John Fogerty has detailed the “tense” final years of Creedence Clearwater Revival, admitting he had no idea at the time why his bandmates were so exasperated.

By 1970, the group had scored massive hits with songs like “Proud Mary,” “Down on the Corner,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Fortunate Son.” In just a handful of years, CCR had gone from obscurity to one of the biggest acts in the world. And yet for all of their success, the band was falling apart.

“Creedence started to really get tense, and yet we were on top of the world,” Fogerty recalled during an appearance on Club Random with Bill Maher.

Much of the tension was due to the band’s dynamic. Fogerty was CCR’s unquestioned leader and sole songwriter, and the other members grew frustrated by their lack of creative input. At the time, the singer couldn’t understand why his bandmates were so upset.

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“I mean, that's what the song ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’ is all about,” Fogerty admitted. “It's the brightest blue, wonderful day that we all dreamed about and it's fucking raining. What are you guys so unhappy about?”

Most frustrated was Tom Fogerty, the band’s rhythm guitarist and John’s older brother, whose sibling rivalry compounded matters.

“Tom got really quiet,” John recalled, noting how everyone in the band was walking on eggshells during CCR’s later days. “He was really quiet. But there'd be these, you know, little jabs every now and then. Verbal stuff.”

Tom eventually quit the band in 1971. CCR continued for a little while longer, before breaking up in 1972.

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It wasn’t until much later – after forging a successful solo career and finding love with his second wife, Julie, that John finally understood CCR’s breakup. One day while the couple was driving together in the early ‘90s, John regaled Julie with his the story of the band’s demise.

“She says, ‘Well, they're jealous,” the singer recalled. “I went, ‘What?’”

Fogerty claimed that he’d never considered such a possibility.

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“I didn't understand any of that,” the singer insisted. “I just wondered what the hell 'Mary' has been number one for, you know, 72 weeks. Why are you mad?”

Julie’s insight helped John better comprehend Tom’s discontent.

“And as an adult… I reached a point where I finally, as best I could, understood his emotions are his very human and understandable desires.”

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Gallery Credit: Matt Wardlaw

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