John Fogerty: The Extended Interview

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter


For years, you wouldn’t play Creedence songs. Was it painful to hear them at that time? And to be sued for self-plagiarization — and even though you won the case, to fight it all the way to the United States Supreme Court for attorneys’ fees, and lose? The irony is just over the top.

Wow. No. 1, you asked a really a great and insightful question. But I’m just amazed how much you know about, there. So the first answer, was it painful to not do the songs? Yes, because that pain was also connected to not being — here I created all of this wonderful music, all these great songs, and then right in front of my eyes, the songs are stolen from me by Saul [Zaenz] and the record company. And also my band breaks up, at first blush because they’re jealous of what I’m doin’ and not respectful of what it really is, in the sense that they didn’t really get that they actually didn’t know how to do that, what I’m doing. And so the band breaks up over that whole thing, that nuclear atomic bomb going off, that white-hot cauldron in which Saul Zaenz is stealing everything from the band, the songs from me, he’s stealing the music, he’s owning the records. The band is mad at John because they’re jealous that John can write all these songs, and yet they’re trying to convince themselves that they can damn well do the same thing; “after all, we grew up with John. John started doing it, so we can do it, too.” And I’m young and I don’t have 40 years of history behind me, I’m just goin’, “I don’t agree with you guys, I don’t think you can do this. I can’t say I’d bet my life that you can’t. I’m just thinking I really don’t think, from what I’ve seen over the last 10 years, I really don’t think you can do this. But you guys are making such a stink about that you can do this, if I give in, then you’re gonna have to do this. And this is really gonna be a mess if you don’t.”

By the way, that’s exactly what happened. Basically, the band broke up over about a two-year period. I finally gave in and said — and it was a big moment, right at the end of 1970, right as we were about to go back into the studio and record Pendulum; we already had a release date — and the guys called a band meeting. Every band in the world who has ever had a big band meeting knows — I saw Don Henley say it onstage one night, in great big capital letters the way he used it; he wasn’t back on friendly terms — he said [Fogerty’s voice drops deep] “BAND MEETING.” I think he even had reverb echo on it. I’m sittin’ in the audience going, “I know what he means.” Anyway, my band meeting was basically mutiny. “We want to write the songs, we want to sing the songs.” And I sat there, and it was still all four of us in the band, and said, “OK.” I could see we weren’t goin’ forward if I didn’t say yes. Up to that moment in the life of the band, I’d been able to use my own willpower and the fact that I was creating all these — I kept doin’ it, I kept taking the ball and marching down the field into the end zone, the promised land of a hit record. Basically doing it over and over and over. Finally, I could just see at this meeting, they didn’t care about all that. The band’s not gonna be a band until you say yes; otherwise, it’s not a band. So I said yes. I was trying to keep the band together.

We went forward and recorded Pendulum. And within a few weeks, even though I said “Yes, OK, you guys can write songs, you can sing songs, whatever it is you want to do” — even though over the years, they said, “John never let us do this and that,” well, actually I did; I gave in, I gave permission, I did all that — Tom left the band. That really made me go uh-oh. So now I’m figuratively walking around thinking, “I know the other guys; I think they can’t do this.” And yet, they demanded that they be able to do this. One part of me argued, “They can’t do this. We should just stop.” And then the other part of me argued, “Well, you know what? I guess we’ve gotten this far. I guess they deserve a shot. They’ve earned the shot of being able to do it while the band is still together, rather than just blowing up the band.” The sarcasm and cynicism in me was very well aware that you guys are asking to write the very first songs you ever have written from within the No. 1 band in the world. What is that? To me, it was crazy, but I kept having this argument with myself. Should I give ‘em the shot or not give ‘em the shot? Finally I said, “OK, we’ll do that.” That’s how that came about.

Those two guys have steered the information to say John engineered this thing so that we would look lousy and then he would look better. No I didn’t. I hated doin’ that. And I sure didn’t want to do it. But I was doing it for them because they asked to do this. And as a matter of fact, while it was going on, I kept thinking, “It’s pretty bad. This is pretty bad, but what do I know?” That’s that cauldron that you’re in. God, what if it sells 10 million? Becomes the biggest hit of all time? Maybe this is that record after “I Couldn’t Sleep at All Last Night” [“Tossin’ and Turnin’”]. You know what I’m sayin’. What do I know? It’s like, “OK, we’re gonna do this.” And then of course, after it failed, everyone said, “Well, this was John’s [doing], like I had a master plan. No I didn’t. Nobody’s that smart.

And so when you asked was it painful to hear the songs when you know that I was left in this position where I was not out there at all? Right, I was sort of trapped. Yes, and if a song would come on the radio, most of the time, I would just change the channel. Because the life I was leading, up until Centerfield came out in ‘85, the life I was leading really had nothing to do with the music world, music that I loved, so my life was not connected to the very thing that I understood from the time I was 3, that I loved and that I was born to do. So I was staying in the shadow and leading this other life that was totally disconnected from the thing that I loved, therefore, as you can imagine, there was a huge amount of disconnect — what do you call that? Delusional? There’s another word. You’re living in denial. You’re suppressing yourself. You’re suppressing your own thing. So of course, all of that was … that’s not healthy [laughs]. That’s not mentally healthy.

You’ve asked the question, basically. I think what I’m trying to say is, my life had a whole lot of unwinding and self-realization and untangling to do before I could ever hope to be healthy again. So that point at which Centerfield came out … I’m not gonna tell that whole long story, but I will just say that because of all of that history that happened before, there was a very entangled and dysfunctional and in-denial sort of entanglement for me, personally, for my soul and what I was still living. And that was not gonna get fixed overnight. The wonder is that it ever got fixed at all. And that’s the part, basically, if I could just say, no matter what I tried to do, I was not able to do. I couldn’t and I didn’t figure it out. I did go to a couple of shrinks during that time. Whatever. They give you some word or you read a book; they tell you some word, and It’s all great stuff, but it’s just … it’s all well-meaning, but none of it landed on me. None of it made any sense to me. Where I was trying to go before was, I met Julie, and that’s where it started to get fixed for me. On my own, it was never gonna get fixed. On my own — because I tried — on my own, I could not get it worked out. I couldn’t disentangle my psyche from all that had happened. I’m saying this because I know in this world there are lots and lots of poor devils that have had something happen and they can’t figure it out no matter how they try. I was that. And it only happened because I met Julie. I met somebody from another perspective, whose other life, not my life, from her point of view, from the outside of everything that had happened — ‘cause she wasn’t there, she didn’t live my life, she didn’t have all these things happen — she just looked at me and said, “Holy … I gotta help this guy figure this out.”

That’s how I got better. I’m skipping a lot of years and a bunch of stuff, but what I’m trying to say is, there came a day, happily, when I could actually stare at, look back at all the days that this happened or that happened or another thing happened. This guy actually, literally took my money? He took my whole life savings? What? Or this guy owned every song I wrote during all that time? How dare he? Or this guy owned every record I made? It’s just stuff that now, when you’re in your 60s, you look back and you should be “Ohmygod, my life is wasted.” That’s the kind of way you could look at it. Or — and luckily, I’m very able to do — I look at it and I go, “Yeah, that’s really wrong. I hope to tell other people why they shouldn’t do something like that.” Right? But I go, “You know what? I’m better. I’m better off.” My life is way better, the life I live with Julie and my kids, my family, I have an incredible life. And somehow I got to have this life that I have because I went on that road, whatever that road is, and experienced all that, and then met Julie.

In a sense, I’m OK. I’m not a Pollyanna, I mean I look at all those things, I know they’re wrong, but they don’t have me by the short hairs anymore, where I’m screaming when I wake up. It’s not the emotion. It’s simply the awareness that that happened to me, and I completely look at what I have now and I go — and it’s true — “Yeah, that guy’s got that song,” or that guy got that money 40 years ago, but I’m better off because look what I’ve got.” I’m serious. What I do have is untouchable.

But you seemingly got the last laugh when you ended up back on Fantasy Records. So your take on that whole experience now is, “Yeah, that happened?”

Yeah, very much so. You have to. I wish I could bottle this and give it out there and other people could be “you’re cured!” Like a revival meeting where they tap you on the top of your head and suddenly, “I can walk!”

My heart was filling with love, slowly but surely, every day. When Julie met me, I was a piece of work. I‘m not proud of that guy at all. As love filled my heart, one day there was so much love in my heart that it pushed all the other stuff out. I woke up and realized I wasn’t thinking about it.

There’s such a feeling in my heart of gratitude to Julie, or thankfulness to the path that my life went down. God, I’m lucky. I didn’t end up like that guy in Taylor Swift’s song, “Mean,” sitting at a bar spoutin’ miserable things because he’s so miserable. I can think of a bunch of old rock ‘n’ roll singers, or writers as she’s probably talking about, who grew up, their career ended, and they’re very bitter. Her song says it very well. I was definitely gonna be that guy, and I’m so glad I’m not. Every day, my kids come home from school, we have dinner, I’ve gotten to live that life, which is bigger than money. No amount of money buys that, therefore, money is not in the quotient. When I look at the stuff that went wrong, I don’t have the emotion, I just have the awareness that those things happened. If it’s God’s will that I don’t own those songs, that’s whatever. What I do have is so much more.

Does it bother you that there’s still that other version of CCR out?

A little bit. Every interviewer asks, are you gonna have a reunion with those folks? I used to get really angry and spew out a bunch of anti-Creedence stuff. And the last time someone asked me that, I didn’t have an immediate knee-jerk reaction. That emotion is not there anymore. So I quite simply said I wasn’t opposed to it. That was all.

And then almost immediately from the other camp, I started hearing back through the press. “Oh no, it’s too late.” It was kind of funny to me. I think what’s more hilarious to me is they keep talking about, rather than just owning what happened at the moment 40 years ago when they demanded I let them write songs and sing, they keep putting forth the story as if I made them do it. As if I went down in my evil laboratory and concocted a plan to make them write bad songs.

I did a story for American Songwriter about Levon Helm and interviewed Robbie Robertson, and all these people commented online, saying “Levon was the saint and Robertson screwed him over.” Well, there’s more to the story. [Helm’s producer and music director] Larry Campbell and Robertson both said Levon wasn’t the songwriter. So I guess people will believe whatever truth they choose to believe.

Well I think — of course, I love Levon. I love Robbie, too, actually. Of course, all Levon had to do was open his mouth and start singing, and he was that person. He was that guy in “The Weight.” After his passing, the Black Keys asked me to come to Coachella and sing “The Weight.” I loved that record for years, but never quite knew what it was about. So I’m riding out to Coachella listening to the song, writing out the words, cause that’s how you learn them. They have the most iconic phrases in that song, and I still have no idea what that song was about. That was Robbie’s genius for drawing imagery.

I know. He said that Levon was the inspiration. Just like with you and writing swamp rock. For Robbie, having Levon take him down to the Delta when he was 16 shaped what the Band would become. But in the end, who’s credited for writing the songs?

Right, right. We’ll never know the full truth. I can only imagine … like what went on with the Beach Boys. I believe a lot of poetic license is called into play in regards to band members. And sometimes, 40 years later someone’ll say, “Well, you know I came up with this phrase. That means I wrote the song.” I don’t know the full story but in my opinion, the guy who came up with the song is the songwriter.

You played at Woodstock in ’69. And you played at Coachella this year [2012], 43 years later. How different is the festival experience now than it was then? Do you get the feeling youth is wasted on the young?

Boy, is it ever. There are some things that are so funny, so similar. It just points, I think, to who you are. I drove out to Coachella; I had discovered the Black Keys quite by accident about eight years ago; I had walked into a Sharper Image or Hammacher Schlemmer, whatever is was … a young clerk was demoing a sound system with the first Black Keys album. I heard three cuts, and I couldn’t quite place what it was. I thought, “Is that Muddy?” I’m a huge fan and they know it. I’ve talked to them a couple times over the years. So they asked me, and all the way out there, I’m trying to learn the song. So I’m very, very nervous. We spent about 40 minutes [on it], but I’m very nervous to get it right, and that’s exactly how I felt at Woodstock. That same rush of adrenaline with all those people out there

I was havin’ a great time listening to the Black Keys. Visceral, primitive, very in-the-moment rock ‘n’ roll … it was over way too soon. I didn’t want to embarrass them, because I didn’t want to be whoever they pulled up to be with them to mess it up. I wasn’t walking out there like William the Conquerer: “Well, here I am, I’m the big songwriter guy.” No, I’m walkin’ out there like, “Your band, the Black Keys, really likes me, but now I came out and I screwed up. I hope you don’t blame them for anything.” That was my emotion at the time.

Guys like you, Dylan, McCartney, Springsteen … you’re used to hearing yourself referred as legends, and in fact, this story is for American Songwriter’s legends issue. But what does that word mean to you?

Bob Dylan is a legend, the way I look at it. And I’m probably not. Bruce Springsteen’s a legend. I don’t know. Because I’m still alive, and also like, when I walk out onstage — I read this about Jimmy Carter, he said he learned if you walk very slowly, it makes you look like you’re taller [and] therefore, more presidential. They showed a shot of him, like all presidents, especially Reagan, walking from the helicopter, that shot they all have where the helicopter’s landed the blades are going around and he’s walking to the waiting group of White House people. There’s that period of time as he walks that we’re judging him. We don’t realize we’re doing it, but we’ve seen that shot. So Jimmy Carter walked very slow and while the man on TV revealed this to us, they showed one of those shots of Carter, and yes, he was walking very slow. And man, he looked really tall. I immediately referred that to myself. Well, I go out onstage and I’m hopping up and down and running from one side to the other and the moment that knowledge was bestowed on me, I said, “John, I guess you’re not a legend.” I’m not walking slow!

I saw you at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville a couple of years ago at the Americana Music Association conference and you certainly were not walking slow.

In my frame of reference, there’s so much I’m still learning, that’s how I approach it. Like yesterday, or even this morning, there’s something about playin’ guitar, I’m learning and trying to put that into my mind so that I get better. I don’t know … a legend is a guy who’s kind of going around — it’s like a great baseball player the last year he’s gonna play. At some point, he announces [his voice deepens], “This is my final season.” So he does The Last Trot around the track. Everywhere he goes, he steps toward the plate. The hand comes up and he makes that wave, like unscrewing a light bulb. That’s what a legend is, and God, I’m certainly not there yet.

I think rock ‘n’ roll has redefined the whole concept of being able to stay. Look, the Stones are out playing another tour.

There you go. That’s true. It’s funny, I know Bruce feels the same way. I went and saw him early on in the year [2012]. I had gotten together with him because he was singing on my Blue Ridge Rangers: Rides Again album. [We did] “When Will I Be Loved?” It was early in the year, because he had just been on the Super Bowl and I realized he was gonna turn 60. I think I brought that up ‘cause I was 60. And I know he’s a couple of years after me. So I said, “Hey, you’re gonna turn 60. Where are you gonna be?” And he looked at me and said, [imitates Bruce], you know he has that voice, “Yeah, Johnny,” that wonderful, engaging kind of raspiness; he sounds like my son Tyler did when Tyler was young. So he says, “Somewhere out on the road.” And his eyes had a twinkle in ‘em, and it was just like, “Yeah, that’s what I’ll be doin’ on my birthday. I’ll be out on the road.” He didn’t even know where. That was cool. That’s a memory in my little personal memory bank of a guy I really dig. That’s the rock ‘n’ roll way, you know.

Do you think it’s possible to create new classics after you’ve been doing this for five decades?

Gosh, I sure hope so. I really hope so. I’m looking forward to having a real studio at home. Haven’t quite acquired that yet. I’ve got a writing place, or a place where I can sing at home, do some overdubs, but I’ve never really had a place where I can do the whole thing, with a band, the drummer, the bass player, really do the music from the ground up. The way you did in a rehearsal place 45 years ago. Forty-five years ago, it was almost technologically impossible for your home rehearsal place also be your recording place. But that’s how I worked with a band all those years ago. You would set in your rehearsal place, go over things; I’d show the guys a little snatch of music, we’d play it, I’d take that back to my place, thinking about it in my head, bring it back after I’d thought about it — again, this is not a tape, it’s just kind of in my personal memory bank. In other words what I’m saying is, when you’re in a band and you’re rehearsing or recording, it’s an osmosis. You have to show them over time, and you can really start to get your creation together. The way the recording business of the late 19th century was, you probably come into a studio and because it was expensive, you try to get it together fairly quickly because it’s going to cost so much money, but it’s ok because it would work out against the record sales.

But in the new millennium, since record sales have really become a different animal, you can’t go into a big, fancy, public, professional recording studio, commercial recording studio, and pay the fees of being there for weeks and months and expect to get it back from your record sales, because guess what? It’s not going to work out [laughs]. So there has to be another way. And that’s what I’m gonna get to have here. And I’m mostly looking forward to it because I’ve wanted this for so long, and for whatever reasons, because of how your family grows, how you choose to be — where you live, the dynamics of your kids, the schools, all that kind of thing — I’ve just never been able to have it. And it looks like I’m gonna get to be able to have that now. I guess what I’m saying I’m excited about is what I believe will happen with the music, for me, anyway — that it will get to really be organic that way. There will be no rush to have to have something work out financially. You can just let it grow at its own pace.

As a songwriter — after all, I guess that’s what I’m supposed to talk about — I can tell you there’s a song that’s gonna be on this new album, it’s called “Mystic Highway.” I probably had the idea for that song more or less somewhere between 45 and 50 years ago. I specifically wrote it down probably 40 years ago. I’ve written two or three versions — I mean just a chorus, a couple of lines that would maybe make a hook — because something was echoing in my head. I thought, “Well, that sounds kind of like that mystic highway.” So it keeps coming back, and I could never quite get it worked out. And then finally, in the last few months, I finally got most of the song written. And then finally got enough of it written that I went into the studio and recorded with the band, and it’s pretty much all there, but there is a little middle part — I think what I’m telling you is that in the songwriting process, you know what that part there is gonna say, you just haven’t figured out what those words are yet. But you know you’ll find them. So I had that great leap of faith to actually go and record the music, and record all the other singing parts, and the solo and everything else, and yet there’s this — it’s about a four-line part in the middle — that I’m pretty sure what is supposed to happen there. And I think it was yesterday I was jogging — specifically, I was tying a little bandanna around my head, like a sweatband — and the little phrase, “good times,” somehow, I hadn’t figured that phrase out, it hadn’t occurred to me yet in the imperfect computer of our brain. And something said, “John, here’s the phrase you’ve been looking for. ‘Good Times.’” And as I tied the knot in the bandanna, I went, “That’s it!” It’s like a Thomas Edison moment or something. “Yeah! All the rest of ‘em rhyme with that! That’s the phrase!” And I went, “Jeez, why did that take 50 years?” [Laughs]

Did you have something to write it down with or did you commit it to memory?

No, I remember it. And usually, that’s a bad deal. You’re not gonna remember, if it’s longer than two phrases, you’re probably not gonna remember it. Every songwriter readin’ this is gonna know this one. You’re goin’ along and you’ve got this great melody and you’ve got a phrase for it, and oh, man, you can’t find anything to record it (‘cause I don’t read music, you know) and I don’t have a pen to write the phrase down. “Oh, this is so good, I know I’ll remember this.” And then life goes on, and later that afternoon or the next day, you’re thinking, “I remember there was something important. Oh yeah, I had a song!” And then you go … had. It’s all gone; the melody’s not there and the phrase is not there. “Well, it was about — if I could just remember what it was about! It was … no, it was … “ and you can’t remember what it was about. Maybe it was about an automobile. A brain just tucks it away and it’s gone. And I’ve had that happen a thousand times at least [laughs]. What that does is say, ‘Man, you’d better have a pencil and you’d better have something to record that.”

I’ve asked you all of my questions, except they want me to ask you for a comment about your favorite Stones song.

Well, there’s so many that are wonderful. There’s so many. I could go with a song you knew because it had great chords. There’d be another song you knew because it spoke about — you know, the lyrics tap you on the shoulder. I think what I’ll do is, I’ll tell you an anecdote. As happened so many times, a lot of rock ‘n’ roll you heard when you were in your car. So I was not a famous rock ’n’ roller by any means yet; I believe the year is 1965. The song is “Satisfaction.” I’m ridin’ my brother Tom’s car, ‘cause I’m not old enough — I may not be old enough to drive. No, no, I was old enough to drive. I’m just riding with Tom. Anyway, “Satisfaction” comes on the radio. We hear [sings riff] “Baar, baar, daar, daar, daar.” All I can say is, I looked at Tom, Tom looked at me. Both of our eyes, both of our faces, said it all. As if to say, “That’s so incredibly good.” Right? “It’s like I died and I went to heaven.” Meaning, “Listen to that!” You know it’s the Stones. But what is it? I knew I’d never heard that before, but I knew I wanted to hear that, because everybody had been wanting to make a noise like that and Keith got to be the first one to make that noise. And it was so great. Me and Tom, because we both loved music and we had grown up admiring and loving rock and all that, we looked at each other. It wasn’t about ourselves. It was about being a fan.

And he wrote that in his sleep, supposedly.

[Laughs] Yeah, I read all the stories later, and that [guitar] line was supposed to be horns coming in there. And I don’t know if I’m buyin’ that or not.

You’ve been so wonderful and I can’t thank you enough for taking all this time to talk with me. But a couple more questions about the album. I’ve got a list of what’s supposed to be on it but it sounds like I might not have everything. [Reads the list.] Am I missing anybody?

You’re missing Zac Brown Band. They are doing “Bad Moon Rising.” By the way, have you heard the Foo Fighters cut?


What I was just talkin’ about when I heard “Satisfaction” and I looked at my brother because we were hearing that for the first time, and I actually got to share that with somebody who was just like me, that’s how I feel about the Foo Fighters cut. And I believe that’s what I’m hearing from other people — you know, somebody calls me up and “Ohmygod! I heard your Foo Fighters!” — you know, it’s that kind of thing. I’m really proud of that. I’m not really sure how to express it, but I’m sure glad that happened.

I heard that and I was like, damn. All of these songs sound really good, but that one just has a new personality. Or a new, I don’t want to say immediacy, but they certainly injected it with something.

Well, I think part of it is, when I walked into what is their world, their realm, I came in I guess the back door, and Taylor [Hawkins] was over on the drums playing, and immediately, it was like it was palpable. As I walked from the outside, whatever the air is out there, and I stepped inside, I was breathing the air of a band. No. 1, I recognized it instantly. But I knew it was different air. And I said, “Man, These guys are a band!”

Almost in a sense I was jealous, ‘cause I relate to that a long time ago. In other words, these are brothers. They’re going into hell for each other. They’ve got their arms locked, and this is the band. I mean it that way. And it was weird, because it was such an amazing … I didn’t expect that. I didn’t know about that.

And they just announced they’re going on hiatus.

Yeah, a bunch of people read a bunch of stuff into that phrase. My wife came in and told me, she said, “There’s a thing on youtube where [Dave Grohl] says, ‘We’re not sure if we’re gonna play any music,’” or something like that. And I looked at her and I said, “Honey, you were there. C’mon, you were in that building. What do you believe?” [Laughs]. I mean, I don’t even what his exact words were, but I know what was palpable and I breathed. That’s all I know about it.

Who are you on the road with these days?

Kenny Aronoff on drums, David Santos playing bass, Bob Malone playing keyboards, David George on guitar and James Intveld, also playing guitar. I was thinking about this the other day. How can I say it? The simplest way is just to say it in a positive way. This is my favorite band so far. We just did a wonderful tour across Canada and it all went really, really, really well. There is certainly a great sense of music and also can-do among all these guys. This is just really fun and this is my favorite band.

What are your plans for when the album comes out?

The label will have a whole bunch of that stuff for me to do. I don’t know if there’s any other plans. I alluded to this when we very first started talking; because I’m the producer, many times, it’s happened where I’m working on one track, one song that’s on the album. The producer has me in the studio doing my solo, and suddenly I hear I’ve gotta be in, let’s say Nashville, because I’m gonna be recording with these other guys. And I’m goin’ — it’s kind of like a nagging old tinkerer guy. I’m goin’ “Don’t bother me! I’ve almost got it. It’s perpetual motion. I almost have — I’ve got it figured out! It’s right here! I’ve cracked the code!” In other words, “I’m doin’ this! Why are you makin’ me go over there?” So this past year, that’s been the pattern of my life, where I’m doing one thing, which is of course what I’m supposed to be doing, and then they let me know that, well, yeah, but there’s these other guys that you said you wanted to be with, and that’s also what I’m supposed to be doing. So it’s sort of been a crazy quilt, a back and forth. So I don’t really know, I just assume they’re going to start doing that whole public awareness, media, publicist thing. Which is a whole ‘nother deal.

I’m so proud of all the folks that are on this record. I’m proud of that. I’m just proud that this thing got to be what it is and that I got to play with these people. So I hope I get to say that. I want to write, for the packaging, a little paragraph about each artist and why this is important to me. I think that would be a cool thing for people — why does John want to be with, let’s say, Alan Jackson? And instead of them wondering, I can say a few sentences … instead of some, quote, record guy doin’ something like that, I want to do it myself.

We’d all rather hear it out of your mouth, that’s for sure! Hey, in case I have any follow-up questions, is there an email I can use?

I’ll give you my wife’s. Can you tell my wife handles everything for me? She does all the heavy lifting. That’s why when you asked do I feel like a legend, as a matter of fact, no. Because my wife and I work as a team, and she’s come up with so many incredible ideas, I almost feel like I’m the guy who gets to carry the football. I’m not designing the plays and calling. You know what I’m saying? That is the current day-to-day structure of my life as I live it now. That’s how my life is. I’m very happy with this situation.

Well, John, I can’t thank you enough. It’s been delightful talking with you. And you need to write this book. I think I just got half of it right now.

[Laughs] Well, thank you so much, Lynne.

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