John Fogerty Shares the True Story Behind What Inspired Him to Write the CCR Classic “Who’ll Stop the Rain”

One of the most enduring tunes John Fogerty wrote for his old band Creedence Clearwater Revival was “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” Fogerty has posted a video presentation on his social media pages explaining what inspired him to write the introspective folk-rock ballad, which was released in 1970.

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The video explained that many people had interpreted “Who’ll Stop the Rain” to be a commentary about the Vietnam War. The clip’s narrator then noted that Fogerty had told the audience during a 2012 concert at the Arizona State Fair that the tune actually was inspired by his experience playing the rain-soaked 1969 Woodstock Festival with CCR.

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Fogerty said that he watched many attendees huddling together or dancing naked in the rain and mud, he reflected on those images when he wrote the tune after he returned home.

The presentation posted on Fogerty’s socials also incorporated a clip from a 2020 YouTube video featuring John sharing his humorous recollections of CCR’s Woodstock set as an intro to him and his family members playing an acoustic version of “Who’ll Stop The Rain.”

Fogerty’s Woodstock Story from the YouTube Video

In the 2020 video, Fogerty talks about how CCR had been scheduled to perform a 9 p.m., but their set was delayed for hours because of the rain and other issues. Creedence finally hit the stage at about 2 a.m., after the Grateful Dead had played a lengthy set that, according to Fogerty, put the entire crowd to sleep.

“It’d been my ambition to play a really great set for all those folks and have a really high-water mark for my musical career, you might say,” John maintained in the video. “But the fact that they were all asleep was kind of frustrating. So I got to rocking and rolling … but they just weren’t stirring out there. It was kind of a tough deal.”

[RELATED: John Fogerty Recalls the “Euphoric” Feeling He Got from Writing “Proud Mary” and Other Classic CCR Songs]

He continued, “Finally, I went up to the mic [and] said, ‘Well, we just want you to have a good time! We’re playing our hearts out up here for you! Hope you’re enjoying this!” Waaaay out in the darkness, some guy’s flicking his lighter and I hear him say, ‘Don’t worry about it, John! We’re with you!’ So I played the rest of my big Woodstock set … for that guy!”

Fogerty concluded his story by noting, “Then I went home and I wrote this song,” before kicking into “Who’ll Stop the Rain.”

More About “Who’ll Stop the Rain”

“Who’ll Stop the Rain” was released as a two-sided single with “Travelin’ Band” in January 1970. The single peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, one of five CCR singles to do so. The band never had a No. 1 hit on the chart.

“Who’ll Stop the Rain” and “Travelin’ Band” were later included on the classic Creedence album Cosmo’s Factory, which was released in July 1970. Cosmo’s Factory spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 tally.

About Fogerty’s Upcoming Tour Plans

Fogerty is scheduled to launch a series of European shows this week. The outing runs from a July 11 concert in Berlin through a July 19 performance in Calella de Palafrugell, Spain.

After that, John will kick off another series of North American concerts as part his 2024 Celebration Tour with George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Those shows run from early August to early September. Fogerty also will play a few U.S. concerts without Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Tickets for Fogerty’s concerts are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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