulum.’
“A few members of the elite press corps, most notably New York critic and blue-ribbon a******, Al Aronowitz, took full advantage of all the free perks, only to write whiny, self centered articles that largely ignored the music and bitched about the slightly less than royal treatment received at the hands of these West Coast upstarts. F*** you, Al.”
R&C at the time was still under the tutelage of Henry Rogers and his protege Warren Cowan, who took over as president of the firm in 1964.
CCR was led by the creative force of John Fogerty, who suffered through a decades-long legal fight with the group's record label during which he couldn't play his own songs after the label sued him for plagiarism (of himself) to the tune of $140M. Fogerty, who wrote classics like "Fortunate Son," "Down on the Corner" and "Proud Mary," has been successfully touring for the last decade, while other former members of CCR perform to smaller audiences as Creedence Clearwater Revisited.