Up to 17,000 fans from across the generations will descend on Gibbston Valley Station on Saturday to watch two veteran American acts blast out their evergreen hits.
Most of the members of Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Dr Hook are old enough to be grandfathers. But still the crowds bowl up – even though the distinctive voices that helped make both bands world famous are missing.
Former Dr Hook singer Dennis Locorriere quit the ranks in 1985 after notching up a string of mega-hits including Sexy Eyes, Sylvia’s Mother and When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman.
And John Fogerty, the gifted singer-songwriter who fronted the original Creedence Clearwater Revival, left almost 40 years ago.
CCR’s legendary rhythm section, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug ‘Cosmo’ Clifford are the only ones left from the group’s 1960s and early 70s heyday.
But their instantly recognisable tracks such as Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising and Down On The Corner live on.
“We used to have three generations of fans turning up at shows but I’ve
been noticing a fourth is already on the way,” Clifford, 65, tells Mountain Scene from his home in Reno, Nevada.
“At a recent gig I was signing a shirt for a nine-year-old kid and I realised I was five years older than his grandfather, who was with him.
“One of the reasons we’ve been around so long is that John Fogerty wrote these simple but amazing songs that sound great on the radio and that people can dance to,” he says.
“Also, our music seems to get passed down through people’s families.
“Most of our younger fans first heard our music at home – from their parents or grandparents – and it has turned into this worldwide phenomenon that we are still very humbled by.”
Clifford also cites that the band were already seasoned veterans by the time the hits started rolling in as another reason for their staying power.
“We were just 13 when we began playing together and we were just figuring out our instruments. We learned to do all that as a unit and by the time success came along in our early twenties we’d already been playing for a decade.”
It’s highly unlikely songwriter Fogerty will ever appear live with CCR again though. His relationship with Cook and Clifford collapsed amid a string of bitter law suits.
“They only communication we have with John these days is through his attorney,” Clifford explains.
“And to be honest, the love letters between us are starting to get a bit pricey.”