Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 24th 1945 Doug Clifford

Clifford telling the story of a backstage Creedence bust-up.

'It was in the Midwest somewhere, sometime in seventy. We were in a locker room, just this big massage table for big basketball players. We had an excellent set, one of our best shows. We knew it and the crowd was going nuts. What happened was Tom and Stu were sitting on the floor leaning up against these lockers drinking Pepsis because we didn't even have beer, bottles of Pepsi. I'm drinking one and I'm hyper, sky-high, full of adrenaline. I'm little and I'm wiry and I'm strong for my size. When you have the adrenaline rush, you hear about ladies picking up off kids, and I'm real excited and I say, 'What's the encore,' he said, 'We're not doing one.'

I thought he was kidding. I said, 'What are you gonna do, let 'em bleed out there?' We had three songs we'd do, and we'd pick one depending on what the crown was doing. He said 'We're not doing one' and he's sitting on the table and I say, 'Why? Why?' He says, 'Encores are phony. From this moment on Creedence Clearwater will never do another one.' I looked at Tom and Stu and said, 'Let's go guys, If we go out there he has to follow us. If we go out there, he's not gonna not show up. Let's go out.' I start to go out and both of them put their heads down at the same time.

At that instant everything started going in slow motion for me. I went blank, all I could see was red. I couldn't see any image for about a second and I took the goddam bottle of Pepsi and I smashed it against the locker as hard as I could. It shattered into a million pieces. I walked over to the table where John was sitting. The legs were wide. I picked the table up, and as I did the table slipped from its weight, he rolled off and things are in very slow motion and he rolled two and a half times and he rolled up against the locker. And he's looking at me and he's got his hands up like I was gonna crush him with the table. Now I've got the table up above my head and he's got his hands like he thinks I'm gonna throw the table on him, which would have hurt him very seriously. And then I looked at him in the face. I looked him right in the eye, it was like the first day I ever met him, like he was thirteen years old again. And I broke the legs off the table and I pointed them at him and I said, 'You're wrong, you're wrong,' and I walked out. I wouldn't ride home with the band. So the next day I walked in and I said, 'No more encores, we're having beer in the dressing room. No beer before the show, but you have your way, I'm having beer.' we got beer, but we lost. That was the beginning of the end of the band, because we would go out and work the audience up and leave the stage knowing we couldn't do an encore and that was tortuous. We never did one ever again.'

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