Released on january 15, 1985, Centerfied was John Fogerty’s most popular post-Creedence album, selling over 2 million copies, and containing the hit singles “The Old Man Down the Road”, “Rock and Roll Girls” and the title track “Centerfield”. Let’s play tribute to this amazing record with 5 fun facts:
1. Fogerty played all the instruments on this album himself, thanks to overdubbing.
2. This album was Fogerty’s first album in nine years. After Asylum Records rejected his Hoodoo album, he decided to take a long break from the music business because of legal battles with his record company.
3. The song “Zanz Kant Danz” was altered and re-titled “Vanz Kant Danz” a few months after the release of the album in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid a defamation lawsuit from Saul Zaentz, owner of Fantasy Records.
4. A Zaentz lawsuit claimed that “The Old Man Down the Road” shared the same chorus as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Run Through the Jungle”. The defendant Fogerty ultimately prevailed, when he showed that the two songs were whole, separate and distinct compositions. Bringing his guitar to the witness stand, he played excerpts from both songs, demonstrating that many songwriters have distinctive styles that can make different compositions sound similar to less discerning ears. So, Fogerty got sued for sounding like Fogerty.
Do they sound the same? You be the judge.
5. The album is dedicated to “Gossamer Wump.” Fogerty said in an interview, “When I was a young kid, my brothers had a record called “The Adventures of Gossamer Wump.” Gossamer Wump is a little kid who saw a big parade comin’ down the road and thinks ‘Hey, this is what I want, I want to be a musician.’ Gossamer goes through all the instruments comin’ by and does not know how to decide what instrument he wants to play. Then, at the end of the parade he sees the triangle and thinks, ‘Yes, that’s what I want to play.’ Determined to learn how to play the triangle, Gossamer takes his belongings and 26 peanut butter sandwiches and leaves for the big city. On his way he sings ‘jingle, jongle, jangle, ah’m goin’ to the big city to learn to play the triangle.’ In the city, Gossamer starts taking lessons and very soon he plays “tingle.” After ten years of courage, determination, and hard work Gossamer plays “tingle.” No difference? At first sight, no, but Gossamer, he can hear the difference. This is what I like about this story. After ten years in my garage, I played alone. They maybe don’t hear the difference, but I do. Gossamer stuck to his dream, and that’s why I dedicated this album to Gossamer Wump.”