John Fogerty has responded to the controversy that arose after Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and Zac Brown performed his classic song “Fortunate Son” at the star-studded Concert for Valor event on Veterans Day in Washington, D.C. Some conservative media outlets in particular maintained that performing the song, which addresses the circumstances of soldiers in the Vietnam era, wasn’t appropriate for an event honoring U.S. military members. Fogerty disagrees.
In a statement on his official website, the ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman explains, “‘Fortunate Son’ is a song I wrote during the Vietnam War over forty-five years ago. As an American and a songwriter I am proud that the song still has resonance. I do believe that its meaning gets misinterpreted and even usurped by various factions wishing to make their own case. At its core I believe the issue is really about what a great country we have that a song like this can be performed in a setting like Concert for Valor.”
Fogerty adds, “Years ago, an ultra-conservative administration tried to paint anyone who questioned its policies as ‘un-American.’ That same administration shamefully ignored and mistreated the soldiers returning from Vietnam…As a man who was drafted and served his country during those times I have ultimate respect for the men and women who protect us today and demand that they receive the respect that they deserve.”
It’s worth noting that Fogerty also performed the song last week at the White House at the “A Salute to Our Troops” concert, which was attended by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The show aired on PBS as an episode of the In Performance at the White House series.
The Concert for Valor, meanwhile, aired live on HBO on Tuesday, and also included performances by Carrie Underwood, Metallica, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna, Eminem and The Black Keys.
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