If last week we were talking about Mr. Pete Townshend and made a summary of his most outstanding gear, this week it’s time to put an opponent at this level in the other corner of this boxing ring called Rock and Roll that we like so much. So ladies and gentlemen, with jeans, checkered shirt and a voice that is a sound in itself, let's give a big round of applause to John Fogerty.
The mention of Pete Townshend has not been completely unjustified since, from what we have been able to investigate, it seems that John Fogerty recorded practically the totality of his first record with the Creedence Clearwater Revival with a Rickenbacker 325 just like some of the ones used in the beginnings of the leader of The Who. In fact, 50 years later, the Rickenbacker Pete Townshend Signature with a Bigsby installed in it, is still among the guitars used by Fogerty in his still very powerful live shows all over the world.
Shortly after that Rickenbacker the leader of Creedence wanted to distance himself from all the sounds that surrounded him in the groups of the day and acquired a Gibson ES-175. It was with this guitar, which was later stolen, that he recorded songs such as Proud Mary.
Following the trend of the time and the influence of more aggressive sounds of artists like Clapton or Jimmy Page, Fogerty would choose to look for a Les Paul Standard to replace the loss of his former Gibson but what he ended up coming across was two of his most loyal companions that have accompanied him to this day. We're talking about his 1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom (a model that had a duplicate in the days of the CCR with another 'sister' with a vibrato lever fitted on it) and his Gibson Les Paul Goldtop with P-90's. Both guitars are still used today in most of his concerts.
The sound of a simple winding also has something to say in the career of this genius and we can’t fail to mention here the tone coming from his different Fenders. Today he uses at least one Fender Telecaster made especially for him in Fender's Custom Shop with a Stratocaster pickup on the neck and a Fender Hot Rod Telecaster probably also modified. What we do know for sure is that, while the Les Paul and the guitars with humbuckers are plugged into Diezel heads like the VH-4 or a Cornford (always with a lot of gain by the way), the Telecasters are always plugged into Z Wreck heads because according to the artist's own words they are by far his favorites to bring out the authentic and delicious brilliant tone of a Fender Telecaster.
Surely many of you are true lovers of the Creedence and John Fogerty’s music and have probably seen the Californian onstage taking out a different guitar for almost every song. We know that he has and has used hundreds of them; what we try to do here is a summary of his most mythical equipment and that's why we had to leave out his different dobros, his custom-made guitars, even in the form of a baseball bat or its effects...
What we don't want to forget is that the absolute essence of Fogerty's sound, more than his guitars or his technique, is perhaps his cadence, his incredible 'groove' when facing riffs like in Green River or solos like in Feelin' Blue... in short and speaking colloquially: you can't play with more 'good vibes' than these guys.