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John Fogerty talks protest music, Parkland, #MeToo, leadership through song and more

The legendary singer comes to Clearwater with ZZ Top on Saturday.

It's been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since.

"Back in the '80s, I had a couple of songs that kind of fell on deaf ears. I said, Well, I guess it's not the right time," Fogerty says.

The Berkeley, Calif.-born founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival has long woven his rebellious spirit into his signature swamp-rock sound, a maelstrom of dirt and twang and his inimitable molten-iron howl. He was the rare NoCal native who could conceivably pass as Southern — and that makes his summer tour with ZZ Top, which hits Clearwater's Coachman Park on Saturday, feel like a way-too-long time coming.

Fogerty, who just turned 73, could coast through his twilight years playing hits like Fortunate Son and Bad Moon Rising and Proud Mary for scads of nostalgic boomers night after night. But you can't expect the man who wrote Fortunate Son to stay silent about the state of the world, about Parkland and #MeToo and the divided state of America. That ain't him; no, that ain't him. Not even 50 years on.

"I know I'm getting myself in hot water with some aspects of our society," he says. "But I'm not that careful. I'm usually the guy that says what's on my mind."

For more of our interview with Fogerty, click here.

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