Sunday, September 18, 2016


I just started reading a John Fogerty autobiography, mostly out of duty. My younger total Creedence fiend self would not forgive me if I didn't. In the beginning of the book Fogerty mentions quite a few records that were favorites of his in his younger days. One he mentions is "Henrietta" by Jimmy Dee and the Offbeats. He describes it as "a frantic rockabilly record", I'm listening. He then goes onto say "The Offbeats - that's just so wacky in the right way. Very punk name 'We suck! Ugh, stab me!'"

I checked out the song and it was good, deserved of Fogerty's sub-genre "dashboard banger". It was frantic alright, but what was the "We suck! Ugh, stab me!" bit? What is that all about? Is that what Fogerty sees punk as? That's Archie Bunker.

Interest piqued, I started digging around. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame says that it was the first record that Bob Dylan ever bought, and he covered it early in his career. Oh, what's this? The Trashmen covered it?  Sold.

Jimmy Dee and the Offbeats -Henrietta mp3 at Mp3 Rockabilly
Jimmy Dee and the Offbeats - You're Late Miss Kate mp3 at Rocky 52
Jimmy Dee and the Offbeats - Here I Come mp3 at Rocky 52
The Trashmen - Henrietta (streaming) at YouTube


Anonymous said...

I'm still kind of a Creedence fiend, but Fogerty doesn't seem to be a very likeable guy. I haven't read the autobiography, but I read a book about the band a few years ago, that portrayed him as a real jerk to his bandmates - especially to his brother, whom he barely managed to make up with on Tom's deathbed. It's sad, really - nothing he's done in the past 45 years has come close to his work with CCR.


Tom G. said...

I still count myself as a Creedence fiend, but Fogerty lost me sometime around Centerfield. The Creedence LPs though, still stick with me, including the dog Mardis Gras, the only one that, as far as I know still hasn't been reissued on CD. Fogerty does have his flaws, but when you consider the dreck that Stu Cook and Doug Clifford had on Mardis Gras, you can easily see why the band needed a central figure. I think I remember there being some debate as to who insisted on them getting their own songs on that album, but it's clear that's what broke them up. (I will refrain from ragging about the "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" other than to point out that if Cook and Clifford had talent, and are as bitter as they appear to be, why would they continue to lean on material penned by Fogerty?)

I'm still in the first third of the book, but there was one revelation. Sometime after playing in a band in the Northwest for a summer, after seeing the Sonics, Fogerty decided that his vocals needed a little rougher edge, and started his trademark screams. He credits singers like James Brown and Otis Redding as the impetus, but, really, he'd seen the Sonics and dug them (saying that he always wanted to do a cover of "The Witch"!) so, credited or not, you gotta know that Gerry Roslie's larynx shredding had to be part if it.

Thanks as always for chiming in Marc!

Anonymous said...

Happy to do it.

Yeah, everyone loves to hate on Mardi Gras, but I confess to having a soft spot for "Someday Never Comes." The book I read a few years ago (the author's name escapes me) made it sound as if Cook and Clifford really wanted Fogerty to give them some help in writing songs, and Fogerty instead insisted that they do it all themselves, which they clearly weren't ready for. But that could be revisionist history.

Thanks for that nugget about the Sonics. Now I do want to read the book.